Stratford Historical Society and Museum

News from the Stratford Historical Society and Museum, in Stratford, Gippsland, Victoria. We are open Tuesdays from 10am to 3pm, and the fourth Sunday of the month from 2pm to 4pm. Our postal address is P.O. Box 145, Stratford, 3862.

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Location: Victoria, Australia

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Avon Shire Voters Rolls

The latest exciting news from the Tuesday Cataloguing Team is that three series of Avon Shire Voters Rolls have been located.

AvonRoll 1866

Avon Roads District 1st August 1866 (above, larger copy of same picture HERE)
Contains 231 names, and is unsubdivided. Possibly only contains settled area around Stratford.
Gives surname, Christian name, Desc., of ratable property (usually just "land" or "House and Land") and number of votes to which entitle (one, two or three).

One of the most exciting aspects of these rolls is that women are included. So, next time you are asked when women got the vote, you can point out that they had it in 1866, in the Shire of Avon.


Avon Shire Voter's List. Not dated, but pencil notation "First Shire Roll". Probably in the 1867-1869 period. (above, larger copy of same picture HERE)
Contains three Ridings - West (Maffra, Heyfield, Glenmaggie - 124 names), East (around Stratford - 111 names), South (prob. the area between Stratford and Sale, Bundalaguah etc - 155 names).
Contains same details as previous roll, just descriptions are better - more hotels, gardens, commercial properties etc.

AvonRoll 1886

Avon Shire Voters Roll - July 14th 1886 (above, larger copy of same picture HERE)
NB this is after Maffra Shire has been formed, so that area is not included.
Three ridings - East, South and North.
East - Stratford, Yeerung, Bengworden, Meerlieu etc 256 names
South - Sale, Bundalaguah, Nuntin 213 names
North - Dargo, Budgee, Wonnangatta, Wongungurra, Cobbannah - 114 names
This one has names, number of votes, trade/occupation, location

My understanding is that people had to own land to be on these rolls, and they will be similar to the rate books of the time. The Avon Shire Rate books are held at the Public Record Office, but have been microfiched.

As yet the only copies available for inspection will be at the Stratford Museum, Tuesdays from 10am to 3pm, 2nd and 4th Sunday 2pm to 4pm. The Society has yet to decide how to make them more widely available, so it is not appropriate as yet to offer lookups over the net.