Essex County, Virginia Land Tax Lists, 1782-1814


This book contains a reproduction of the land tax lists for Essex County for the years 1782 through 1814. It has been created by use of microfilm copies from the Library of Virginia with exception of year 1805 where microfilm copies are incomplete and the original record was consulted. For the years 1783 through 1786 only alterations were made to the 1782 and subsequent lists. A separate listing of yearly alterations in Essex stops after 1791. The earliest list in Essex contains the name of the owners of the land (as the person taxed), the number of acres owned, the rate of value from which taxation was calculated, and the total value of the land. Initially the local sheriff(s) created the list.

In October 1786, an Act of Assembly established districts in each county, positions of commissioners of revenue, and for recordkeeping of land taxes to include persons’ names owning land, the number of and yearly rent of lots where a town was involved, quantity of land, rate of land per acre, total value of land exclusive of lots, and amount of tax at 1½ percent of the value.

Recordkeepers often made notations to distinguish multiple persons with the same name. Entries for the same owner through the years may shift to including “Estate” or “Est.” to indicate a recent death of the owner, and remain on the list until the estate is settled. For genealogical researchers, land tax records may help distinguish between individuals by the same name living in a locality at the same time. Land ownership may be tracked between family members. Some references, notations and estate divisions may be found here when not readily located in deed books. A full-name, place and subject index adds to the value of this work.

Wesley E. Pippenger

2020, 8½x11, paper, index, 506 pp.

ISBN: 9780788405495