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Friday, November 15, 2013

Genealogists: Don't forget Tax Digests

Genealogists should not bypass the county tax digests. On the surface it appears that there is very little information in the tax records.  However, first of all, it establishes the timeline of your ancestor's residence in the county.  Nothing is indexed here, rather set up by districts.  You have to comb through each page separately.  Be sure and write down each person having your surname and the information to the right of it, which provides the number of acres, county where it is located, streams and waterways, and names of neighbors.  Usually, the last entries inn the book are defaulters.  That means that they did not pay their property tax for that year.  So what next?  Note the acreage.  If it is 202 1/2 acres, it was drawn in a land lottery. (Go to the land lottery books next, because you can look up the actual plat). 101-1/4 acres is where someone purchased 1/2 of a land lottery from a legitimate drawer.  The names of neighbors should be noted.  Seems like you did not gather much information. However, next go to the deed records.

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