Poll po­si­tion

Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine - - FOCUS ON -

In the cen­tury be­fore vot­ing was made se­cret, poll books were pub­lished re­veal­ing the re­sults of elec­tions, list­ing names of vot­ers and the can­di­date they voted for. The So­ci­ety of Ge­neal­o­gists’ Li­brary has a good col­lec­tion of poll books, and dig­i­tal copies for many ar­eas are on the ma­jor ge­neal­ogy web­sites.

The landed elite still wielded sig­nif­i­cant power in the 18th cen­tury, and many vil­lages were sub­jected to En­clo­sure Acts, carv­ing up com­mu­nal lands into plots for dis­tri­bu­tion among in­di­vid­u­als. Still, the names of dis­cov­ery.na­tion­alarchives. gov.uk/manor-search, and a name search at dis­cov­ery. na­tion­alarchives.gov.uk may re­veal deeds held in re­gional ar­chives for peo­ple like Ni­cholas Goldring, hus­band­man of Chithurst, Sus­sex, who in 1781 as­signed prop­erty to his son Ge­orge.

It may take some de­ter­mi­na­tion, but there are plenty of 18th-cen­tury sources to flesh out the in­for­ma­tion in parish reg­is­ters and wills. Laura Berry is a fam­ily his­to­rian and writer, and was the lead ge­neal­o­gist on

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