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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. are available online at FHL.

There are New York City Assessment Rolls from 1699 to 1734. These can be found in the NYGBS Collection held at the New York Public Library, as well as in the Family History Library's Film 484033. There are also select assessments available online at FHL. These assessment rolls are a great finding aid to locate someone that was a city resident and finding the ward they belonged to, and includes renters and owners. There is a break in the years from 1710 to 1720.[1]

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.

Web Sites

For Further Reading

Dollarhide, William and Gordon Lewis Remington. New York State Censuses and 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, 2005) - a county by county listing citing many tax lists that are hidden in books and periodicals. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 974.7 X23d.

Hoff, Henry B. “Pre-1750 New York Lists: Censuses, Assessment Rolls, Oaths of Allegiance, and Other Lists, The NYGB Newsletter 3(1992): 20-22. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 974.71 D25n v. 1–6.

Joslyn, Roger D. “New York State Tax Records 1799-1804: A Newly Available Resource for Genealogists,” The NYGB Newsletter 1(Spring 1990):5. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 974.71 D25n v. 1–6.

Joslyn, Roger D. “New York State Censuses and Tax Lists,” The NYGB Newsletter 9(1998): 17-19. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 974.71 D25n v. 8–10.

Joslyn, Roger D. “Tax Records,” in Alice Eichholz, Red Book: American State, County and Town Sources, 3rd ed. (Salt Lake City: Ancestry Publishing, 2004)p. 480. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27rb 2004. Gives a brief overview of tax records in New York State.

Macy Jr., Harry. “New York City Assessment Rolls 1699-1734”,The NYGB Newsletter 3(Fall 1996): 26. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 974.71 D25n v.7.
Updated version at the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society on the Society’s Website. This is listed under “Research Aid Articles”.

Peterson, Nancy S. “Early Dutchess County Tax Lists, 1717-1779,” The New York Researcher, 15(Spring/Summer 2004): 33-34. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 974.71 D25n vol. 15–17.


  1. Harry Macy Jr., “New York City Assessment Rolls 1699-1734”,The NYGB Newsletter 3(Fall 1996): 26. At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 974.71 D25n v.7. Updated version at the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society on the Society’s Website. This is listed under “Research Aid Articles”.

 

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