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