United States, Internal Revenue Assessment Lists (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.

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Record Description

The collection consists of images of internal revenue assessment lists (annual, monthly and special) arranged by state and collection district. Based on the Internal Revenue Act of July 1, 1862 authorizing the collection of monthly and annual taxes on goods, services, licenses, income and personal property. The assessments were used to raise money for the Civil War. This collection consists of multiple state NARA microfilm publications from Record Group 58 Records of the Internal Revenue Service. It covers the years 1862 to 1874.

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for United States, Internal Revenue Assessment Lists, 1862-1874.

Record Content

Information found in this collection may include:

  • Date
  • Name
  • Residence
  • Property, license, or goods
  • Value
  • Amount of tax
  • May also list profession, occupation, or trade

How to Use the Record

Tax records are usually used to supplement census records. To begin your search you will need to know the following:

  • Name
  • Residence

Search the Collection

To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page
⇒Select the "State or Territory (NARA Publication Number)"
⇒Select the "County or City"
⇒Select the "NARA Roll Number and Description"  which takes you to the images

Look at each image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors 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.

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 use the name and residence of the taxpayer to locate land records and census records. Some other clues that may help you are

  • The description of property, license, or goods 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 employment records or other types of records such as 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 as well as nick-names.
  • Look for an index. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records.
  • Search the records of nearby counties.

Additional Information About These Records

The following information is from the National Archives and Records Administration

The 1862 organizational structure of the Internal Revenue districts in the State of Virginia and the new State of West Virginia remained the same even after West Virginia was admitted to the Union in 1863.

The records of the following five of the counties that comprised the eastern panhandle of the new state have been included as part of the records of District 3 of Virginia.

  • Morgan
  • Berkeley
  • Jefferson
  • Hampshire
  • Hardy

After the reorganization of the Internal Revenue districts of the two states on May 3, 1865, the records pertaining to these counties are included with the West Virginia assessment returns.

Known Issues with This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

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 support@familysearch.org. 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.

Related Websites

Related Wiki Articles

United States Taxation

How You Can Contribute

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.

Citations for This Collection

Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.

Collection Citation:

"United States, Internal Revenue Assessment Lists, 1862-1874." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2015. Citing Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.

Image Citation:

The citation for an image is available on each image in this collection by clicking Show Citation at the bottom left of the image screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for United States, Internal Revenue Assessment Lists, 1862-1874.


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  • This page was last modified on 1 September 2015, at 15:44.
  • This page has been accessed 2,875 times.