Shauna has chosen Electoral Rolls for her topic for Week 23, and in my family research I have gained a great deal of information from researching electoral rolls, so I love having access to them. In her blog Shauna notes that "Electoral rolls can show changes of address, change of name for women after marriage, the death of a spouse or adult children leaving home. Sometimes an elderly parent moves back in with an adult child. In Australia we have both state and commonwealth rolls and both should be checked as sometimes people only update one and not the other or they are updated at different times. Information gained is mostly the person’s name, occupation and address but the information at different times can indicate deaths or separations or movement interstate and so on."
I have used the Electoral Rolls to track the movements of several family members as some individuals changed address frequently. For my father's family they have been especially useful in tracking where his parents lived, as they covered most of the state of Victoria from the time they arrived in Australia until they died. Tracking them through the electoral rolls help me pin down exactly where each of Dad's siblings were born and to make a timelone of where Dad lived in his youth.
My only regret with the Rolls is that they just don't date back far enough - most of my mother's family arrived in Australia in the 1840's and 1850's and, of course, we don't have the wealth of Census information here in Australia that they enjoy in Britain - having older Electoral Rolls would really be helpful!
Read Shauna's full article on Electoral Rolls here. Thanks again Shauna - I look forward to reading what subject you choose to explore next.