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Tax records were recorded by state and town officials. They help identify the residence of the taxpayer. The Family History Library has microfilm copies of state tax valuations for various years from 1760 to 1771, 1780 to 1792, and 1810 to 1811. These are listed in the Place Search of the FamilySearch Catalog under:
MASSACHUSETTS - TAXATION
MASSACHUSETTS, [COUNTY], [TOWN] - TAXATION
MASSACHUSETTS, [COUNTY], [TOWN] - TOWN RECORDS
The 1771 lists have been published in:
Pruitt, Bettye Hobbs, ed. The Massachusetts Tax Valuation List of 1771. Boston, Massachusetts: G.K. Hall, 1978. FHL book Q 974.4 R4m.
A federal 1798 direct tax census and surname index is:
United States, Secretary of the Treasury. Massachusetts and Maine Direct Tax Census of 1798. Cambridge, Massachusetts: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1978. FHL films 940072-89 [does not circulate to Family History Centers].)
The original 1798 tax records are at the New England Historic Genealogical Society. These are described in:
Gorn, Michael H., ed. An Index and Guide to the Microfilm Edition of the Massachusetts and Maine Direct Tax Census of 1798. Boston, Massachusetts: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1979. FHL book 974 R42i.
Boston tax lists of the 1800s are at:
Boston Public Library
700 Boylston St.
Boston MA 02116
Phone: (617) 536–5400