Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Election Day 2010 - Do you know how your ancestors voted? I do!

My local library has a subscription to HeritageQuestOnline that is accessible from my home computer using my library card. Over the years I have searched for just about every one of my surnames in its search engines. It was only recently though that I tried searching the U. S. Serial Set. Heritage Quest describes this group of records as "Search for information about people and places in the Memorials, Petitions and Private Relief Actions of the U.S. Congress." What I found when I searched my surnames in this series was some really cool results.

Apparently here in Kentucky in 1859 there was a contested Congressional election. Soooo, they had to recount the votes. The findings were published in the book, "Contesting seat of William C. Anderson, representative from fourth congressional district of Kentucky. Memorial and brief of James S. Chrisman" I have several ancestors listed in this book. I have copied page 542 that shows one of my ancestors, James G. Scott and exactly who he voted for.

The names going across the top from left to right are the people who were running for office.

James G. Scott voted for: J. G. Bell, for governor; Alfred Allen, lieutenant governor; James Harlan, attorney general; Thomas S. Page, treasurer; Daugherty White, register of the land office; John B. Herndon, superintendent of public instruction; Wm F. Evans, president board of internal improvements; D. R. Haggard, Congress; Wm. C. Anderson for Senate.

I haven't looked into who won the race for that year, but I think it is really cool to be able to know how my ancestors voted.
Hope you enjoyed, glad you stopped by and please come back again ;)


  1. This is a pretty exciting find! As often as I've searched for my surnames in Heritage Quest I haven't found anything. Well, one of my surnames is Froman, which seems to often turn up "from an..." which is no help. I'm going to go search some more! Thanks for sharing your find.

  2. Yeah, I was pretty excited to be able to find something like this. It makes it that much sweeter because of the search engine, which I am not a big fan of. If you enter both a surname and a place it should search for them together. Unfortunately, it will come back with, what seems to be, every occurrence of the county without finding the surname on that page. I hope you are able to find something helpful.

  3. What a cool find. Something else to think about to search for. I LOVE the Heritage Quest online addition that I can access from my home rather than go to the library.



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