Texas, County Tax Rolls (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Texas, County Tax Rolls, 1837-1910 .
This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Texas, United States
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Flag of Texas
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Location of Texas
Record Description
Record Type Tax Rolls
Collection years 1837-1910
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites

What is in the Collection?

The collection consists of a selective index to tax rolls for 231 of 254 Texas counties for the years 1837 to 1910.

The years indexed include the first year for each county included prior to 1845, as well as 1845, 1855, 1865, 1875, 1885, 1890, 1895, and 1905. The index for this collection is 13% complete. Additional records will be added as they are completed.

  • Since these rolls are spaced between Federal censuses, they provide a valuable tool for finding information not found in the censuses. They are even more important as a tool for 1890s as we have very few census records for that time period.

There may be gaps of several years in the tax records of some counties. Ellis County, 1886, Images 114, 116, 118, 120, 122, 124, 126, 128, 130, 132, 134 are cut off on the left side. As a result the beginning of the surnames are missing. This problem is present in both the online images and the microfilm copies.

A part of this collection is being indexed in FamilySearch Indexing as a Partner Project with the Texas State Genealogical Society.

Collection Content

Image Visibility

Whenever possible, FamilySearch makes images available for all users. However, ultimate rights to view images on our website are granted by the record custodians. Images in this collection are available for viewing if you are a registered FamilySearch user. You can register for a free FamilySearch account here.

For additional information about image restrictions, please see the Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections page.

Sample Image

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. Taxes were collected to raise money for a variety of purposes. The tax assessments were made to determine how much money each property owner must pay. Tax records are usually reliable as they are kept by the county clerk who recorded the event at or very near the time it occurred.

What Can this Collection Tell Me?

Information in Texas tax records include:

  • Name of owner
  • Assessment number
  • Original grantee
  • Number of acres of land
  • Value
  • Town plot description
  • Name of city or town
  • Kind, number, and value of livestock
  • Kind, quantity, and value of farm commodities
  • Amount of state taxes
  • Amount of county taxes

How Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search it is helpful to know:

  • The name of your ancestor
  • Identifying information such as where they lived

Search by Name by visiting the Collection Page:
Fill in your ancestor’s name in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about those in the list to what you already know about your own ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person.

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:
To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page
⇒Select the "County/Precinct"
⇒Select the "Year range" which takes you to the images.

Look at each image. Again you will need to compare the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor.

Be aware that with either search you may need to compare the information about more than one person 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.
  • If your ancestor used an alias or a nickname, be sure to check for those alternate names.
  • Even though these indexes are very accurate they may still contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.

What Do I Do Next?

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.

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

  • 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 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.
  • 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.

I Can't Find Who I'm Looking for, What Now?

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for nicknames and abbreviated names.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby localities.
  • Try alternative search methods such as only filling in the surname search box (or the given name search box) on the landing page leaving the other box empty and then click on search. This should return a list of everyone with that particular name. You could then browse the list for individuals that may be your ancestor.

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.

Citing 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:

"Texas, County Tax Rolls, 1846-1910." Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Citing Comptroller's Office. State Archives, Austin.

Record citation (or citation for the index entry):

The citation for a record is available with each record in this collection, at the bottom of the record screen. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for Texas, County Tax Rolls, 1837-1910.

Image citation:

The image citation is available by clicking on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Texas, County Tax Rolls, 1837-1910.

How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

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.