10 June 2020
New additions to the FamilySearch website this week include 455,348 Monmouthshire electoral registers for 1839-89.
This resource is a microfilm of original Electoral Registers held at the County Records Office, Newport. This collection consists of ledgers containing the names of men eligible to vote in Parliamentary and/or county elections - however, do note that not all men were eligible to vote at this time.
What are electoral registers?
Electoral registers are a key family history record, allowing you to track ancestors in between the ten-yearly censuses. If your ancestor is listed, you'll be able to see their name and residence in each register, perhaps tracking the person as they move between properties in a way that wouldn't be possible with the less frequent census.
This collection starts in 1839, seven years after the 1832 Reform Act that changed the electoral system of England and Wales by changing the number of representatives, the boundaries of electoral divisions, and extending franchise to additional men based on their real property ownership or tenancy. As a result of the Act the number of eligible electors grew from just over 400,000 to 650,000.
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