According to Donna Murray, “you can make taxes pay off for your family history”. For those of us in the US, April 15th is the day we must pay our taxes, or face severe penalties. Many of our ancestors faced similar deadlines.
Donna writes: “MORE THAN 200 YEARS ago, America fought a war to win the right to tax ourselves. Through the years, politicians have elevated that right to an art form, finding new and unique ways to add to government coffers. For researchers, though, there’s an upside. Anyone who owned real or personal property was taxed. Since property owners were listed alphabetically and taxes were collected annually, data gleaned from tax rolls can fill in the gaps between population censuses.”
Her article recommends looking at school taxes, and even includes mention of an annual 40-cent dog tax. How I wish our dog and cat license tags cost as little today.
Check out Donna’s suggestions for where to locate tax rolls, a often over-looked resources for genealogists.
Murray, Donna. “Taxing Research.” Discovering Family History, April 2009, page 34.
Happy family tree climbing!
Your friend in genealogy.
Thanks for this interesting info, and for sharing the info from those magazines. :)
You bet! I think it is amazing what's in there to assist us with finding those elusive ancestors!
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