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Viewing Voter Registration Forms

vote displayA most interesting resource that you might want to consider is checking in the hometown or county of your ancestors and see if you can locate their original voter registration. Many of these vintage records have been made digital or microfilmed and could be in the city and / county government voter offices or in their archives. They could be in the local museum or even the public library. Your ancestor would have to be deceased to be able for you to view their registration records.

Most of those early registrations were done in large ledger books. Some of the information that might be found would include the full date they registered. That could actually be several different times, if they changed their political party registration, their name or moved to a different location in the county. Also in the ledgers will be where they were born, their present residence address, their age, full name, occupation, and of course their signature.  voter- card

Now for the females ancestors, remember at different times in history and in different regions, women did have the right to vote. For example, unmarried women who owned property in New Jersey had the right to vote from 1776-1807, but rescinded that right in a state bill in New Jersey in 1807. You have women voting just on school board elections in Kentucky in 1838. In 1870 women were given the right to vote in Wyoming only. Other western states gave women the right to vote by the late 19th century and early 20th century. It would take the US Congress passage and states approval of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution in 1920 that gave all women in all the states the right to vote. Voting-women-1915However, keep in mind not all ladies registered to vote even after the amendment passed. For some it was several years later they would register.

Not all registrations were in ledgers, later information was on individual voter cards.

Online from are the California voter registrations. The dates covered vary with the county or region in California. Most have the records from the mid-1860s and into the mid-20th century. So if you had relatives living between 1860s and 1940s in California, you would want to check out this source.

 Voter ledger

However, see what is available at the local hometown county house, museums or historical societies.  

With local and state primaries soon and then general elections in November, this is a good time to explore this area.

voting line

Photos: Voter ledgers in Florida, voters in lines, voter card 1944 in Penn.

Related genealogy blog links:

Collecting Vital Records

 Female Ancestors


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