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=== State Level ===
 
=== State Level ===
*'''1862-1874'''  ''Internal Revenue Assessment District Lists'' Three types of records A=Annual, M=Monthy, S=Special <br>
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*'''1862-1874'''  ''Internal Revenue Assessment District Lists'' Three types of records A=Annual, M=Monthy, S=Special The years and
 
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type of records may not be on the same roll so check here: [https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9WS-H9Q1-N?i=1&wc=SD5P-C23%3A387488001%2C387507201%2C387489501&cc=2075263 Roll numbers] pages 5-16<br>
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''DISTRICTS 1 and 2'' contained many of the counties that later formed the state of West Virginia, these records are under West Virginia 1862-1866, and were not listed in Executive Orders of Oct 10th or 16th 1862 <br>
 
''DISTRICTS 1 and 2'' contained many of the counties that later formed the state of West Virginia, these records are under West Virginia 1862-1866, and were not listed in Executive Orders of Oct 10th or 16th 1862 <br>

Latest revision as of 13:50, 2 December 2019

Virginia Wiki Topics
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Beginning Research
Record Types
Virginia Background
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The FamilySearch moderator for Virginia is Heather Van Hise


Online Resources[edit | edit source]

Why Use Tax Records[edit | edit source]

By studying several consecutive years of tax records you may determine when a young men came of age, when individuals moved in and out of a home, or when they died leaving heirs. Authorities determined wealth (real estate, or income) to be taxed. Taxes can be for polls, real and personal estate, or schools.

Tax record content varies and may include the name and residence of the taxpayer, description of the real estate, name of original purchaser, description of personal property, number of males over 21, number of school children, slaves, and farm animals. Tax records usually are arranged by date and locality and are not normally indexed. Tax records can be used in place of missing land and census records to locate a person’s residence.


How to Use Tax Records for Virginia[edit | edit source]

County Level[edit | edit source]

Those living south of the Rappahannock River paid a quitrent to the Crown. An original, incomplete list of landowners for the region in 1704 is in the Public Record Office in London and has been published several times, though not always reliably. Residents of the Northern Neck, between the Rappahannock and Potomac Rivers, paid quitrents to the agents of Lord Fairfax. Many original rent rolls of the Fairfax proprietary are housed at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California. Extant original rent rolls and facsimiles for Virginia are available at the Library of Virginia. Using Land Tax Records at the Archives of the Library of Virginia Three types of Taxes:

The quitrent was a land tax that had its roots in English manorial society where 'the land obligations due the manor, such as plowing and haying the lord's land, were computed to an annual money payment. Upon payment, the obligations were '˜quit' for the year.'

The parish levy was an annual tax paid by all tithables for support of their ministers, maintenance of the parishes' glebe lands (the parsonage and lands producing income for the parish), and support of the poor of the parish.

The annual poll tax was computed by dividing the total expenses of the colony and individual counties by the total number of tithables. The result was levied on each tithable. Except for a brief period from 1645 to 1648, the poll tax was the main source of revenue for the colony of Virginia. The annual poll tax was computed by dividing the total expenses of the colony and individual counties by the total number of tithables. [1]


Before the Revolutionary War, taxes were collected on the personal property of male residents aged 21 and older. Tithable lists, or lists of the taxable persons within each county, were created. Many of these tithable lists no longer exist, but some existing lists have been published in sources such as:

At first glance, researchers might conclude that Virginia tax lists contain very little family history data, though one soon learns that valuable genealogical conclusions can be deduced from these records, nicknamed "annual censuses," such as: relationships, approximate years of birth, socio-economic status, identification of neighbors, the ability to distinguish between persons of the same name, evidence of land inheritance, years of migration, and years of death.

The Library of Virginia has the originals or photocopies of most known tax lists and a checklist of all known lists. The Family History Library has microfilm or published copies of many existing tax lists up to the 1860s. Copies of tax lists are sometimes available at local courthouses.


There are other Tax Records listed on various County pages within Wiki so be sure to check out the county you are interested in.

State Level[edit | edit source]

  • 1862-1874 Internal Revenue Assessment District Lists Three types of records A=Annual, M=Monthy, S=Special The years and

type of records may not be on the same roll so check here: Roll numbers pages 5-16

DISTRICTS 1 and 2 contained many of the counties that later formed the state of West Virginia, these records are under West Virginia 1862-1866, and were not listed in Executive Orders of Oct 10th or 16th 1862


Est. 16 Oct 1862
DISTRICT 3; Alexandria, Berkeley, Clarke, Fairfax, Fauquier, Frederick, Hamshire, Hardy, Jefferson, Loudoun, Morgan, Prince William, Shenandoah, Warren
DISTRICT 4; Accomack, Elizabeth City, Essex, Gloucester, Isle of Wight, James City, King and Queen, Lancaster, Mathews, Middlesex, Nansemond, New Kent, Norfolk, Northampton, Northumberland, Princess Anne, Richmond, Warwick, Westmoreland
DISTRICT 4; Accomack, Elizabeth City, Essex, Gloucester, Isle of Wight, James City, King and Queen, Lancaster, Mathews, Middlesex, Nansemond, New Kent, Norfolk, Northampton, Northumberland, Princess Ann, Richmond, Warwick, Westmoreland

Est. 3 May 1865
DISTRICT 1; Amelia, Amherst, Appomattox, Buckingham, Charlotte, Chesterfield, Culpepper, Cumberland, Fluvanna, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, Louisa, Lunenberg, Mecklenburg, Nelson, Nottoway, Orange, Powhatan, Prince Edward, Rappahannock, Spotsylvania, Stafford,
DISTRICT 2; Albemarle, Alleghany, Augusta, Bath, Bedford, Bland, Botetourt, Buchanan, Campbell, Carroll, Craig, Floyd, Franklin, Giles, Grayson, Greene, Halifax, Henry, Highland, Lee, Madison, Montgomery, Page, Patrick, Pittsylvania, Pulaski, Roanoke, Rockbridge, Rockingham, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, Wise,
DISTRICT 3; Alexandria, Berkeley, Clarke, Fairfax, Fauquier, Frederick, Jefferson, Loudoun, Prince William, Shenandoah, Warren
DISTRICT 4; Accomack, Brunswick, Caroline, Charles City, Dinwiddie, Elizabeth City, Essex, Gloucester, Greenville, Isle of Wight, James City, King and Queen, King George, King William, Lancaster, Mathews, Middlesex, Nansemond, New Kent, Norfolk, Northampton, Northumberland, Prince George, Princess Anne, Richmond, Southampton, Surry, Sussex, Warwick, Westmoreland, York

    • On May 3, 1865, the following Virginia Counties transferred from District 3 to West Virginia DISTRICT 2: Morgan, Hampshire, and Hardy and on Aug. 2, 1865, Berkeley and Jefferson Counties transferred from District 3 in Virginia to DISTRICT 2: West Virginia

Reorganized 23 Apr. 1866
DISTRICT 1; Accomack, Caroline, Charles City, Elizabeth City, Esses, Gloucester, James City, King and Queen, King George, King William, Lancaster, Mathews, Middlesex, New Kent, Northampton, Northumberland, Richmond, Warwick, Westmoreland, York
DISTRICT 2; Brunswick, Dinwiddie, Greensville, Isle of Wight, Nansemond, Norfolk, Prince George, Princess Ann, Southampton, Surry, Sussex
DISTRICT 3; Culpepper, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, Louisa, Orange, Rappahannock, Spotsylvania, Stafford
DISTRICT 4; Amelia, Amherst, Appomattox, Buckingham, Charlotte, Chesterfield, Cumberland, Fluvanna, Lunenberg, Mecklenberg, Nelson, Nottoway, Powhatan, Prince Edward
DISTRICT 5; Bedford, Campbell, Franklin, Halifax, Henry, Patrick, Pittsylvania, Roanoke

Est. 23 Apr 1866
DISTRICT 6; Albemarle, Alleghany, Augusta, Bath, Botetourt, Craig, Greene, Highland, Madison, Page, Rockbridge,
DISTRICT 7; Alexandria, Clarke, Fairfax, Fauquier, Frederick, Loudoun, Prince William, Shenandoah, Warren
DISTRICT 8; Bland, Buchanan, Carroll, Floyd, Giles, Grayson, Lee, Montgomery, Pulaski, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, Wise,

Published Lists

  • 1768-1775 - Virginia Tithables from Burned Record Counties (Family History Library book 975.5 R4w.) For other locations click on WorldCat
  • 1782-1787 - Virginia Taxpayers, 1782-1787 (Family History Library book 975.5 R4f 1974.) For other locations click on WorldCat
  • 1787 - The 1787 Census of Virginia: An Accounting of the Names of Every White Male Tithable Over 21 Years, the Number of White Males Between 16; 21 Years, the Number of Slaves Over 16; Those Under 16 Years . . . Three Volumes. Springfield, Virginia: (Family History Library book 975.5 R4sn) The original tax records show neighbors who are often relatives. For other Locations click on WorldCat
  • 1810 - A Supplement to the 1810 Census of Virginia: Tax Lists of the Counties for Which the Census is Missing. (Family History Library book 975.5 R4s.) For other locations click WorldCat
  • periodicals - Virginia Tax Records: From the Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, (Family History Library book 975.5 R4v.) These tax records include tithables, election, quitrent, poll, vestry, and personal property lists to 1783.


Microfilm collections at the Library of Virginia; include land tax lists for all counties and independent cities for the years 1782 through 1978, as well as personal property tax lists for the years 1782 through 1930 (and every fifth year thereafter). Taxes were not collected in 1808.;

Library of Virginia
800 East Broad Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219-8000
Phone: Phone: 804-692-3500

Other Sources


Tax money bag.jpg

Tax Laws[edit | edit source]

Abraham Lincoln instituted the income tax in 1862, and on July 1, 1862, Congress passed the Internal Revenue Act, creating the Bureau of Internal Revenue (later renamed to the Internal Revenue Service). This act was intended to “provide Internal Revenue to support the Government and to pay interest on the Public Debt.” Instituted in the height of the Civil War, the “Public Debt” at the time primarily consisted of war expenses. For the Southern States that were part of the Confederate side of the Civil War, once Union troops took over parts of the Southern States, income taxes were instituted on them. [2]

  • To learn more about this Collection click here
  • To learn more about the Civil War taxes click here

The laws of Virginia were revised in 1705. From then until 1782, all males and nonwhite females aged sixteen or over were tithables. Wives of free nonwhite males were added in 1723. Virginia's tax system changed after the Revolutionary War to include taxing land and personal property in 1782, with further revision in 1787. The bulk of those tax lists prior to 1850 survive and are available on microfilm at the Library of Virginia and the FHL. [3]

Virginia began enumerating residents' payments of personal property and land taxes in 1782. These two types of taxation were recorded in separate registers. Personal property tax lists include more names than land tax lists, because they caught more of the population. These records identify white males over 21 years of age and include references to real estate holdings, personal property, slaveholdings, and inheritances.

References[edit | edit source]


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