Texas County Tax Rolls (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: Texas, County Tax Rolls, 1846-1910 .
The collection consists of a selective index to tax rolls for 231 of 254 Texas counties. The years indexed include the first year for each county included prior to 1845, as well as 1845, 1855, 1865, 1875, 1885, 1890, 1895, and 1905. The index for this collection is 13% complete. Additional records will be added as they are completed.
- Since these rolls are spaced between Federal censuses, they provide a valuable tool for finding information not found in the censuses. They are even more important as a tool for 1890s as we have very few census records for that time period.
There may be gaps of several years in the tax records of some counties. Ellis County, 1886, Images 114, 116, 118, 120, 122, 124, 126, 128, 130, 132, 134 are cut off on the left side. As a result the beginning of the surnames are missing. This problem is present in both the online images and the microfilm copies.
A part of this collection is being indexed in FamilySeach Indexing as a Partner Project with the Texas State Genealogical Society.
For a list of records by localities and dates currently published in this collection, select the Browse.
Record ContentInformation in Texas tax records include:
- Name of owner
- Assessment number
- Original grantee
- Number of acres of land
- Town plot description
- Name of city or town
- Kind, number, and value of livestock
- Kind, quantity, and value of farm commodities
- Amount of state taxes
- Amount of county taxes
How to Use This Record
To begin your search it is helpful to know:
- The name of your ancestor
- Identifying information such as where they lived
Search the Collection
To search the collection by name fill in your ancestor’s name in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about those in the list to what you already know about your own ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person.
If you did not find the person you were looking for, you may need to search the collection by image.
⇒Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page
⇒Select the "County/Precinct"
⇒Select the "Year range" which takes you to the images.
Look at each image. Again you will need to compare the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor.
Be aware that with either search you may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination. Keep in mind:
- There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
- You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
- Your ancestor may have used different names or variations of their name throughout their life.
- If your ancestor used an alias or a nickname, be sure to check for those alternate names.
- Even though these indexes are very accurate they may still contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.
For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line video at FamilySearch Search Tips.
Using the Information
When you have located your ancestor in the assessment rolls, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may be new details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. For example:
- Tax assessments identify the name and residence of the taxpayer. This information can help you locate land records and census records.
- The description of the real estate, number of acres owned, types of buildings, identifiable personal property, and the farm animals can help you determine an occupation: someone living at a church is probably a minister; someone with several acres of land or many farm animals is probably a farmer; someone living on the same property as the school may be a teacher; someone living above or behind a store is probably a merchant. Occupations can lead you to other types of records such as employment, school, or church records.
- Following an ancestor through the assessment rolls can help you establish a family migration pattern or identify the year an individual moved into an area or left the area.
- The assessment rolls can also indicate that an individual died. Use the last known tax year as an approximate death year. Use the death year and residence to locate death or probate records.
Tips to Keep in Mind
- It is often helpful to extract the information on all individuals with the same surname in the same general area. If the surname is uncommon, it is likely that those living in the same area were related.
- Other family members may have lived nearby so you may want to search an entire town, neighboring towns, or even a county.
- Additional searches may be needed to locate all members of a particular family in the assessment rolls.
Unable to Find Your Ancestor?
- Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for nicknames and abbreviated names.
- Search the indexes and records of nearby localities.
- Try alternative search methods such as only filling in the surname search box (or the given name search box) on the landing page leaving the other box empty and then click on search. This should return a list of everyone with that particular name. You could then browse the list for individuals that may be your ancestor.
General Information About These Records
Governments created tax records that vary in content according to the purpose of the assessment. Most are based on personal property, real estate, and income. Taxes were collected to raise money for a variety of purposes. The tax assessments were made to determine how much money each property owner must pay. Tax records are usually reliable as they are kept by the county clerk who recorded the event at or very near the time it occurred.
Known Issues with This Collection
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 email@example.com. 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.
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Contributions to This Article
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Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
“Citations for individual image records are available for this collection. Browse through images in this collection and click on the “Show Citation” box: Texas, County Tax Rolls, 1846-1910
When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.
Citation for This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.
- "Texas, County Tax Rolls, 1846-1910." Index and Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing Comptroller's Office. State Archives, Austin.
Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection
- This page was last modified on 6 June 2014, at 17:22.
- This page has been accessed 5,754 times.
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