- Narrow birth years of males (when are they initially named on the tax lists). Know your states’ laws for the year as to when a male (son) must be listed individually and not enumerated with the father.
- Differentiate men of the same names. .
- Track families that were not landowners. If they were not landowners, researchers rarely find a probate or will.
Here are three key points to tax lists analysis:
|Virginia Early Laws|
- Know the law of the county/state of interest
- Also, stay mindful of the state and county map formations. As noted, Kentucky and West Virginia were in present day Virginia in 1783.
- Obtain copies of the original lists. Transcribed copies may not be exact: are the names in order as recorded?, typos?, etc. Researchers may find copies of original records on line, on subscribed websites, or order the microfilm copy from the Family History Library (FHL). Be creative when using keywords on the FHL. A recent search for “tithable” led us to the following title: The 1787 census of Virginia : an accounting of the name of every white male tithable over 21 years, the number of white males between 16 & 21years, the number of slaves over 16 & those under 16 years, together with alisting of their horses, cattle & carriages, and also the names of all persons to whom ordinary licenses and physician's licenses were issued. This title was used in lieu of “1787 Tax Lists of Virginia.” (Note: to activate link, login may be necessary)
|Tennessee Early Tax (ancestry.com)|
- Early Tax List Records for Tennessee, 1783-1895, may be digitized on ancestry.com. This database collection includes 71 Tennessee counties. Originals of Tennessee salvaged tax lists may be found at the State Library and Archive.
- Visit Library of Virginia: Colonial Tithables
- A collection of free scanned microfilm Virginia Tax Lists - early City Tax Lists, County Tax Lists, and Colonial Lists - may be found at the Binns Genealogy website.
- Tax Lists (1792-1840) An Overlooked Resource for Kentucky History and Land Title