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keithmroberts

Electoral register notation query

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keithmroberts

I have some volunteers transcribing a 1918  electoral register into an Excel workbook for some analysis. This one has me stumped. Some electors have a manuscript entry pe against their names.  These are in Division One, so they are qualified to vote in Parliamentary elections.

 

So far I have been unable to find any documented explanation. Guesswork doesn't help as I won't give explanations to volunteers that I can't substantiate. I would appreciate anyt help with this.

 

Keith

Capture 2000.JPG

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Retlaw
30 minutes ago, keithmroberts said:

I have some volunteers transcribing a 1918  electoral register into an Excel workbook for some analysis. This one has me stumped. Some electors have a manuscript entry pe against their names.  These are in Division One, so they are qualified to vote in Parliamentary elections.

 

So far I have been unable to find any documented explanation. Guesswork doesn't help as I won't give explanations to volunteers that I can't substantiate. I would appreciate anyt help with this.

 

Keith

Capture 2000.JPG

 
 
 

I wish you luck with your AVL-18, I indexed my patch 7909 entries, I then checked them against the medal records in the national archives and found approx 17% errors. The powers that be would have us believe, that the information came from the soldiers themselves, rubbish a soldier would know his service number, his regiment, and his address, and what about P-O-W's did jerry hand out cards. I have two men who were killed on July 1st 1916, who filled in their cards. I think most of it was carried out by door knockers from the local clown halls, and if no one answered their knock, they went next door  and ended up with tripe, there several double entries same man but address different, relatives supplying info thinking they are helping, when if the door knockers had checked their record sheet properly they would have seen the error.  also watch out for the service numbers mixed up, as Eric Morecambe said, I'm playing all the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order.

Edited by Retlaw
spelling

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IPT

Do they only appear where the person is not absent, as in the specimen above?

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voltaire60

   Try going online to looking at Essex Record Office, SEAX catalogue- for Electoral Register, Epping 1918- which,from memory has the key to the abbreviations-it looks like the same standard abbreviations that you have in your example

(Cant log on-my laptop always jams on SEAX!!).  It is digitised and is available free.

    (I suspect but cannot say for certain than PE is a man who was a parliamentary elector on the previous register,that of 1914-  the various other bits in the (usually 3 divisions) represent the additions- the service voters, the women at local level,etc.

    I am surprised there is not a key at the front of the volume.

    There is variation in these electoral registers-but the letters in your illustration look distinctly familiar!!.  Others (such as my local one for Ilford in the east of London)give service details and,again from memory, service number. Again,I suspect that the registers with the service and number are more likely to be from boroughs rather than county divisions. Despite the restrictions of wartime compilation, many boroughs had a better grip on their electoral registers and could realistically get them reasonably up to date. Registers were compiled broadly in the Autumn of 1917 but ,gain,a suspicion, there is a variety of completeness as the General Election of 1918,the Coupon Election,was held at reasonably short notice.

(Again,a speculation- as with my local Ilford register- I suspect the better quality of service and service number may effectively be due to the same borough council having access to other service records locally- who had been called up, etc.and merely collated one against the other. It is not credible that men serving overseas registered themselves- it was down to canvassers.  I find the registers useful for confirming the local connections of men killed in late 1917 and 1918-who are on the "1918" register (ie the 1917 register in reality) but whose families and themselves had only moved into the area after 1914-has solved some elusive names on war memorials.

ii) There is a guide to electoral registers, published by BL

iii)  You may also wish to ask your local authority electoral registration section what electoral registers they hold. Often,they hold older registers,even for previous long vanished local constituencies,which they have inherited but just have kept for reference-in addition to anything youir local studies library may hold. Worth a call- Electoral registration folk are usually quite helpful

 

 

 

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keithmroberts

The other (printed) codes are all the standard ones shown below. pe is a handwritten entry. and is not included in the codes shown on the printed registers. I'll check the Essex rgisters later today.  The idea that it could be "parliamentary elector" I had discounted but the "previous" possibility is interesting.  I'm hoping to get to the local archives this afternoon, and will try to pick the brains of the archivists there in case the question has been raised before. Older registers are all in the city archives.

 

Thanks for the ideas

 

 

Keith

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voltaire60

Please let me know what the answer turns out to be. Im sure it will pop up when I have to tackle another 1918 Register soon.

       

Another possibility- postal elector?     I have no idea what the situation was in 1918  for civilians.

    I suspect ou will have to burrow a bit.....   earn that next pint of good beer

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Ron Clifton
10 hours ago, voltaire60 said:

(I suspect but cannot say for certain than PE is a man who was a parliamentary elector on the previous register,that of 1914-

One of the names in Keith's example is Harriet Norris. Women did not have the vote in earlier elections.

 

Ron

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voltaire60

   Well spotted, Holmes. - a handwritten annotation thus has to be something off the main register and not permanent- I suggested "postal"- I have no idea what the situation was in 1918 with "proxy".

    As a little bit of social history, my local newspaper "The Ilford Recorder" warned its readers during the 1910 elections that local men who were voters should safeguard their clothes as there might be militant suffragettes who would steal their trousers ,dress as men and impersonate the husband to vote.

     Now this might be a recurrent problem in the area Keith Roberts's area-Portsmouth (I speak as a Plymothian- no biased views here) ....   a century and more of cross-dressing....  'Allo Sailor

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keithmroberts

Given the city there might have been a lot of hello Sailor confusion. I'm going down to the archives later when the laptop is charged and will try to corner one of the archivists. 

 

Keith

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Andy Wade

Since Division one is both Parliamentary Electors - PE and County - CE, Division two is PE only, Division three is CE only. If this is a Division one list, are they trying to indicate that they were division two in the last electoral roll?
electoral roll divisions.jpg

 

The divisions are usually explained on the pages quite well. This handwritten notation is clearly unusual. Might it have just been a previous researcher making notes?

 

The normal abbreviations used, are explained very well here:

GenGuide Electoral Rolls

 

I've also seen references to Parish Electors which I think was for women. Can't seem to find the reference though.

 

 

Edited by Andy Wade

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voltaire60

   On a more serious note, I suspect strongly that what the register is showing is updates  after the register was compiled to show those people listed as electors who,after RPA 1918, became parliamentary electors and not just local. Women were on the register for local elections from c.1907 (from memory). That would account for a woman's name- but I will take a bet that Ancestry will show that particular lady was over 30 in 1918.  Strongest guess is that its last minute update for the General Election

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keithmroberts

Sorry, I should have been clearer, this is an extract from the Division One part of the 1918 register. The notation, in ink appears against quite a few names. The  front of each ward's register has the divisions and various printed symbols clearly explained. 

 

Keith

 

 

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Andy Wade

That was kind of my point, that these things are clearly explained already in the rolls. If someone has come along and made personal notations for whatever reason, I'd just ignore them and transcribe the printed matter only. They're non standard. Look at all the ticks and lines we get in census records. sometimes writing right over the words we need to see.

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Retlaw
15 hours ago, keithmroberts said:

I have some volunteers transcribing a 1918  electoral register into an Excel workbook for some analysis. This one has me stumped. Some electors have a manuscript entry pe against their names.  These are in Division One, so they are qualified to vote in Parliamentary elections.

 

So far I have been unable to find any documented explanation. Guesswork doesn't help as I won't give explanations to volunteers that I can't substantiate. I would appreciate anyt help with this.

 

Keith

Capture 2000.JPG

 

An example  of the entries in my patch

Adams.   Richard.  Pte.  1143,  East Lancs.   22 York St,   Church.   Poll Nu.  1909.

I also have entries for men who had been discharged in late 1916 early 1917 who were still recorded in the AVL  with their  former regiment & number.  Also several on munitions in different parts of the country with that address and their home address, Although I have several Nurses in my files, none are in the AVL. I only have one woman in my AVL she is just classed as Shell Inspector, no mention of where, just her home address and Poll, Nu.

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voltaire60

    Just had a look at the Borough of Ilford listing- a different format. A straight listing of 8,600 names as a stand-alone supplement, done road by road. Gives service rank, unit-down to squadron or platoon in many cases.  A few things that show up-

1)  Very few women- Noticed a nurse with a Scottish organistion.

2)  Odd name serving with overseas units- eg .one for NZ artillery. Begs the question-had they been transferred or joined those units from England.

3)  Merchant Navy-including ships!!   Same for RN, gives ship(so possible to work out accurately when register was done,from service records)

      Even a Trinity House pilot.

 

     2)  Back to the Portsmouth list-Is it possible for a Division 1 elector to be a Parliamentary Elector but have lost the local elector qualification?  Just a thought,to explain the annotations

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keithmroberts

I dropped in at the History Centre yesterday afternoon and the archivists present had no new suggestions. I checked a few pe individuals using the Kelly's and they were at the same addresses in both 1917 and 1920. 

 

Reluctantly I think I will have to go with Andy's view and just move on. Helpfully an IT trainer at a centre that helps young people prepare for the world of work looks like using the task as a training exercise for her youngsters if her first trial sessions go well. That would be excellent as it would ensure that we can digitise not just the addresses directly covered by our project, but a whole city ward which will hopefully be of use not just in our work, but as a tool that the university history department will be able to use for other projects.

 

Thanks to everyone - and I would still like to be sure of the answer.

 

Keith, 

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Andy Wade

Ah yes, sorry for the unhelpful post Keith...

If it's an Excel file will you just add another column for the handwritten annotations and add a caveat that you don't know what they are for at this moment? Just in case an answer comes along later.

I think if these were only Parliamentary Electors then they would just be Division Two anyway.

I wish ours had full absent voters lists, we just have the NM code in the 1919 electoral roll books and it's looking increasingly like muggins 'ere will have to go through them all...

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keithmroberts

Not unhelpful Andy, sensible. It looks as if I have plenty of volunteers so I'm hoping to do more than the initial 1300 addresses and get the whole ward digitised. That will help the tail end of our project, and will deliver a useful resource to our local archives and to thew History department at Portsmouth University.

 

Keith

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keithmroberts

Still no joy with this one. I had a chat with one of the current team dealing with registration in our Civic Offices in the faint hope of some remembered local custom. I'm torn about adding the information to the spreadsheet - we are transcribing something over 13k names for the ward, and all the other entries will be directly register based, although I have created separate columns for codes that precede the poll number, (mostly  of course a ), and for the street name and the division. Those were needed so that the data can be easily sorted and analysed later,

 

I hesitate to add an extra column for the PE marking given that it was a manuscript notation, on the other hand, it might be of value n the future if we ever work out its meaning.

 

Keith

 

 

 

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voltaire60

   KR- put that pint down. Just a thought-  Is there any mileage in taking,say, 10 of the "PE" and researching them to try and see what links them???  

   I have started transcribing the 1918 Register for Borough of Ilford (8,500 names)-Luckily, it has the units(down to battery or company) for most men as well as service numbers for nearly all. Two things stand out above commonly accepted matters on these registers:

1) The "service" vote was much wider than I realised- One of the names I have is a plumber working under the direction of the Ministry of Munitions. Others are clearly civilians in directed war work- eg marine engineer.

2) The information for most was clearly obtained "on the knocker"-it is variable. But the sheer number of 6 figure army numbers suggests that a local Town Hall listing- for MSA- was probably used as well. What is good is that for RN and MN, the ships are named- I cannot see a Town Hall having that.

    Is it just possible that PE might mean "Parliamentary Exempt"-that is, since the Register was compiled, some folk had lost the vote as they were no longer in war work?????    

    Just a thought. You need that pint now.

 

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keithmroberts

How did you know? I have downed it.

 

It sounds as if yours is the original absent voters register? The one we are working on is the whole 1918 register for just one ward of Portsmouth, but which happens to contain the area of 1200 properties that our project is based on. As such I have not spent time researching the men, other than those in our target area. The housing was overwhelmingly occupied by Naval types as one would expect for the area. Seemingly career sailors, Leading Seamen up to petty Officer 1 predominate, having probably funded deposits from their long service gratuities; but  their fathers were very often dockyard workers, especially with the massive expansion of work in the docks as the war progressed.

 

The PE marking often comes against residents whose qualification is not a military service one, either R or sometimes their wives as HO.  In fact having just flicked through about 30 of the register pages, it seems to come only against civilian names, but of both sexes on occasion. I had not identified that - Maybe I will try some genealogy forums - not my normal thing, but I would like to know.

 

Keith

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Norrette

Keith, these days we have what's called a 'marked register', indicating who actually cast a vote in the relevant election.  it might be this - not sure why 'PE' though.  Quite often families would go out to vote together - hence some addresses marked and some not.

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keithmroberts

Hi Norrette

 

having in another life been very much involved in electoral matters I am sure that this is not a "marked register" either by a political party or a poll clerk.  On a genealogy forum the suggestion has been made that this could signify "Proxy Elector". I am not sure about that, but will read the 1918 act later to see if a proxy was possible at that time.

 

Thanks to you and all the others for your thoughts - I will be back if I find a solution, or of course if another member comes up with any more thoughts.

 

 

Keith

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keithmroberts

Thanks Craig

 

It seems that proxy voting is a possibility, but it appears to me limited to voting on behalf of service personnel outside the range for postal voting - that is on distant posts,, or merchant seamen or fishermen . Obviously the registration team compiled full absent voters lists with details, but none appear to survive for Portsmouth, just the code on the main register.

 

Proxy Elector might fit the bill, but I am not confident about that. The register does list all the absent voters, denoted by an a against the poll number, but no such voters have any mark indicating that they should not be issued with ballot papers under the absent voters provision (as required where a proxy vote is registered), and in the absence of evidence I would have expected some such annotation.  I will check through more of the voters marked PE to see if they all have for example absent voters also listed at their address (I know that the proxy need not be at the same address, but most surely would be).

 

This is a possible answer, but I don't feel that we can yet regard is as certain.

 

More digging seems to be required. I will check whether the local Archives hold any AV lists from 1918 onwards. Their catalogue is not fully digitised so this will ahve to wait a day or two.

 

Keith

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