TravelGenee #atozchallenge H – HARVEY

TravelGenee #atozchallenge H – HARVEY

TravelGenee #atozchallenge H - HARVEY

Mary Elizabeth HARVEY (DOB 1855) is not a direct ancestor of mine. She is Mr TG’s great grand mother on his maternal side. For letter H in the #atozchallenge I am introducing Mary to show how one of my favourite records from New Zealand gets you quick wins in your research.

“On 19 September 1893 the governor, Lord Glasgow, signed a new Electoral Act into law. As a result of this landmark legislation, New Zealand became the first self-governing country in the world in which all women had the right to vote in parliamentary elections.”¹

This means that females can be on electoral rolls. And what makes this even better is because New Zealand gave the vote to women so early compared to other countries they can appear on Electoral rolls many years before they might in other locations. Yes electoral rolls is a winner when researching females in the late 1800’s and through until today.

You can confirm names, addresses, occupations or others living at the same address. Or moving house between rolls being issued.

Mary Elizabeth HARVEY married in Charles FERGUSON (DOB 1856) in 1888 – just a reminder to make sure you search for a married name if appropriate.

Here is some samples I prepared earlier for TravelGenee #atozchallenge H. (As the TV chef said once or twice).

1896 – see Mary and Charles are both at 5 Jacob’s Place, Tory Street. There is also another Mary that needs checking out.

TravelGenee #atozchallenge H - HARVEY

1900 –  Mary is still living 5 Jacob’s Place. Charles was missing. Did he forget to enroll or was he living in a different electorate? Sometime amendments are in supplementary rolls. Was he in one?

TravelGenee #atozchallenge H - HARVEY

1919-Mary Elizabeth and Charles are now living at 10 Herald Street and he is still a fireman. The other Mary is back. His mother, sister?

TravelGenee #atozchallenge H - HARVEY

Ancestry has data from 1853 to 1981 including images and indexing for easy searching.

FindMyPast has New Zealand, Electoral Rolls 1853-1935 transcriptions. Being a transcription you need to search for other household members to verify your findings.

For more recent electoral rolls you could take a trip to New Zealand. Check out places like the National Library in Wellington or the Auckland library have hard copies and microfiche. Some Australian libraries are worth checking out.

With no census data available for New Zealand electoral rolls are the next best thing. With more frequent publication than 10 yearly census collections they are useful in following individuals and families moving around town.

Also check if you can find your female ancestors signature on the suffrage petition submitted to Parliament in 1893. It has been digitised and with around 24,000 signatures. Many with addresses too.³ I did not see Mary Elizabeth as Mrs Ferguson.

  1. ‘New Zealand women and the vote’, URL:, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 17-Jul-2014.
  2. Ancestry: New Zealand, Electoral Rolls, 1853-1981, URL:
  3. ‘Women’s suffrage petition’, URL:, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 10-Jun-2014.

TravelGenee #atozchallenge H – HARVEY

This is part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge for April 2016: Letter H for HARVEY. You can read more about the A to Z challenge and my other posts.  Or search on social media with #atozchallenge.

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8 thoughts on “TravelGenee #atozchallenge H – HARVEY”

  1. When you see how long it took some countries to get women’s suffrage you realise how clever NZ really was…and gave the Aussies something to emulate.

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