Orange County, Virginia Land Tax Book, 1791-1795
Ruth and Sam Sparacio
Land tax records contain the name of the property owner, quantity of land owned, location of land, amount of tax imposed, or changes in ownership. By comparing land tax records from year to year, it may be possible to determine social, economic, and agricultural history, and possibly the status of certain individuals or groups of landowners within a locality.
For genealogical researchers, land tax records may help distinguish between individuals by the same name living in a locality at the same time. Men with the same name can be differentiated between by their location or by owning different acreage.
Land tax records are a substitute for records in those counties where destruction of the original deeds, wills and other records has occurred. By studying the lists from year to year, the researcher may trace an ancestor to determine the date of departure from the locality, or possibly, the year of death. The name of a taxpayer will continue on the tax list, noted as “deceased” or “estate,” until the estate is settled. Careful reading of marginal notes and the entries for other taxpayers who might have inherited or received land from the deceased’s estate can help support evidence about genealogical relationships gathered from other sources.
(1996), 2017, 8½x11, paper, 110 pp.