This book contains a reproduction of the land tax lists for Stafford County for the years 1782 through 1805. It has been created by use of online copies at Familysearch.org and microfilm and original copies at the Library of Virginia. Data are presented in sequence as found on the microfilm, including small numbers in pencil at the bottom of each pair of pages. After filming, these small numbers were changed from one continual sequence to pagination per individual list. From 1782, one will find two lists per year, which later typically represent two districts in the county. The earliest list in Stafford contains the name of the proprietors of the land (as the person taxed), the number of acres owned, the rate of value from which taxation was calculated, and the total tax assessed. For the years 1784 through 1786 only alterations were made to the 1783 and subsequent lists. The next list of alterations in Stafford is in 1792. A similar list of changes, called Alienations, is typically found for at least one of the districts up to 1805.
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. Many entries show the source of acquisition of the land, i.e., “Wm. Wright, for R.W. Carter,” doesn’t mean that Wright represents Carter, rather, Wright is now taxed in lieu of and acquired of Carter. Think of “for” being used as “from.” 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.
Wesley E. Pippenger
2020, 8½x11, paper, index, 440 pp.