New Resource - Absent Voters List

​We're delighted to announce the launch of a new online resource for family historians: the Glasgow Absent Voters List, 1920​.


This fantastic database is of particular interest to those whose ancestors served in the First World War and contains the names of more than 13,000 men and women who lived in Glasgow.


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What can these records tell me?

The database will usually give:


  • Name

  • Qualifying premises (address)

  • Description of service. This often provides valuable information such as regiment, regimental number, rank or ship.


What is the Absent Voters List?

The list is a register of those who were absent from home but eligible to vote. This makes it an excellent source of information about those serving in the forces, merchant seamen and other occupations supporting the war effort. 


Sadly, it is often easier to find out about those who died during WW1 than those who survived.  The Absent Voters List is a useful tool for finding out about survivors; because the list was published in the spring of 1920, we can assume that those included survived the conflict. It can provide valuable clues for piecing together the wartime experience of these ancestors.


Relatively few Absent Voters lists survive in Great Britain and Ireland. The original records used to compile this database are held at Glasgow City Archives.


Special thanks to our wonderful volunteers Annette McGarill and Brenda Flynn, who spent the last year transcribing the records. This resource would not have been possible without your hard work and dedication.


You can learn more about our collection of electoral registers in our guide.


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