Explore thousands of names in the Norfolk electoral registers; trace your ancestors every year and discover the type of property they owned.
Each record will provide an image of the electoral register and a transcript of the facts found in the register. The transcripts may vary but most will include the following:
County and country
The image will give you further details about your ancestor such as
Type of property owned – this will explain if your ancestor owned or rented land or property (such as a freehold, a farm, or a house)
The original electoral registers are available at the Norfolk Record Office. Electoral registers were first created in 1832. Every year, a new electoral register is created to list the name of every individual eligible to vote. Voting was closely linked to the possession of property; therefore, the registers described the type of property owned or rented by the individual. Electoral registers are an invaluable resource to trace your ancestors between the census years. You may also discover the history of your own home and names of individuals who lived at your address between 1832 and 1915.
Throughout the time period covered in these records, voting eligibility was continuously being extended up until 1928 when universal suffrage was achieved. In 1832, the Great Reform Act was passed, which extended the vote to men who owned property worth more than £10. A second reform act opened the vote to individuals who paid rent of £10 a year or more. This reform meant that the right to vote incorporated the working class. Another reform act in 1884 established a uniform franchise between the boroughs and the counties. Then in 1918, the vote was given to all men over the age or 21 and women over the age of 30.