England, Kent, Land Tax Assessments (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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England, Kent, Land Tax Assessments, 1689-1832
This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Kent,  England
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Location of Kent, England
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Record Description
Record Type Land Tax Assessments
Collection years 1689-1832
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Kent History and Library Centre

What is in This Collection?

This collection consists of land tax assessments from Kent for the years 1689 to 1832.

The Land Tax was first regularly imposed in in 1697, based on a 1692 assessment. The first records from 1698 were defective attempts at compiling records; anomalies arose, leaving rural areas too heavily taxed compared with the new industrial districts. In 1772, the returns were altered to incorporate a list of all occupiers of land in each parish. In 1782, a further column was added to show the proprietor of each building. These deposited records continue until 1832. In 1826, a further column was added to describe the property on which the tax was levied. The tax was abolished in 1832.

Documents consist of Assessments and Returns; the former show assessed value of the land, the latter the amounts actually collected.

In 1798, landowners were allowed to buy themselves out of liability by a lump sum of 15 years purchase, but until 1832 "exonerated" owners appear in the lists; "Exonerated holdings" from 1798 until about 1815 are usually found at the end of the parish return.

The records from 1780 were stored in the county record office, usually in annual volumes or 'bundles' with parishes grouped in the Hundreds of Kent.

Kent also has a number of boroughs which are part of the Ancient Hundreds. A reliable contemporary account to assist in identifying these boroughs which may overlap Ancient and Ecclesiastical Parishes is Edward Hasted's History and Topographical Survey of Kent, which can be viewed on the FamilySearch Catalog. The FamilySearch image collection may present more than one series of images for a parish if the hamlet or borough sub-divisions overlap parishes.

It is worth also considering The National Archive collection under reference IR23 which contains a copy of the Land Tax Assessments for the whole country for 1798 and may be useful as a locator for Proprietors, occupiers and Sums assessed only but can help locate the whereabouts at the turn of the century of people. A further search in the county, hundred and parish and sub-division for boroughs and hamlets may then enable the person to be traced over several years.

Image Visibility

Whenever possible, FamilySearch makes images available for all users. However, rights to view images on our website are granted by the record custodians. Images in this collection are available for viewing if you are a registered FamilySearch user. You can register for a free FamilySearch account here. The images can also be viewed at the Family History Library or a Family History Center near you.

These images are viewable to users who have contributed to the FamilySearch Indexing effort. Learn how to be a part of FamilySearch indexing here.

For additional information about image restrictions, please see the Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections page.

To Browse This Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for England, Kent, Land Tax Assessments, 1689-1832.

What Can These Records Tell Me?

Land Tax Assessment records may include any of the following:

  • Name of the place
  • Year
  • Name of landlord, proprietors, or landowners
  • Names of the occupiers or tenants
  • Titles
  • Occupations such as minister or businessman
  • Yearly rent (in pounds)
  • Yearly or quarterly tax assessed (in pounds and shillings)
  • Name or names of the assessors
  • Names of those who approved the taxes
  • Name of property
  • Description of property

How Do I Search This Collection?

To begin your search, it would be helpful to know the following information:

  • Name taxpayer
  • Parish
  • Approximate year of residence

View the Images

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:

  1. Select County
  2. Select Parish
  3. Select Event Type and Year Range (with Volume) to view the images.

How Do I Analyze the Results?

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?

  • Use these records to find male ancestors (and some female, where no male head of house existed). The records will reveal where they lived and clues to their lifestyle
  • Use the place and names to locate census records for the 1841 census. Census records are taken every ten years. The first to list names was in 1841. If you can locate settled occupancy in 1832 it may be possible to locate an entry in the census in 1841
  • Titles may be clues to property ownership, occupations, rank or status within the community
  • If the property was an estate, there may be manorial records
  • If it was a business, there may be other commercial records
  • If your ancestor was both the landlord and occupier, they generally owned the land

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?

  • Check for nicknames and variant spellings or abbreviations of the names
  • Search in nearby locations
    • Essex to the north
    • London and Surrey to the west
    • East Sussex to the south
  • Clerks were known to accidentally switch columns, so that proprietors and tenants were reversed on land tax assessments. It is therefore advisable to search previous and subsequent years for comparison and to detect such errors in compilation

Record Finder

Consult the England Record Finder to find other records

Known Issues with This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to support@familysearch.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.

Citing This Collection

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation
"England, Kent, Land Tax Assessments, 1689-1832." I\images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : 14 June 2016. Citing Court of Quarter Sessions of the Peace. Kent Archives Office, Maidstone.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.

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