‘Tax lists’ is a term used to describe personal property tax lists, tithables, poll lists, land tax lists, and rent rolls, to name a few. Broadly speaking, these lists indicate the amount and kind of property owned by the taxpayer. At face value they don’t seem to be very helpful for genealogists, but when we look a lot closer, we can see how important they can be. They can place people in a certain place at a certain time, indicate relationship of individuals in a household and their approximate ages, and are often the only documentation that an individual lived in a certain place at a certain time, especially someone who didn’t own land. Just because you didn’t own land didn’t mean you weren’t taxed! A couple of things to keep in mind regarding the importance of tax lists: The census taker came every ten years and often missed people....
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