* Electoral Rolls

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brianlummis
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Electoral Rolls

Post by brianlummis » 06 Apr 2018 15:57

With Find My Past having just released the Electoral Rolls for 1920 covering a number of counties, I was wondering whether I could use Ancestral Sources to record the details and images. As they are very similar to a Census, they have all qualifying members of the household listed under one address, I am thinking of using a census template.

Not wanting to reinvent the wheel, has anyone else used this approach or are there any drawbacks that I have not thought of. I have searched the KB but have not discovered anyone else taking this approach.

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Re: Electoral Rolls

Post by tatewise » 06 Apr 2018 16:09

See posting Create new template - Electoral Roll (14457) that covers the main points.

Ideally it needs Nick to add another data entry mode.
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Re: Electoral Rolls

Post by brianlummis » 06 Apr 2018 16:52

Thanks Mike - I now realise that I should have looked in the Forum as well :oops:

As you say, a new template would be wonderful but I can think of other facts where a basic template would be helpful such as Probate where the image of the page from the Calendar of Wills could be included. To my simple mind it would seem possible to have a template where one could add virtually anything to maintain a standard method of entry into FH (similar to constructing a form in Excel) but I know that what seems simple is always more difficult in practice.

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Re: Electoral Rolls

Post by LornaCraig » 06 Apr 2018 17:15

There was a discussion about using AS for Probate records here: Probate records (14362)
The main point to remember is that you will still need to create the extra facts manually in FH (addresses, names of executors etc).
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Re: Electoral Rolls

Post by tatewise » 06 Apr 2018 17:27

Another approach is to use the Add Source From Template or Clone Any Record Plugins to create consistent Source records with some fields such as Type and Author already filled in, and others partly filled in. Then cite the Source from the new Facts.
Adding an image is not something you need AS to do, as it is a basic feature of Source records.

One problem that Nick faces with AS is there is no standard GEDCOM fact for events such as Electoral Rolls.
So, either AS must stipulate a specific Custom Event or introduce a dialogue to allow the user to specify their Custom Event.
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Re: Electoral Rolls

Post by ColeValleyGirl » 06 Apr 2018 18:45

Strictly speaking, the Electoral Rolls are sources not an facts.

I use them as sources to support Residence facts, which makes more sense to me especially as the relevant residence is rarely at a single date but covers a range of years.

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Re: Electoral Rolls

Post by brianlummis » 06 Apr 2018 22:02

Mike - I have been playing with the Add Source From Template Plugin and can see where this could help with consistency. I am not so sure how the Clone Any Record would work when entering Electoral Roll details, for example. Neither have a help file and there is no additional information in the KB underKnowledge Base > Family Historian Plugins Alphabetic Titles and the Index at Knowledge Base > Family Historian Plugins Alphabetic Index doesn't appear to be working.

As far as I can see neither of these methods have the same advantage as Ancestral Sources which is ideal for entering details from a source for multiple people. Electoral Rolls often have at least two family members registered at an address and my other example of Probate will also have at least two names being the deceased and executor(s).

Like Helen I would consider the Electoral Roll to be the source with Residence being the fact so I am not so sure that this causes any difficulty with GEDCOM. I do however agree that it would be difficult to use a Ancestral Sources' Census Template as I was originally thinking as that would need a non-standard Fact Type for Electoral Roll.

Lorna - thanks for pointing me in the direction of Probate records (14362) - your thoughts on that subject mirror mine. Perhaps we have all been spoilt by Nick on what he already provides - AS has certainly saved me a lot of time and I would certainly make another donation if it could be expanded.

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Re: Electoral Rolls

Post by tatewise » 06 Apr 2018 22:21

I'm not clear why you think AS needs a non-standard Fact Type for Electoral Roll.
You say that the default fact for Electoral Roll would be Residence.
That is an existing option in AS for Census data entry as stated in Create new template - Electoral Roll (14457).

However, I was considering the more generic case you mentioned for "other facts where a basic template would be helpful".

I agree that Clone Any Record would be inferior to Add Source From Template and would require some dummy Source records to copy.
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Re: Electoral Rolls

Post by brianlummis » 07 Apr 2018 09:30

Sorry Mike - I think that I must have misunderstood the following.
One problem that Nick faces with AS is there is no standard GEDCOM fact for events such Electoral Rolls.
So, either AS must stipulate a specific Custom Event or introduce a dialogue to allow the user to specify their Custom Event.
Having not experimented with using an AS template for Electoral Rolls I thought that I would need to add an Electoral Roll non standard fact to get it to work.

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Re: Electoral Rolls

Post by tatewise » 07 Apr 2018 10:20

I was discussing the possibility of Nick updating AS to cater for "other facts where a basic template would be helpful".
If those "other facts" are not standard GEDCOM facts, then AS would need the extra dialogue I mentioned.
That would apply in the hypothetical case of an Electoral Roll fact (to my mind not so different to a Census Event fact).

However, the happy coincidence that you want to use Residence facts with Electoral Roll Sources, and AS having the Tools > Options > Census settings option to use Residence facts with Census Template data entry, allows Electoral Roll/Census Templates to be employed in AS without any extra dialogue. Just needs a little manual discipline to change the AS settings to match the template.
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Re: Electoral Rolls

Post by brianlummis » 07 Apr 2018 14:55

Thought that I would give the AS Template a try. Unless I have missed something there appears to be a few changes that are needed to be made to the settings.

The change to use Residence facts instead of Census facts is quite straight forward and manageable. However you then need to change the Source Type to Electoral Roll but I haven't found a way to change the Title so that Electoral Roll appears at the beginning instead of Census. If it can't be changed with a global setting it will need to be changed manually with each use.

However the small amount of extra work could be justified, as I am likely to be adding the Residence fact to more than 100 individuals in one go, but I just have to remember to return the Census Settings back to their original format!

There is one other thing that has me puzzled. The Electoral Register has codes that are not easily remembered so I thought that when entering I would use the codes and then expand upon them by using Note Title in the Census Template Editor. The help file says
The Note Title: value is usually the same as the name of the item. However, for columns of the generic type where the data is saved to census or occupation local note, the value in the note title will be saved into the note. So you may decide to have a longer more descriptive note title which would be unsuitable for appearing in the drop-down list.
but when I use that option I cannot find the longernote in the Project. Do I need to amend another setting or does it just apply to census and occupation facts being the two mentioned in the help file?

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Re: Electoral Rolls

Post by tatewise » 07 Apr 2018 16:55

Regarding Title you should be able to set Tools > Options > Census settings for any of the Image Title, or Source Title, or Short Title Templates to start literally with Electoral Roll.

The shortcut to switching from Census settings to Electoral Roll settings is to use Tools > Backup/Restore A.S. Options and have two backup files that identify whether they are Census or Electoral Roll preserved settings.
Then all those Source Type, Residence Fact, Title templates, etc, settings can be changed at a stroke.

AS adds the Note values to Residence facts for me.
Did you ensure the Generic definition has Recording set to Append to census event local note?
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Re: Electoral Rolls

Post by brianlummis » 07 Apr 2018 19:05

Many thanks Mike for staying patiently with me. Using the AS Backup/Restore option does make life a lot easier. I have now made all the necessary changes to give me a satisfactory result and I have learnt a few things on the way!

And you were right, I did not have the correct Generic definition and I have now used the right setting.

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Re: Electoral Rolls

Post by tatewise » 07 Apr 2018 19:11

That sounds good Brian.
There were several other users interested in the Create new template - Electoral Roll (14457) thread.
So maybe some [kb]|[/kb] advice on the topic, to bring all the tips together, would be worthwhile?

BTW: Even if you don't set that Recording option for the Note field, its value will still appear in the Grid, and thus in the Auto Text, and therefore in the Electoral Roll Source record Text From Source field.
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Re: Electoral Rolls

Post by brianlummis » 07 Apr 2018 20:09

I agree that a Knowledge Base item on Electoral Rolls would be good - that's where I first looked for advice.

By not setting the Recording option for the Note field, its value will be the Electoral Register Code( eg O, HO, NM etc.) if you are using the normal practice of recording what is actually on the source document. This will then appear in the Auto Text and in the Electoral Roll Source record Text From Source field which is not that user friendly. My reason for using the Note Title option was so that I had an instant reference as to what the codes mean.

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Re: Electoral Rolls

Post by tatewise » 07 Apr 2018 20:51

OK, understood.

Do you have an Electoral Roll Template you could attach here that would form the basis of a [kb]|[/kb] download?
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Re: Electoral Rolls

Post by brianlummis » 07 Apr 2018 21:48

Mike, I have attached my template for the UK 1920 Census which you will see is labelled "Autumn". To be awkward there is also a 1920 Spring Register dated 15th May which means I need a second template!

So far I have been unable to find a table of dates of Electoral Registers online so I went to the first page of the register to discover when it is dated. I have subsequently found a narrative description about the dates on page 20 of a PDF document at https://www.bl.uk/voices-of-science/bri ... encies.pdf Like the Census I think it will be necessary to use a different template for each Electoral Register, particularly as the Codes changed in 1928 and then again in 1945.

It is not my intention at this stage to cover every year as that might be overkill. Depending upon availability I would envisage a 5 or 10 year gap and only looking at intervening Registers if the address changes and I feel the need to find the approximate date of the change of address. I gather that Find My Past are currently transcribing those Registers held by the British Library up to 1932 but have started with 1920.

EDIT - Having read the above PDF more closely I believe that the Qualifying Date would be the better date to record rather than the Register Date - for 1920 the relative dates are 15th January and 15th July.
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Census template UK 1920 Autumn.xml
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Re: Electoral Rolls

Post by tatewise » 08 Apr 2018 12:35

Brian, I don't understand why you've posted Census template UK 1920 Autumn when I was expecting an Electoral Roll UK template.

Also regarding dates, assuming the template is the same for a series of dates, then in Create new template - Electoral Roll (14457) it was proposed that the template did not define the date but that it was edited in when compiling the grid. That way you don't need a set of identical templates that only differ in their date.
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Re: Electoral Rolls

Post by brianlummis » 08 Apr 2018 12:58

A senior moment, Mike - I had to use the Census Template to make the Electoral Roll Template and when saving typed the wrong file name.

I know that there was a suggestion not to define the date but I felt that this could lead to confusion. Unfortunately the Register Codes changed over time so there would be a need for 4 templates - one for the period up to 1918, one to to cover 1918 to 1927, the next to cover 1928 to 1944 and a final one to cover the period from 1945. This is further complicated by the Qualifying Date changing so you would need to keep a separate table of these dates to make sure that you were using the right one. From my perspective, I would prefer to have individual ones for each year bearing in mind my previous comment that I am not proposing to record every year and in the first instance only use those that are indexed and where an image of the Register is available.

There may also be a downside to using the Residence fact when recording Electoral Roll entries, so a word of caution. I have just come across an entry that records a father and son at an address in Cooke Street, Barking, Essex. Looking at the 1911 census and the 1939 Register the father was living at Ripple Road, Barking for both of these events. It would therefore appear that whilst the father may have had an interest in the Cooke Street property he was actually living in Ripple Road - and there is an entry for him at that address.

The Register Codes are the same for both properties, so that gives no clue as to possible ownership. Of course the other explanation is that he was trying to acquire two votes by registering at two addresses!

EDIT The qualification for inclusion on the Register was by residence but for a period this included short term residency of a period of three or six months so the father may have qualified under that rule.

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Re: Electoral Rolls

Post by AdrianBruce » 08 Apr 2018 17:38

Err - we need to be careful about mapping appearance on an Electoral Register over to Residence.

There were several reasons for appearing in an Electoral Register - property ownership (not residence) was one. As a result, someone could appear in a Register against an address that was not their residence. Indeed, people could appear in multiple registers.

(Voters who appear in more than one register (e.g. students living away from home) originally had the ability to vote in more than one constituency. This right began to be curtailed by the 1918 Representation of the Peoples Act (RPA), after which someone could only vote under two of three headings: residence, business or university. The latter two were abolished in the 1948 RPA. )
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Re: Electoral Rolls

Post by tatewise » 08 Apr 2018 17:54

It rather depends on what interpretation is put on the Residence attribute.
Instead of the person's only Residence it could mean any Residence (like a holiday home or student digs).
What are the alternatives?
Change the fact from Residence to Possession (or Occupation?) selectively using the Change Any Fact Tag Plugin.
Or have a custom Electoral Roll event (that was ruled out earlier) and use the same Plugin to change all new Residence facts.
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Re: Electoral Rolls

Post by brianlummis » 08 Apr 2018 18:38

The ownership of a property is a bit of a red herring. Prior to 1918 and in certain circumstances property ownership did qualify for the franchise but tenants also had the right to vote if they paid a certain level of rent. Our ancestors did make things easier for us as those earlier Registers give the abode of the voter and the qualifying residence. After 1918 there was only a residence qualification so ownership should not come into the equation. The circumstance I came across made me think that it might have had something to do with ownership but further research into the subject now makes me think otherwise.

So I believe that the Residence fact is the most suitable for using with Electoral Registers. Possessions could possibly be used for the qualifying property if it differs from the Abode and is known to be owned.

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Re: Electoral Rolls

Post by AdrianBruce » 08 Apr 2018 20:39

tatewise wrote:It rather depends on what interpretation is put on the Residence attribute. ...
Ooh - I'd be proud of that response if I'd said it! ;) My normal interpretation is "where someone lives". How we should cope with oddities is a bit debatable.
brianlummis wrote:The ownership of a property is a bit of a red herring. Prior to 1918 and in certain circumstances property ownership did qualify for the franchise ... After 1918 there was only a residence qualification ...
Yes. Sort of. Firstly I was being generic and talking about Electoral Rolls / Registers in general, and pre-1918 Rolls do, as you say, include property ownership. Even after 1918, qualification could be via residence, business or university.

I only want to instil in people's minds the need for a bit of thought before using an electoral roll appearance for a Residence attribute. It's not automatic in my view. As I think you agree when you refer to Residence being the "most suitable".

On a personal basis, I do actually have a Voter attribute - originally I just used the Electoral Register in order to record Residences but then got interested in who had votes, for what and when, and as they were cluttering up the residence notes, I started to use a separate attribute. (I say attribute but as there's no need - in my usage - for an attribute value, it's actually an event in my files). So, where appropriate, one appearance in an electoral register, may generate both a voter and a residence attribute in my files. But again, I need to point out that I don't use Ancestral Sources so this gives me flexibility to use whatever events and attributes I want - at the expense perhaps of a little bit more work.
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Re: Electoral Rolls

Post by tatewise » 11 Apr 2018 13:05

I am thinking of a few minor adjustments.
  1. The templates should be saved with Electoral Roll (or Electoral Register) in the filename
  2. The Country/Region should be more than just UK to differentiate from standard Census templates
    e.g. UK Electoral Roll (might also remind users to adjust the Tools > Options via Backup/Restore)
  3. Need four representative templates for Register Codes: 1) pre-1918, 2) 1918-1927, 3) 1928-1944, 4) post-1944
    They can be saved in one composite template file
Brian, could I ask you to put that into effect, before I start on a KB entry.

Also, is there a need for an Autotext Template for Electoral Roll or is the Default grid only template sufficient?
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Re: Electoral Rolls

Post by brianlummis » 11 Apr 2018 21:59

Mike

I have produced four templates for the Electoral Register - I prefer that name as that is how the source documents are titled in most cases - see the attachment.

To differentiate the templates I have used the first year the form of the Register changed. The qualifying date is also the date for that year but subsequent years may have a different qualifying date, so the user will need to be aware. Unfortunately the qualifying date is not recorded in the source document until more recent years and you may wish to use the following extract from the British Library fact sheet on that subject.
In England and Wales the qualifying date was 31 July until 1878 and 15 July from 1879 until 1914. From 1918 it was 15 January for the Spring register while they lasted and 15 July for the Autumn or annual registers until 1928. It was 1 December 1928 for the 1929 register and 1 June for the 1930-39 and 1945-49 registers. The qualifying date for the May 1945 register was 1 January and for the March 1946 one was the preceding 1 December. From 1950 to 1954 it was the previous 20 November and from 1955 to 2000 the previous 10 October, after which it became 15 October from 2001.
The alternative is to construct a table from that information.

Although I have provided a post 1945 template, the information in the Register is very basic, being name and address, so those Registers might be easier to enter without using AS. There is a further difference with those Registers as there are four separate registers being Business Premises, Civilian Residence, Service and Ratepayers Registers.

I have not bothered with an Autotext Template as I don't think it will add anything.

You may wish to include a reference to http://www.electoralregisters.org.uk/codes.htm which explains the Register Codes.

I will post separately the changes that I made to the General and Census settings that I changed which might be helpful. As you suggested I have all these settings saved as a separate AS Backup so that I can switch between those settings and the normal Census settings with ease.

Brian
Attachments
Electoral Register Templates.xml
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Last edited by brianlummis on 11 Apr 2018 22:02, edited 1 time in total.

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