England, Kent, Land Tax Assessments (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: England, Kent, Land Tax Assessments, 1780-1832 .
The collection consists of land tax assessments for the County of Kent.
The Land Tax was first regularlarly imposed in in 1697, (based on a 1692 assessment) the first records from 1698 were early and defective attempts at compiling records and few survive nationally; the kent collection illustrates this in isolated places. Anomalies arose, leaving rural areas too heavily taxed compared with the new industrial districts. In 1772, the returns were altered to incorporate a list of all occupiers of land in each parish.
In 1780 duplicates had to be lodged with the Clerk of the peace, in order to establish the qualification to vote in parliamentary elections.
In 1782 a further column was added to show the proprietor of each building. These deposited records continue until 1832.
In 1826 until abolition of the tax in 1832 a further column was added to describe the property on which the tax was levied.
Documents consist of Assessments and Returns; the former show assessed value of the land, the latter the ammounts actually collected. The clerks are known to reverse columns so the record can be misleading because columns for proprietors and tenants can be reversed and it is therefore advisable to search previous and subsequent years for comparison and to detect such errors in compilation.
In 1798 landowners were allowed to buy themselves out of liability by a lump sum of 15 years purchase, but until 1832 "exonerated" owners appear in the lists; "Exonerated holings" from 1798 until about 1815 are usually found at the end of the parish return.
The records from 1780 were stored in the county record office, usually in annual volumes or 'bundles' with parishes grouped in the Hundreds of Kent.
Kent also has a number of boroughs which are part of the Ancient Hundreds. A reliable contemporary account to assist in identifying these boroughs which may overlap Ancient and Eccelsiastical Parishes is Edward Hasted's History and Topographical Survey of Kent published between 1797 and 1801. The FamilySearch image collection may present more than one series of images for a parish if the hamlet or borough sub-divisions overlap parishes.
It is worth also considering The National Archive collection under reference IR23 which contains a copy of the Land Tax Assessments for the whole country for 1798 and may be useful asa locator for Proprietors, occupiers and Summs assessed only but can help locate the whereabouts at the turn of the century of people. A further search in the county, hundred and parish and sub-division for boroughs and hamlets may then enable the person to be traced over several years.
The information found varies by parish and year. It may include any of the following:
- Name of the place
- Name of landlord, proprietors, or landowners
- Names of the occupiers or tenants
- Occupations such as minister or businessman
- Yearly rent (in pounds)
- Yearly or quarterly tax assessed (in pounds and shillings)
Some years may also include
- Name or names of the assessors
- Names of those who approved the taxes
Later years may also give:
- Name of property
- Description of property
How to Use the Records
To begin your search it is helpful to know the following:
- Parish of residence
Search the Collection
To search the collection you will need follow this series of links:
⇒"Browse" link in the initial search page
⇒"Kent" link which takes you to a list of parishes
⇒Select the appropriate parish
⇒"Land Tax Assessment" link which takes you to the images
The arrangement of the Way points for certain boroughs in the county may at first appear confusing in the FamilySearch presentation as it does not follow the annual volume/bundles arrangement of the original storage. Boroughs within the Hundreds of the county are not immediately apparent and the relationship to parishes in some cases is not evident without a geographical knowledge of the county in the period 1780-1832. Within the parish pages under the Land Tax heading links to boroughs are outlined to assist your search.
Look at the images one by one comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which is your ancestor. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination.
Using the Information
When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. Save a copy of the image or transcribe the information. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details such as a title, an occupation, or land ownership. Add this new information to your records of each family. The information may also lead you to other records about your ancestors.
- Use these records to find male ancestors (and some female, where no male head of house existed). The records will reveal where they lived and clues to their lifestyle.
- Use the place and names to locate census records for the time period. Census records are taken every ten years. The first to list names was in 1841. For additional information on censues of England see the wiki article England Census.
Tips to Keep in Mind
- Titles may be clues to property ownership, occupations, rank or status within the community.
- If your ancestor was both the landlord and occupier, they generally owned the land.
- If the property was an estate, there may be manorial records.
- If it was a business, there may be other commercial records.
- If you are unable to find the ancestors you are looking for, check for nicknames and variant spellings or abbreviations of the names.
Related Wiki Articles
Contributions to This Article
Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.
Citation Example for Records Found in This Collection
"England, Kent, Land Assessments, 1689-1832:" images, FamilySearch (https://www.familsearch.org: accessed 8 February 2011); entry for Thomas Pope, Cold Harbour, 15 May 1780; citing Land Tax Records, Kent, Bishipsbourne, Land tax assessments, 1780-`839, Image 1; Kent Archives, Maidstone, England.
Citation for This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the data and images published on FamilySearch.org Historical Records. It may include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.
England. Kent, Land Tax Assessments, 1780-1832. Kent Archives. Land Tax Assessments. Kent Archives, Maidstone, England.
Information on adding citations of records used by the FamilySearch Wiki is also listed in the wiki article Help:How to Create Source Citations For FamilySearch Historical Records Collections.
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