In the United States back in 1869, the Territory of Wyoming did grant women in the territory the right to vote. In the Isle of Man, off the coast between Ireland and the United Kingdom, in 1889, they enfranchised women property owners which was a step for women’s suffrage. In the South Pacific in 1889, the self-governing colony of Franceville (later to become Port Vila), declared universal rights for all people, male and female.
So this was a major step for New Zealand, a populated nation of about a total of 800,000 people granting women the right to vote. True, they couldn’t run for an elected office, but that was quickly amended.
An interesting project would be to see when any of your female ancestors who were over the age of 21 in 1920 registered to vote in their hometown. If an ancestor lived in the western states, many of them had already granted women the right to vote before 1920. Many of the supervisors of elections in local counties and towns will have those registration records. Contact the supervisor in your family’s hometown and see what is available. Provide them with the full names for any female ancestors, their birth date and where they lived in the county. Some of those early registrations can have a good deal of information on an individual.
Photos: New Zealand – Women working for the right to vote and in early 1900s those states in USA who had granted women the right to vote.
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