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The Mary Eliza Project: Boston's Ward 11 Voter Records Are Now Available

29 Nov 2022 12:33 PM | Anonymous

In 1920, after the passage of the 19th Amendment, Boston's women registered to vote by the thousands. The 1920 Women's Voter Registers now live at the Boston City Archives and document women's names, addresses, places of birth and occupations. Sometimes women provided additional information about their naturalization process to become a US citizen, including where their husbands were born because in 1920, a woman's citizenship status was tied to her husband's nationality. 

The Mary Eliza Project, named after African American nurse, civil rights activist, and Boston voter Mary Eliza Mahoney, is transcribing these valuable handwritten records into an easily searchable and sortable dataset. We've recently finished transcribing the Ward 11 registers and have added them into our dataset. Transforming the Ward 11 Women Voters Registers into a dataset gives us new information and insights into the lives of women in northern Dorchester. 

Most Ward 11 women voters were born in Massachusetts, but we also found large numbers of women born in Ireland and Canada. Women born in Germany, Denmark, France, Belgium, Norway, Poland, and more also make an appearance. 

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