20th Century sources – Electoral rolls, Google Maps and Land Registry

One relative told me about this marriage and another told me this couple lived near Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham.

Bride: Emily Olive Pee
Groom: Mathew Lancelot Wilson
Date: 6 May 1913

If you have been following the 50 Marriage Mondays series, you will have seen a few examples of verifying such information using civil registration and census returns.  Sure enough, the marriage index confirms the marriage was registered in the King’s Norton district (part of Birmingham) in the  April-June quarter of 1913 (Vol 6d, page 181).  The 1911 census places 26 year old Emily in her parent’s home at 86 Wenman Street, Balsall Heath, and 24 year old Matthew in his cousin George Herbert Simms’ household at 214 Station Road, King’s Heath.  Census records for 1921 and later are closed for 100 years, so I can’t use them to verify the couple’s residence.

Fortunately, electoral registers are an alternative source, which reveal three residential addresses for Matthew and Emily.  Searching Ancestry’s “All Midlands, England, Electoral Registers, 1832-1955” collection yielded the results below:

Name Year Street Address
Matthew Lancelot Wilson – absent voter, regiment no 123360, Pte, R.A.F.

1918

175 Edward Road
Matthew Lancelot Wilson – absent voter, regiment no 123360, Pte, R.A.F.

1919

Matthew Lancelot Wilson

1920

Emily Wilson

1920

Matthew Lancelot Wilson

1922

Emily Wilson

1923

George Pee

1925

Matthew Wilson

1925

97 Oakfield Road
Emily Olive Wilson

1925

Matthew Wilson

1927

Emily Olive Wilson

1927

Emilie Olive Wilson

1930

Matthew Wilson

1930

Matthew Wilson

1935

Emilie Olive Wilson

1935

Emilie Olive Wilson

1935

Matthew Lancelot Wilson

1939

3 Beaconsfield Crescent
Emily Wilson

1939

John Simms Wilson

1939

Matthew L Wilson

1945

Emily Wilson

1945

Matthew L Wilson

1950

Emily Wilson

1950

Matthew L Wilson

1955

Emily Wilson

1955

Franchise

The Representation of the People Act, 1918 removed property requirements for qualification to vote, which extended the franchise to men aged 21 resident in the constituency; and introduced voting rights for some women aged over 30, who met property criteria in their own right, or as the co-resident wife of a man registered to vote.  Emily was aged about 33 in 1918, so she met the age criteria, but may not have qualified because Matthew was an absent voter.  From 1920 to 1927, she qualified to vote through her husband’s qualification.  The Representation of the People Act, 1928 equalised the franchise for men and women, so from 1930 onwards, Emily qualified to vote by being a resident in the constituency.

By 1939, John Simms Wilson, son of the couple, had come of age, so joined them on the electoral roll.  In 1925, when Matthew and Emily had moved to Oakfield Road, George Pee was the elector at 175 Edward Road.  Could he be Emily’s brother, recorded on the 1911 census, aged 20?

All three of the electoral roll addresses are close to Cannon Hill Park, so that piece of folklore is accurate.  On a virtual stroll along the streets of residence using Google maps, I found two of the houses.  I did not find 175 Edward Road as the area where it should be has been re-developed.  Oakfield Road has a variety of styles of terraced houses. No 97 is the house with the white door on the right, assuming the street has not been re-numbered.

Beaconsfield Crecent, tucked in off Beaconsfield Road, is a terrace of 5 houses, so my guess is that no 3 is the centre one.

Home Owner?

Did Emily and Matthew own any of the houses they lived in?  Land Registry records property transactions, but registration on sale has only been compulsory in Birmingham since 1966. Voluntary registration could potentially take the title history back to 1862.

Matthew died in 1969 (1969 Jan-Mar quarter, Birmingham, Vol 9c, page 590) and Emily’s death is recorded in the July-September quarter of 1973 (Birmingham, Vol 9c, page 577).  No 3 Oakfield Crescent, the central house in the terrace, was first registered on 8 January 1974, shortly after John Simms Wilson sold the property on 17 December 1973 (Title no WK226049, Register Extract, Coventry Office, Land Registry), having inherited it after his mother’s death.  The property had not been sold between 1966 and 1973, so we know that Matthew and Emily bought it sometime before then.  Although they moved in between 1935 and 1939, we do not know if they bought the house at that time.

© Sue Adams 2013

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3 Comments on “20th Century sources – Electoral rolls, Google Maps and Land Registry”

  1. […] discussed in 20th Century sources – Electoral rolls, Google Maps and Land Registry, the property qualification was abolished in 1918 and the franchise extended to some women for the […]

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  2. […] 1911, George’s two cousins, George Harry Wilson and Matthew Lancelot Wilson, who were also Ethel’s brothers, lived in the couple’s household.  On 3 August 1954, George […]

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  3. […] 20th Century sources – Electoral rolls, Google Maps and Land Registry […]

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