Finding information in places you might not think to look: tax records

Genealogy.com’s Genealogy Pointer’s Jan 8, 2013  included a reminder about using tax records to find genealogical information.  They quoted from Emily Anne Croom’s excellent manual The Sleuth Book for Genealogists: Strategies for More Successful Family History Research

“[Some] information the genealogist [might] glean from studying some tax rolls?

  1. Relationships, either expressed, deduced, or suggested
  2. Suggestions of birth order among sons in a family, depending on when they first were named or became a head of household
  3. Suggestions of death year or moving, when someone no longer was listed, when an estate was listed, when someone was named as guardian of the children or administrator of an estate, or when someone is taxed for the property formerly belonging to another person
  4. Occupations, expressed or implied by paying license fee
  5. Suggestions of family groups of slaves, when, over the years, the same slaves were named in a household; sometimes, slaves’ ages
  6. Changes in a person’s net worth or lifestyle, expressed in changes in the number of slaves, livestock, and luxury items
  7. Preliminary identification of neighbors by studying adjoining landowners and watercourses, or when the tax collector dated each entry and it appears that he visited the households in person”

If you’re interested in obtaining a copy, the guide can be ordered at www.genealogical.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&item_number=1221

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