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Many early New York tax lists, including burgher and freemen lists, exist back to about 1675. Tax records can substitute for census records as tools to locate where a family lived. The Family History Library has tax lists from the early 1700s for Dutchess County, New York City, and some other areas. The state archives has tax lists for the 1770s and 1780s, and Tax Assessment Rolls of Real Estate and Personal Estates for 1799–1804. These are based on the Federal Direct Tax of 1798 and list all males over the age of 21. They are arranged by county, year, and town and are based on the Federal Direct Tax of 1798. They list all males over the age of 21. Tax lists from about 1850–1870 are filed in town clerk and county treasurers' offices, but they are not available on microfilm. The New York 1798 direct tax lists have not been located.
Some tax lists for the 1700s have been published in The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record. Some early New York City lists are in New York Historical Society, Tax Lists of the City of New York, December 1695 to July 15, 1699, in the series Collections of the New York Historical Society, Volume 43–44 (New York, New York: The New-York Historical Society, 1911–12). FHL Book 974.7 B4n v. 43–44; FHL Film 845302 item 3–4).
The National Archives (Washington, D.C.) and the Family History Library have microfilm copies of the Assessment Lists of the Federal Bureau of Internal Revenue, 1862 to 1866 . FHL Films 1534827–930, FHL Films 1549027–102). They are not indexed, but they are arranged by county. These lists are useful for locating a person's residence during the Civil War.
The National Archives Northeast Region (Boston) has assessment lists for New York, 1862–1917. These lists generally contain the names of the taxpayers (individuals and corporations), city of residence, articles or occupations taxed, and the amounts assessed and collected. The taxes during the Civil War were gradually abolished until only taxes on liquor and tobacco remained in 1883. Corporate income taxes began in 1909. A draft inventory of these records is available on microfiche from the archives.
For Further Reading
William Dollarhide, New York State Censuses & Substitutes: An Annotated Bibliography of State Censuses, Census Substitutes, and Selected Name Lists in Print, on Microform, or Online; with County Boundary Maps, 1683-1915; and State Census Examples and Extraction Forms, 1825-1925, (Bountiful, Utah: Heritage Creations, c2005) - a county by county listing citing many tax lists that are hidden in books and periodicals.
Henry B. Hoff, “Pre-1750 New York Lists: Censuses, Assessment Rolls, Oaths of Allegiance, and Other Lists, The NYG&B Newsletter 3(1992): 20-22
Roger D. Joslyn, “New York State Tax Records 1799-1804: A Newly Available Resource for Genealogists,” The NYG&B Newsletter 1(Spring 1990):5
Roger D. Joslyn, “New York State Censuses and Tax Lists,” The NYG&B Newsletter 9(1998): 17-19
Roger D. Joslyn, “Court Records,” in Alice Eichholz, PhD, CG, ed., Ancestry’s Red Book, 3rd Edition, 2004, p. 480; gives a brief overview of court records in New York State.
Nancy S. Peterson, “Early Dutchess County Tax Lists, 1717-1779,” The New York Researcher, 15(Spring/Summer 2004): 33-34.
“New York City Assessment Rolls 1699-1734” at New York Genealogical and Biographical Society on the Society’s Website http://www.nygbs.org/public-researchtool.
[Select “Research Aid Articles” from The NYG&B Newsletter and The New York Researcher are available to members of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society on the Society’s Website http://www.nygbs.org/public-researchtool . Many of these articles have been updated since their original publication in the paper newsletter.]
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