It has been a while since I spent any time on Google Books and I was pleasantly surprised to find out how much it had grown over the last few years and how useful it could be to my research.
I was surprised to find that Google Book now included amongst the collection a selection of eighteenth and nineteenth century poll books for the county of Sussex.
Poll books are basically lists of people entitled vote in various different elections. They differ from later electoral rolls (or registers) in that they also tell you who the person actually voted for, something unimaginable these days.
Eligibility to vote was mainly down to property ownership (but varied from time and place) so many of the lists are quite short, but even I have found some my farming relations among the list of voter’s names.
So far I have found the following poll books for Sussex:
- The Poll for Knights of the Shire to represent the County of Sussex. Taken at Chichester in 1774
- An Account of the Sussex Election, held at Chichester, March 13, 1820
- Proceedings at the Contested Election for the City of Chichester, 1830
- East Sussex, 1832. List of the Registered Electors with the votes of such as actually polled at the Election for Knights of the Shire
- East Sussex, 1837. List of the Registered Electors with the votes of such as actually polled at the Election for Knights of the Shire
- East Sussex Edition. List of the Registered Electors with the votes of those who actually polled on the 4th & 5th days of August, 1837
There may be more of course because they don’t all have "poll book" in the title, and I haven’t had time to see what the coverage of other counties is like.
I am definitely going to have to spend some more time on Google Books and see what other Sussex resources and general background material I can find.