Thursday, July 31, 2014

Thankful Thursday

From Geneabloggers - Thankful Thursday is a daily blogging prompt used by many genealogy bloggers to help them post content on their sites.

Create a post that expresses gratitude for a person (past or present), resource, family history tool or anything connected to you or your and family history that has had a positive impact on your life. This prompt has been suggested by Carolyn Murphy of Family Tree Gal and has been in use by Mary Warren of Mary’s Musings for the past year.

Well I'm grateful that I'm a member of the QFHS which regularly publishes great resources such as this latest CD, the Commonwealth Electoral Roll (Queensland) 1906.   This kind of publication is only possible with the aid of members who volunteer to index for hours in order that we may all benefit.

The CD has a database with approximately 273,000 entries and scanned images of maps showing the division boundaries.  There were nine divisions in Queensland in 1906: Brisbane, Capricornia, Darling Downs, Herbert, Kennedy, Maranoa, Moreton, Oxely and Wide Bay. There was anywhere between approximately 22,000-29,000 electors in each division.  

Now there are 30 Divisions in Queensland according to the AEC.  There can be anywhere between 79,000 to 97,000 voters in each division.  In 2009 there were  2,650,299 voters in Queensland.

In 1906, voting wasn't compulsory, though, according to the information on the inside sleeve "most men and women chose to enrol."  Nowadays, all Australian citizens aged 18 and over are required to vote or face a penalties of $20-$170 plus court costs and, if found guilty, a criminal conviction may be recorded.

Yes, some of this information is available on some commercial subscription sites, but according to the CD sleeve, the CD also "covers the Kennedy division (NW Qld; 25,000 electors) and the parts of other divisions (39,000 electors) missing from the lists available commercially on-line.

What do you need to use this?:  a PC with Windows operating system (Win95 or later), CD drive and 20 Mb of free disk space to install QFHSdatasearch. Adobe Reader is needed to view the maps. Oh and $51.50.  Yes, you can buy it online here.

According to the State Library of Queensland's Flickr page featuring the photo of women at the first state election: 

On 5 January 1905, two years after the formation of the Queensland Women's Electoral League, the Electoral Franchise Bill was introduced into the Legislative Assembly to give the women of Queensland the right to vote. The Elections Acts Amendment Bill providing the necessary machinery, was introduced at the same time. Despite some misgivings about abolishing the plural vote, and difficulty with postal voting, these issues were overcome and the legislation giving the women of Queensland the right to vote was finally passed. It was assented to by the Lieutenant-Governor on 26 January 1905.

A great-Aunt of mine Harriet Conner, a school teacher, is listed on the CD as teaching at Bustard Head Lighthouse that year.  I wonder if she went to any Women's Electoral League meetings such as the one described in this article.

From National Library of Australia, Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton) Monday 19 November 1906 page 5

Thank you to those women who have gone before and worked hard to ensure our franchise and thanks to QFHS and your members for all your hard work in compiling such a valuable resource!

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