Sunday, February 03, 2008

Resources: California Voter Registrations 1900-1968 has just added California Voter Registrations for the years 1900 to 1968. I tried this out last night.

My great-uncle, Carl Edward Manson (1893-1966), was the first family member to migrate to California from Texas before World War II. I found him and his then-wife Mary on the 1940 voter rolls registered at 5820 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles. Thereafter, I can follow him as he moved to several other residences over the next 14 years. Although he lived until 1966, Carl is not listed on the voter rolls after 1954.

I can also tell from these records that Carl started off in California as a salesman before the war and then went to work in an aircraft factory after the Pearl Harbor attack. But it seems that after 1944, California (or may just Los Angeles County) stopped listing occupation on voter registration.

I also found my grandfather, Quentin Manson, Carl's brother, on the L.A. County voter lists from 1946 to 1954. He had moved there after he got out of the Army after the war.

While Grandpa Quentin was always a Democrat, Carl started as a Republican and frequently switched back and forth between the major parties.

This set of records is a great genealogical resource. Note the following:

  • Most records include addresses.
  • Many records include occupation.
  • All records have party affiliation, perhaps giving a glimpse into where your ancestors stood on the issues of the day.
  • The records are for every even year, because the U.S. House of Representatives and the California Assembly are elected every two years.
  • The search feature will mislead you once in awhile; and after 1956, the records are slightly more difficult to use, for some reason.
I give this resource a 90% grade and recommend it highly. Hopefully, Ancestry can work out the minor search issues.

1 comment:

Thomas MacEntee said...

Hey Craig - I saw this on Ancestry as well and have figured out that this is the reason why searches and general movement on Ancestry, where I have a subscription, has been so slow.

I wish that the IT issues had been worked out ahead of time. It seems that whenever a genealogy or family history site comes out with a new and popular database it tends to drag the entire site down.