Posted by Ancestry Team on January 30, 2008 in News

Our new collection of California Voter Registrations unlock more than 30 million names of Californians who registered to vote between 1900 and 1944. The collection reveals the political preferences of California residents – including several celebrities and political figures – who voted during the first half of the 20th century.

In 1942, actor and future U.S. President Ronald Reagan was registered to vote as a Democrat and remained a registered party member until at least 1954. It wasn’t until later that he changed his party affiliation to Republican.

Ronald Reagan’s 1942 Voter Registration List

Ronald Reagan 1942 Full Image

Lucille Ball is registered as a Communist in 1936 and 1938, and was later asked to testify before Congress during McCarthy’s Communist witch hunts.

Lucille Ball’s 1936 Voter Registration List

1_lucille-ball-1936-registration.jpg

In 1944, Ozzy and Harriett Nelson are both registered as Republicans. Harriett was employed as an “actress;” Ozzy as an “orchestra leader.”

Ozzy and Harriett’s 1944 Voter Registration List

1_ozzy-harriett-registration.jpg

Walt Disney is found alongside brothers Robert and Roy in a 1924 voter registration list. Walt and Robert were both registered Republican, while Roy “declined statement.” In 1940, Walt’s wife Lillian changed her party affiliation to Democrat, while Walt remained Republican.

Walt Disney’s 1924 Voter Registration List


Disney 1924 Voter Registration

Walt Disney’s 1940 Voter Registration List

1_disney-1940-registration.jpg

Visit the California Voter Registration Lists on Ancestry.com, or read the press release to learn more.

21 Comments

  1. Fran

    I just tried to locate my Aunt, who lived in Los Angelos during the period. I put in her full name and I got a long list of people with her same name in a number of years. Because I knew that she was in Los Angelos in 1956 I checked the Geraldine Cronin and when the page loaded there was no Cronin on the list. It included people with names starting with G and went to the S’s. I then tried the the previous page and got the S’s through Z. There appears to be something bonkers with the search on the California Voter list.

  2. M. Diane Rogers

    Yes, the exact search doesn’t work either. And,I’ve been trying a while. I couldn’t get to the database or find it from the home page – used the link in the article instead just now. The Ancestry ‘search unavailable’ page just keeps coming up. Too many of us maybe?

  3. M. Diane Rogers

    And, as this article shows, there are lists after 1944 included.
    It’s called “California Voter Registrations 1900-1968”.

  4. Dennis Hawver

    I really like having access to these data, but with updates registered every two years, it would be very nice to know the year of the record you are reading. For example, 20 years of Calaveras Co., CA records are listed. To find the year of a record, you have to backpage to the beginning of that set.
    Isn’t there a way to include date in the indexing?

  5. Chris

    When the image set (roll) pertains to a single year of record, that year is listed in the “breadcrumbs” list above the image, such as: “You are here: Search > Census > California Voter Registrations, 1900-1968 > Los Angeles County > 1942 > Roll 56”

    When there are multiple years pertaining to one image set, yes, you’re right, you do need to go to the beginning of that year section. This collection was indexed using the automated OCR process, it was not manually keyed. While we did capture roll-level metadata, we did not define section breaks within the rolls for this collection.

    Chris Lydiksen,
    Product Manager, Content

  6. Fran

    I used the link and found my Aunt. When I did the search I limited it to Los Angelos County since I knew she lived there. I got many more Geraldine’s than you did. I do not know how you did your search, but yours worked and mine did not. Strange. Thanks for your help.

  7. Dave

    “McCarthy’s Communist witch hunts” investigated suspected communist influence in the Department of State in 1954 by a Senate Committee.

    Rather, the House Committee on Un-American Activity was a committee of the House of Representatives (of which McCarthy had no part). It investigate suspected Communist influences in Hollywood beginning in 1947.

  8. Donna Hague Wendt

    I love the new Calif Voter Database! I immediately found my parents from 1932-1954 and could view their various addresses through the years. Wonderful! On the 1950 image, linked to my father, however, I had to arrow to the next page to find his name. I could tell I was close because the addresses were near our house on the linked page. So not a problem. An added bonus was to find all the neighbors on our block listed with name and address, as I had forgotten their names. They were nearly all listed on the same page. Now I can complete naming the neighbors on my old block shown on Google maps/satellite view.

  9. Suzanne Bonner

    We have seen an overwhelmingly positive response to the release of the California Voter Registration database and have enjoyed seeing so many Ancestry users dig into the collection. We have a reporter interested in speaking with someone who’s found an ancestor in the collection. If you have discovered a family member in the California Voter Registration collection and would like to share your story, please contact us at share@ancestry.com.

  10. Susan

    Any idea when Riverside County will be included? Is there a reason for its exclusion now? Riverside is the 2nd largest county (in land mass) with a population now approaching 2 million.

  11. Sharon Johnson

    I just tried to search James Howard in Los Angeles county. It came up with many listings but when I clicked on several of the name images there was no James Howard on most of the pages. Is this searching the name James as well as Howard?

  12. LISA JO PARRETT

    DEAR ANCESTRY HOW’S COME EVERYTIME I DO MY FAMILY HISTORY I GET THROUGH W/ MY DAD’S FAMILY HISTORY ON BOTH SIDE’S IT WE DICULESS? THANK’S FOR YOUR TIME PLEASE- PLEASE FILL FREE TO E=MAIL ME IF YOU WENT I NEED TO HEAR FROM YOU AS SOON IN POSSABLE THANK’S MISS LISA PARRETT

  13. LISA JO PARRETT

    DEAR ANCESTRY HOW’S COME EVERYTIME I DO MY FAMILY HISTORY I CAN’T THROUGH W/ MY DAD’S FAMILY HISTORY ON BOTH SIDE’S IT WE DICULESS? THANK’S FOR YOUR TIME PLEASE- PLEASE FILL FREE TO E=MAIL ME IF YOU WENT I NEED TO HEAR FROM YOU AS SOON IN POSSABLE THANK’S MISS LISA PARRETT

  14. I have some interesting research completed on the West Georgia, Carroll County (Campbell County) Creels back to the early 1800’s if anyone is interested in that line. It appears that line of Creel’s have been in the U.S. since Oglethorpe settled Georgia.

  15. Sharon Brickner

    I have uploaded in different trees to ancestry from family tree because I have 9,000 people plus pictures. I am now trying to get them all into one tree. When the wonderful little little icon come up my trees are never included and nothing on living relatives. It does not do much good spending hours doint the uploading if I can not use it. I am really thinking of taking everything off ancestry. If you have two of the same person becauese they are lelated from different trees you can not merge you have to delete all the work you have done on one othe the lines of that person.
    Sharon

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