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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day....Use Voter Registration Records for Your Research

It's Election Day here in the United States of America.  Why not use some of the accumulated records available to the public.  Where do you find this information?  Ancestry.com, of course.

a blurb from Ancestry : Why Use Voting Records:
Voter registers are great records to use as “census substitutes”, since they will usually contain the names of heads of households and other adults. They are useful when census records are either not complete or non-existent, and are usually available in between census years. Because voter registers were published on a fairly consistent basis and are generally state-wide, they are useful for tracking individuals over time and place.

Check Ancestry ( www.ancestry.com ) for the Search tab.  Scroll down to Card Catalog and you can find voter registrations for various areas.  Let's looks at a few.

California, Voter Registrations, 1900-1968:  I looked in the Napa County, Aetna District :

Notice that you can get the name, age and address of each registered voter.  Good information.

Also on Ancestry.com, I found voter information for the county of Richmond, Georgia : http://search.ancestry.com/Browse/view.aspx?dbid=1857&iid=32305_1220705227_0317-00005

This states the date of each registrant, name, reference to oath, race and residence time period.

Georgia, Returns of Qualified Voters and Reconstruction Oath Books, 1867-1869


For more recent voter information, lists can be purchased from most states.
 
The Georgia Office of the Secretary of State has voter registration lists available :
http://sos.georgia.gov/elections/voter_registration/voter_reg_lists.htm

Voter Registration Lists and Files

Voter registration lists and files are available to the public. The files contain the following information: voter name, residence address, mailing address if different, race, gender, registration date and last voting date. Pricing is set by the Secretary of State. Such data may not be used by any person for commercial purposes. (O.C.G.A. §21-2-225c)

Many more older and up-to-date voter lists are available.  Just search the Internet for them.  You will find a treasure of information.



Voter registration lists can provide some very interesting information for your ancestors.  It can make you feel proud when you see that your family members took their citizen rights and privileges very seriously, and took advantage of their ability to vote.

Regardless of your political views, I hope that you, too, take advantage of your rights in this country.  Vote and get involved in your communities.  Make life as beautiful as possible for yourself and your neighbors.

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