General collection information
This collection includes electoral registers from West Sussex, England. Electoral registers have been published yearly starting in 1832, with exceptions for 1916-1917 and 1940-1944 due to the World Wars.
The following locations were previously part of East Sussex and are not included in the collection: Botolphs, Bramber, Broadwater, Clapham, Coombes, Durrington, Edburton, Fulking, Goring, Heene, Henfield, Kingston-by-Sea, Lancing, Mid Sussex, Old and New Shoreham, Sompting, Steyning, Upper Beeding, West Tarring, Woodmancote and Worthing.
Using this collection
This collection may include the following details:
Electoral registers are a unique genealogical resource. In addition to providing your family members' names and addresses, they may also tell you a bit about your family's lifestyle and finances. Prior to 1918, voters had to pay specific tax amounts in order to be eligible to vote. In older records, voters' occupations were listed alongside their addresses.
Women can be found in the collection after 1918.
Collection in context
Electoral registers comprise annual lists of names and addresses of people registered to vote. Electoral registers were first introduced in 1832, by the 1832 Reform Act which gave a greater number of qualifying male citizens the right to vote. To be eligible, citizens had to be male and pay at least £10 in property taxes. While previously it was rare for women to qualify for the vote, the Reform Act of 1832 was the first piece of legislature to explicitly exclude women from voting.
The 1867 Reform Act and the 1884 Reform Act later extended voting rights to males who owned taxable properties worth less. The Representation of the People Act of 1918 granted the vote to all men over the age of 21 and women over the age of 30. Ten years later, the Representation of the People Act of 1928 would grant voting rights to women over the age of 21. As of 1969, UK citizens age 18 or older are eligible to vote.
Parliament UK. "The Reform Act 1832." Last modified 2022. https://www.parliament.uk/about/living-heritage/evolutionofparliament/houseofcommons/reformacts/overview/reformact1832/.
West Sussex County Council. "Poll Books and Electoral Registers." Last modified October 23, 2020. https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/leisure-recreation-and-community/history-and-heritage/west-sussex-record-office/record-office-sources-and-collections/poll-books-and-electoral-registers-record-office-collection/.
British Library. "UK Electoral Registers." Last modified September 19, 2019. https://www.bl.uk/collection-guides/uk-electoral-registers.