Series VPRS 4029
Citizen Lists and/or Citizen Rolls (MCC 247/1)
About this Series Related Series Accessing the records in this Series
Date Range: Series 1843 - cont
  Series in Custody 1843 - 1994
  Contents 1843 - 1994
Public Access: Open
Location: North Melbourne
Format of Records: Physical
 
Agency which created this SeriesAgency which created this Series
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Date Range Agency Title Agency Number
1843 - cont Melbourne (Town 1842-1847; City 1847-ct) VA 511
Agency currently responsible for this SeriesAgency currently responsible for this Series
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Date Range Agency Title Agency Number
1843 - cont Melbourne (Town 1842-1847; City 1847-ct) VA 511
Description of this SeriesDescription of this Series
  • How to use the Records
    Researchers should use the microfiche copy VPRS 4029/P3 for Citizens Lists or Rolls from 1877 to 1891.

    The lists of names were compiled in alphabetical order by surname and given names. These lists include those people entitled to vote in council elections (not all those who lived in the city of Melbourne at any one time). Separate lists were made for each ward in the town or city.

    (From the Records Description List select the volume for a particular year, and note the Unit number on the list.

    (In the volume, find the list for the particular ward (if known). There the person will be listed by surname and given names in alphabetical order. Otherwise, look for the name in each ward systematically.

  • Function / Content
    From 1843 to 1863 each entry includes a brief description of the property (e.g. dwelling house, warehouse, shop, etc.), and street name; from 1864 the street number of the property was included in the address, and, for a number of years, the occupation of the ratepayer.

    Note about capital letters near some addresses on the lists or rolls: A capital letter after each property indicates the division of the electoral province in which that property is situated as follows:

    ( C: Cardigan;
    ( J: Jolimont;
    ( N: North Melbourne;
    ( P: Royal Park; and
    ( S: South Yarra.

    (Where these capital letters appeared, this key information was included under the heading of the address column.)

    P2 Consignment

    The 1864 -1865 Citizen Roll, which constitutes the P2 consignment, is an estray. It was purchased by the Public Record Office from a manuscript dealer in 1995. The City of Melbourne archivist is unaware of when the record was removed from their custody. According to their records it has not been in their custody for the last ten years at least. The roll was in very good condition at the time of purchase.

    Lists versus Rolls

    Lists were compiled of those qualified to be enrolled to vote, and provision was made for the lists to be revised in a Revision Court, where those who objected to the inclusion of some people on the list were heard, as were those who claimed their names should be inserted on the list. The revised lists, signed by the authorised persons, were then known as rolls. The names listed on the rolls were numbered consecutively throughout, whereas there were no such numbers beside the names on the lists.

    These documents were known under various titles. At first they were known as Burgess lists and rolls, then Citizens lists and rolls, and later (from around 1939) as Voters lists and rolls.

    This series was comprised of both lists and rolls. For some years there are lists only while for others there are rolls only. For some years the lists and rolls were bound in a single volume, and for others into separate volumes.

  • Recordkeeping System
    New lists of burgesses or citizens were compiled each year. The names were listed in alphabetical order, by surname and given names. The lists were compiled on a ward by ward basis. The finalised lists were known as rolls. The names listed on the rolls were numbered consecutively throughout, whereas there were no such numbers beside the names on the lists.

    The lists and/or rolls for each year were written or printed in bound volumes. As a rule the lists for all wards are included in each volume. The volumes - it is assumed - would have been arranged in chronological order.

    Background

    Melbourne Incorporation Act 6 Vic., No.7 (1842) stipulated that lists were to be made of all persons entitled to be burgesses. The list was to be called the Burgess List. The lists were to be displayed publicly and procedures were put in place whereby people could object if someone who was not qualified had been included, or request to be inserted if they had been omitted from the Burgess List.

    Originally, you were included on the list if you were a male person over 21 years of age, who occupied a house, warehouse, counting-house or shop of value of twenty-five pounds or more within seven miles of the nearest boundary of Melbourne, and had paid your rates amongst other things. These were the main conditions although there were others.

    Subsequently, it was stipulated in legislation that burgesses were in future to be known as citizens under Melbourne Corporation (title of city) Act 13 Vic., No.14 (1849). From 1849 Burgess Lists were known as Citizens Lists.

    Further research is required to trace all the changes in legislation related to eligibility for citizens lists over the years.

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    PROVguide064 City of Melbourne
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Consignment Number Contents Date Range Public Access No. of Units
P0000 1848 - 1931 Open 74
P0001 1843 - 1994 Open 131
P0002 1864 - 1865 Open 1
P0003 1877 - 1891 Closed 0
P0004 1868 - 1869 Open 1
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    PROVguide064 City of Melbourne