Voters' Registration Books for Dublin City

Printer-friendly version

Information on using the Voters' Registration Books

Voter's registration section within Dublin City Council is responsible for the production of the register of electors who reside within the Council's administrative boundaries. These voter registration books list the names and addresses of people who were eligible to vote in the Dáil elections, local elections and from the 1970s in European elections.

The main unit of organisation within the voters' registration books is the registration unit and this is also known as an electoral ward or a district electoral division. For each registration unit the Dáil constituency, the Borough Electoral Area, and from the 1970s the European Constituency it forms part of are recorded. Registration units are divided into polling districts each with its own code and within each polling district street names are recorded alphabetically.

The arrangement of the finding aid reflects the arrangement of the registration units within the voters' registration books. The registration units in the registers from 1937 - 1938 up to 1963 - 1964 are entered according to the Borough Electoral Area and there is a separate volume for each BEA. The finding aid lists the registration units within each BEA.

For the voters' registration books from 1970 - 1971 onwards the registration units are entered alphabetically in large volumes that do not correspond to the Borough Electoral Areas. These registration units are listed in the finding aid along with the Borough Electoral Area they are in. Each of the large volumes has been broken into manageable sections.

The voters' registers are searchable by street name only. If a researcher wants to trace a particular individual in the registers then they must have that individual's address. To locate a street the researcher should use the alphabetical street index that accompanies the annual set of registers (there is a separate list of indexes at the back of the finding aid). From the street entry in the index the researcher will find out what registration unit and what polling district that street is in.

When the researcher knows what registration unit the street is in they should then use the finding aid to find what register in a particular year that unit is in. Once the registration unit and polling district have been located in a register streets are listed alphabetically within each polling district.

The registration units or district electoral divisions have not remained static over time. The demographic profile of different areas within the boundaries of Dublin City council have changed over time.

The recurring trend is that Registration Units have been subdivided e.g. in 1970 - 1971 the Phoenix Park Registration Unit was in 1 borough electoral area and by 1987 - 1988 it was in 4 borough electoral areas. With change occurring on an annual basis it is important to remember that streets may move from one registration unit to another or registration units may disappear to be replaced by new ones. In order to located a particular street researchers should whenever possible use the index for a particular year to find what registration unit the street is in.

The boundaries of Dublin City Council have been affected by government legislation. The Local Government Reorganisation Act of 1985 changed the boundaries of local authorities in Dublin and this by default affected the Voters' Register. One example of the change caused by this act was that Beann Eadair (Howth) which was part of Dublin Corporation was transferred to the jurisdiction of Fingal County Council and therefore electors in Howth were transferred from the Corporation's register of electors to Fingal County Council's register of electors. The voters' registers for Fingal County Council are held by Fingal County Archives which is based in 11 Parnell Square, Dublin 1.

The voters' registers are valuable from a research perspective. The registers date from 1937 (although there are some gaps in the series) to the present and this provides a very detailed picture of the number of electors in the Dublin City Council area. These registers also reflect land developments in the city that have been built in recent years.

It is important to remember that it is not compulsory for an individual to register in the voters' electoral roll and so their name will not appear in the electoral registers.

Acknowledgements

The staff of the Voters' Registration Section, in particular Séan de Brun, Senior Staff Officer, were very helpful in the transfer of the voters' registers from Voters' Registration Section to Dublin City Archives.

Mary Clark

Indexes

The indexes are arranged alphabetically by street name and for each street the registration unit and polling district it is in are given. The first index is the exception to this because it is organised by Dáil constituency with the electoral wards recorded alphabetically within it and the wards are divided into the polling districts where each street is recorded.

For the voters' registers that date from 1937 - 1938 to 1982 - 1983 there are 4 indexes that should be referred to.

Index 1

  • Corporation of Dublin Scheme of Polling Districts and Polling Places
  • Voters' Registration Books: 1937 - 1938

Index 2

  • Corporation of Dublin Index to Polling Districts and Polling Places
  • Voters' Registration Books: 1939 - 1940
  • Voters' Registration Books: 1940 - 1941
  • Voters' Registration Books: 1941 - 1942
  • Voters' Registration Books: 1942 - 1943
  • Voters' Registration Books: 1943 - 1944
  • Voters' Registration Books: 1944 - 1945

Index 3

  • Corporation of Dublin Index to Polling Districts and Polling Places
  • Voters' Registration Books: 1949 - 1950
  • Voters' Registration Books: 1950 - 1951
  • Voters' Registration Books: 1951 - 1952
  • Voters' Registration Books: 1954 - 1955
  • Voters' Registration Books: 1955 - 1956
  • Voters' Registration Books: 1956 - 1957

Index 4

  • Corporation of Dublin Scheme of Polling Districts and Polling Places
  • Voters' Registration Books: 1975 - 1976
  • Voters' Registration Books: 1976 - 1977
  • Voters' Registration Books: 1977 - 1978

There are no indexes for the voters' registers 1962 - 1963, 1963 - 1964 and 1970 - 1971. The Polling districts in these registers have changed from those recorded in the registers of the 1950s but it is still possible to find a street name in an electoral ward by using Index 3.

There are individual indexes for the voters' registers:

  • 1983 - 1984 at the beginning of volume 1
  • 1984 - 1985 at the beginning of volume 1
  • 1985 - 1986 at the beginning of volume 1
  • 1986 - 1987 at the beginning of volume 1
  • 1997 - 1998 this is a separate index
  • 1998 - 1999 this is a separate index
  • 1999 - 2000 this is a separate index

There are no indexes for the voters' registers that date between 1986 - 1987 and 1997 - 1998. Researchers who want to locate a street in these particular registers should use the index that is closest in date to the year they are researching although there is a possibility that certain streets may be in different registration units to those recorded in the index.

Voters' Registration Books 1937-1991 (PDF 236Kb) Cannot access PDF?

Voters' Registration Books 1991-2001 (PDF 136Kb) Cannot access PDF?

For more information

Dublin City Library & Archive, 138-144 Pearse Street Dublin 2.
Tel: 01 674 4999. Email: cityarchives@dublincity.ie

Feedback