Ohio 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: Ohio Tax Records 1800-1850 .
Collection Time Period
The records in this collection cover the years 1800 to 1850. However, the majority of the are for the years 1816 through 1838.
The records include an index and images of taxation records as recorded with the County Auditor of each county. Entries are recorded in voucher books, one person per page. Included are the following Ohio counties:
Genealogical information in Ohio 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
Tax records are usually used to supplement census records. Begin your search by finding your ancestors in the index to the assessments. It is helpful to know the following information:
- Time period
Use the locator information in the index (such as page number or assessment number) to locate your ancestors in the assessment rolls. Some on-line indexes, such as indexes to FamilySearch Historical Records, will take you directly to an image. Compare the information in the assessment to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct person. You may need to compare the information of more than one person to make this determination. Be aware that as with any index, transcription errors may occur.
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. 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.
Some other tips to keep in mind are:
- 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.
Governments created tax records that vary in content according to the purpose of the assessment. Most are based on personal property, real estate, and income. There may be gaps of several years in the tax records of some counties. Numerous families lived in Ohio and owned taxable property.
Why This Record Was Created
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.
Related Web Sites
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Contributions to This Article
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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: How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.
Examples of Source Citations for a Record in This Collection
"Ohio Tax Records, 1800-1850." index and images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org): accessed 29 April 2011. entry for Abraham Grafton; citing Tax Records, FHL microfilm 16,609; Jefferson County Courthouse, Steubenville, Ohio.
Sources of Information for This Collection
"Ohio Tax Records, 1816-1838", index and images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org); Digital copies of originals housed in County Auditors in various counties throughout Ohio.