General Collection Information
This collection contains electoral registers from the county of Glamorgan, Wales between 1832 and 1978. Electoral registers are lists of individuals who are allowed to vote in parliamentary and local government elections. Electoral registers can help you locate someone in a specific place and time, as well as learn how long they lived at a particular address. They can also show how many people in one household were able to vote, and even help to locate missing ancestors.
Using this Collection
This collection is browsable by either poll book or electoral register based on ward and year. You can also search for an individual's name, occupation, and address.
Prior to 1918, registers were listed with individuals in alphabetical order by district, along with their address and what qualified them to be able to vote, such as owning land. From 1918 onward they became a little harder to search, as registers were organised by street within each polling district. Qualifications to vote were denoted by one of the following:
- Residence (R)
- Business premises (B.P.)
- Occupation (O)
- Occupation of husband (H.O.)
- Naval or military voter (N.M.)
Some individuals and groups were restricted from voting and won’t be listed in the registers. For instance, policemen weren’t eligible to vote until 1887, and postmasters couldn’t vote until 1918. People with mental illness, learning disabilities, or anyone serving a prison sentence were also barred from voting.
History of the Collection
The Representation of the People Act of 1832 started standardising the electoral registers in Wales. It allowed men aged 21 and older who owned at least a certain amount of property to vote. Property requirements were lessened through Reform Acts in 1867 and 1884 and eliminated entirely by 1918. The Equal Franchise Act of 1928 gave women 21 and up the right to vote.
British Broadcasting Corporation. “ All Black Souvenir Comes to Light.” Last Modified November 5, 2009, http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/southeastwales/hi/people_and_places/history/newsid_8345000/8345182.stm.
Glamorgan Archives. “Electoral Registers.” Last Accessed January 26, 2021, https://glamarchives.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Electors.pdf.