Family who Registered to Vote in California

There are Voter Registration lists available in California from 1866-1920. I took a look for members of my family and found 3 men and 1 woman.
First Roger Gibson Hinckley who is my 4x Great Grandfather originally from New York, born 1805. Below is one of the registration lists I found for him. He was 62 and a Millwright living in Soquel, CA. An interesting side story about Roger Hinckley.  President Garfield was assassinated Sept 19, 1881. There were memorials held across America and in Soquel, CA, this took place on Sept 26, 1881. There was a casket used during the memorial for President Garfield. Roger Hinckley died Sept 27, 1881 and that same casket was used to place Roger Hinckley’s body in for his funeral.


The next two are of John Lafayette Shelby who is my 3x Great Grandfather and Roger Hinckley’s son in law. He was born in Tennessee around 1828 and grew up in Kentucky. The first one, from 1896, not only shows J L Shelby but 2 of his sons, Evan K and John W. This one gives a description of the men including their height, skin, eye, and hair color. Also included are any distinguishing marks on the body. The second one is from 1880 and he was 38 and a Teamster in this register.



The next one is John Day Bostwick who is my 2x Great Grandfather and John Shelby’s son in law. He was born in New York and was a butcher.


Finally, women were given the right to vote in California in 1911. My 2x Great Aunt, Ella Bledsoe Blake was registered to vote in 1913. She is the half sister to my 2x Great Grandmother, Ida Shelby Bostwick. Ida (who died in 1879) is the granddaughter of Roger Hinckley, the daughter of John Shelby, and the wife of John Bostwick. Ella is the granddaughter of Roger Hinckley. Below is Ella’s entry in the voter registration list.


This is a photo of Ella and her son Samuel Blake who became a lawyer and a judge. Ella was born in Texas in 1856 and died in a car accident in 1921 at the age of 65.


Several of my family members born in the 1800’s have voter registration records.  The first voter registration record I found was 1867 and the last was 1920. The presidents that were elected during that time period are:

Ulysses Grant(1869-1877), Rutherford Hayes (1877-1881), James Garfield (1881),Chester Arthur(1881-1885), Grover Cleveland(1885-1889), Benjamin Harrison (1889-1983), Grover Cleveland(1893-1897), William McKinnley (1897-1901), Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909), William Taft (1909-1913), and Woodrow Wilson(1913-1921).

I wonder which ones my family voted for?

3 thoughts on “Family who Registered to Vote in California

    1. No, he wasn’t. Garfield was buried on Sept 26, 1881 in Ohio. That day was the memorial for him in Soquel, CA and I assume in other parts of the country also. Since they didn’t live in the day of television where anyone can see the funeral live, I guess the towns held their own memorials. I have a very long newspaper clipping about Roger Hinckley that indicates he was part of the crowd of mourners and that there was a casket as a feature of the services.

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