Ancestry.com has a database on their site titled “Tennessee Early Tax List Records, 1783-1895.” The years covered for specific counties varies greatly from one county to another and users of the database need to be aware that not all counties have lists from 1783 through 1895.
The images in this post are for individuals from Davidson County in 1811:
- Aquilla Jones
- Absolom Hooper Senr.
- Nemiah Hooper
They are listed in a portion of the 1811 tax list for Davidson County taken by Samuel Shannon in what appears to be the region of the county that contained Capt. Cloyd’s Militia. The numbers are only significant as a means to count the number of taxable men. Care was taken to not just include the names of interest in the image.
Jones married a daughter of Absalom Hooper, Senr. The proximity of the Jones and Hooper names on the list would lead one to infer that they lived somewhat close to one another. However it’s possible they didn’t. All the list explicitly states is that they are living in Cloyd’s district. The size of the district is not stated, but determining how many names are in the district would give a idea of how large it was. Any statements made suggesting that the Hoopers and Jones lived as neighbors should reference their proximity on the tax list as the reason.
Moving earlier in the list located the heading for this 1811 list from Davidson County. It indicates that the list is of “free taxable inhabitants” in Davidson County. It is possible that the 1811 act is more specific in terms of who qualifies as a “free taxable inhabitant.”
Lessons from what’s currently available on Ancestry.com‘s “Tennessee Early Tax List Records, 1783-1895:”
- Don’t just copy the name of the person of interest
- Determine what part of the list your ancestor is on. There may be geographic clues in that list–emphasis on maybe.
- Find the heading for the entire county–there may be additional clues there.
- Learn about who was included in the list–what got someone listed.
- Don’t just search the index–determine what years are included for your specific county of interest.
- Download adequate citation information as well–county, year, page, and district within the county.
6 thoughts on “Ancestry.com’s Early Tennessee Tax List Records, 1783-1895”
Such tax lists may not have been compiled by the responsible person’s actually visiting neighborhoods. Some were based on lists made during a militia muster, in which case those appearing might have been asked who wasn’t there, or additions might have been made from prior tax rolls or from consulting recent land records filed.
Some tax lists do include the invaluable dates of visitation.
But no assumptions can be made about physical proximity of the assessed without more information than just a list of names.
This Tax List is ONLY for Tennessee.
You are correct, Micky. For some reason the word “Tennessee” didn’t come across when I copied the title. Thanks for commenting.
The third arrow on the image above is pointing to “Nimrod Hooper” and not “Nemiah Hooper” – I have seen a better image on microfilm and am confident of that difference. As you know, Nimrod was a son of Absolom Hooper, Sr., as indicated by the father in his 1811 will.
And as you have noted, neighbors are important too. These men were in Captain CLOYD’s district. Absalom Hooper’s daughter Letitia “Letty” Hooper (Cooke) had married in Davidson County on 16 Apr 1798 to Aquilla Jones. This Jones family later migrated to Howard County, Missouri. Among the children of Letty and Aquilla Jones were Wiley Jones (b. 1799) and Matilda (Linney) Jones (b. 1807). Gilbert Marshall CLOYD md Matilda Jones on 4 June 1822 in Missouri. Wiley Jones had married Margaret Scott CLOYD.
Su Lynn Hanson says:
I am having difficulty with the 1805 Early Tax List for Davidson County as well. There are two headers to the columns…one I believe is free white males, the other looks like 2 words, the second being possibly slaves.
Also there are other names in the line which I cannot read. Tried to call the Main Library…they are closed because of the winter storm. Thanks
Let me look and see if I can find the answer to this out. If you do before I do, please post here. Thanks.