Friday, March 1, 2019

Unsung Heroes Award - Genealogical Society of Linn County Iowa - Voter Registration Records

Boxes of voter registration records
(Click to enlarge.)
The Genealogical Society of Linn County Iowa has been working aggressively on digitizing county voter registration records and making them accessible online. When the county needed space they turned to the genealogical society, with whom they had a strong relationship, and donated the large boxes of records.

We often tell people not to overlook voter records because they may contain a great deal of genealogically and historically significant data that can lead you to other sources. Birth date, place of birth, naturalization information, name and address changes, and more.

Because the boxes are quite large and because not every card is in the correct alphabetical order, only a handful of people took advantage of this resource. Each record will contain the following for each registrant:
  • address
  • birth date
  • birth place
Additionally, some cards will also contain the following information:
  • Place and date of naturalization
  • Date of Death if the voter card was cancelled due to death of the voter
  • Where the voter moved to if the voter card was cancelled because the voter left the area
  • Name Changes; particularly for female voters once they could vote. (I have seen one card which showed 5 name changes.)
  • Random comments from the voter. For example, I have seen a card where the registrant stated that they were a U.S. citizen but that their family had been out of the country doing missionary work for the past 12 years.
Eljos Abramovich voter registration card.
(Click to expand image.)

Catherine M. Adams voter registration card.
(Click to expand image.)

Adolph Adolphe voter registration card.
(Click to expand image.)
Now that the index is available on their own library database for use by patrons, the voter card can be easily pulled up on the computer. However, since their database is not currently accessible on the Internet, they have worked with the administrator of the Linn County IAGenweb page in order to make it available to everyone with an Internet connection (http://iagenweb.org/linn/voter/index.htm).

It has also been added to a local library web page at http://marion.advantage-
preservation.com/search?t=32785&i=t&bcn=1&m=between.

This project continues to add more voter registration cards online.

We Sing Your Praises!





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