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This database contains selected annual lists of names and residences of people in London who were eligible to vote in elections.
Electoral registers are lists of individuals who are eligible to vote during the time the register is in force (usually one year). Registration for voters in England has been required since 1832, and registers were typically published annually, though some years had two. Registers were not published during the latter years of World War 1 (1916–1917) or World War 2 (1940–1944).
Restrictive property requirements denied the vote to much of the population for years, though these were eased somewhat in 1867 and 1884 through the Second and Third Reform Acts. They were finally removed, for men, in 1918, when most males age 21 and older were allowed to vote. The franchise was extended to some women over the age of 30 in 1918, but it was not until 1928 that the voting age was made 21 for both men and women.
Thus, the number of names listed in the registers increases with the expansion of suffrage in England, and the 2 million images in this database list more than 100 million names.
Searching the Registers
Registers typically provide a name and place of abode, and older registers may include a description of property and qualifications to vote. Registers were compiled at a local level, with local polling districts being combined to form parliamentary constituencies. Names in registers published before 1918 are often arranged alphabetically within the polling district or parish. From 1918 onward, however, registers are organized by polling district and then street name and house number. In the past, this made knowing where your ancestor lived vital for researching in the registers. The registers in this database have been indexed electronically, however, which allows you to search them by name. The street address can be searched within the Location field.
This index was created using text recognition software. Records were not transcribed.
If you do need to search by location, there are helps available. For registers from 1885 through 1954 check the London County Council Names of Streets and Places in the Administrative County of London to place a street name into its proper constituency. Boundary Commission maps can also help. You’ll find a useful guide to using the London, England, electoral registers here.