Massachusetts, Boston Tax Records (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: Massachusetts, Boston Tax Records, 1822-1918 .
This collection contains tax records, transfer books, tax books, and assessor's lists from the Boston City Archives. The records in this collection cover the years 1822 to 1918. (Parallel tax book series for years before 1822 when Boston was incorporated as a City, are at the Boston Public Library, Rare Books and Manuscripts Division.)
Genealogical information in tax records includes:
- Legal description of real and personal property
- Names and ages of property owners and possible relationships
- Time periods when families resided in Ohio
- Occupation of the property owner
- Places of residence
- Names of other relatives
- Additional information associated with the property
How to Use the Record
To begin your search it is helpful to know the following:
Search the Collection
To search the collection image by image select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒Select the appropriate "Record Category"
⇒Select the appropriate "Record Type, Year Range, and Volume" which takes you to the images.
Search the collection by image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one 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 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.
- Known 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 surnames.
- Look for an index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records.
- Search the indexes and records of nearby localities.
General Information About These Records
Tax records are based on the property owned by people. Only the person who owned the taxable property was listed on the tax record; other residents, living on the property, were not listed.
Tax records are considered a primary source. They are usually reliable because they are kept by the county clerk in the local courthouse, who usually recorded the event at or very near the time it occurred.
The information given in town land records is generally reliable, although there may be errors made in transcribing the town’s copy from the original deed.
|Boston Massachusetts genealogy|
Boston Tax and Assessor's Records
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Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
When you copy information from a record, you should also 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.
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 a Record Found in This Collection
|This citation example isn't from this collection. You can help by replacing this example with a citation for a record found in this collection.|
“Argentina, Buenos Aires, Catholic Church Records, 1635-1981,” images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/: accessed 28 February, 2012), La Plata > San Ponciano > Matrimonios 1884-1886 > image 71 of 389 images, Artemio Avendano and Clementina Peralta, 1884; citing Parroquia de San Ponciano en la Plata, Buenos Aires, Matrimonios, San Ponciano, La Plata.
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.
- City Clerk. Massachusetts, Boston Tax Records. City Clerk, Boston, Massachusetts.