Explore these electoral registers to discover your English ancestors from the Plymouth and West Devon region. The register will provide your ancestors’ residence at the time. The collection includes parish and parliamentary registers as well as lists of county voters. Some registers even recorded who your ancestor voted for. Did your ancestor support Labour or Conservative?
With each search you will find a transcript and an image. The transcripts will order the details found from the original image. The details in the transcript can vary depending on the type of register.
Event – Parish electoral rolls, electoral registers, correspondence, list of county voters, parliamentary electoral register
County and country
Archive and reference
The image will include additional place information such as electoral district, parish and/or address. Additional annotations on the registers my state if the person was deceased. Until the Secret Ballot Act of 1872, some registers even recorded which candidate the individual voted for.
By viewing the image, you will discover the names of your ancestor’s neighbours and possibly more ancestors.
In later electoral registers, abbreviations were used to explain an individual’s eligibility to vote. A list of the abbreviations can be found below in the Discover more about these records section.
Devon, Plymouth & West Devon Electoral Registers 1780-1983 is a collection of parish and parliamentary electoral rolls, electoral registers and lists of county voters digitised and indexed by Findmypast in partnership with the Plymouth & West Devon Record Office. This collection stretches across three centuries and includes years not found in the British Library’s Electoral Registers. Electoral registers were recorded annually and are a valuable source in finding your ancestor in the years between census records. They are also a great source for discovering the history of your family home.
Electoral register codes The registers began to use codes to decipher an individual’s basis of voting qualification as the British electorate increased and more people were given the right to vote in both parliamentary and local elections.
In registers from about 1850 onwards, the word ‘successive’ can appear next to a person’s residence. This means that the individual has moved within the last 12 months and their qualification to vote carries over to the new home.
Registers after 1918 included the following codes:
A dash ( – ) – Person could not vote in the election
R – Residence qualification
BP – Business premises qualification
O – Occupational qualification
HO – Qualification through husband's occupation
NM – Naval or military voter
Registers after 1928 include two codes next to an elector’s name. The first code is a qualification to vote in parliamentary elections. The second code is the voter’s qualification to vote in local elections.
R – Residence qualification (man)
Rw – Residence qualification (woman)
B – Business premises qualification (man)
Bw – Business premises qualification (woman)
O – Occupational qualification (man)
Ow – Occupational qualification (woman)
D – Qualification through wife's occupation
Dw – Qualification through husband's occupation
NM – Naval or military voter
Attached to names, the following extra codes can sometimes be seen
J – Eligible to serve as juror
SJ – Eligible to serve as special juror
a – Absent voter
If you are having trouble finding your ancestor, try to search for their name without a year. In some volumes of the electoral registers, the year of the register has not been indexed and therefore will not appear in results if you are requesting a specific year.