King and Queen County, Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists, 1782-1803


This book contains a reproduction of the personal property tax lists for King and Queen County, Virginia for the years 1782 through 1803. For the most part, it has been created using digital copies at, except a few original pages missing from microfilm. The earliest list in King and Queen contains the name of the Proprietor (person paying the tax) and taxable Negroes, the number of: white tithes, Negroes, horses, cattle, wheels, ordinary licenses, and (after a few years), billiard tables and store licenses. Before 1787, the local sheriff created the list. The multiple 1785 lists account for white males over age twenty-one only, while the 1783 lists are a composite of “white souls” and white tithes over age twenty-one. Most of the 1783 lists detail the name of each tithable, including whites above age twenty-one and slaves.

The year 1786 was a big deal for tax and financial reform in Virginia. Provisions were refined for land and personal property, and reflected arrearages, delinquents, claims by military officers and their widows and orphans, court and clerk’s fees, and tax on houses and town lots, merchant licenses, spirits and wines, imported goods, etc. The nitty gritty got all the way to the number of wheels on carriages.

There are six different lists for 1782–1784, and seven for 1785 and 1786, which are by hundred (district) or parish, and generally go from north to south in the county; with the first hundred being the top of the county, and the sixth hundred being the lower part of the county. In and after 1787 there are two lists, one for the upper part of the county and one for the lower part of the county. The dividing line between the two districts is seemingly mid-county, as the upper district includes all of Drysdale Parish and part of St. Stephens Parish — causing the record-keeper to append duplicate names with notes like De. (Drysdale) or S.S. (St. Stephens). Other notations behind the name of the taxable person may (but not always) indicate their profession or occupation, like (C) for constable, (T) for tailor, or (B) for blacksmith.

For genealogical researchers, tax records may help distinguish between individuals by the same name living in a locality at the same time. Some references, notations and evidence of estate divisions may be found here when not readily located in any of the few court records that have survived multiple fires at the King and Queen County courthouse. Plus, the tax record for 1790 and 1800 serves as a replacement for lost Federal census records. An index to full-names, places and subjects adds value to this work.

Wesley E. Pippenger

2021, 8½x11, paper, index, 502 pp.

ISBN: 9780788409783