Essex County, Virginia Land Owners and Tax Payers, 1814-1850 and Town Lots, 1782-1850


This work continues the presentation of land tax data by this compiler as found in Essex County, Virginia Land Tax Lists, 1782–1814. It combines into one paragraph, entries for each owner/taxpayer for the period 1814 to 1850. Information is presented in sequence of owner/taxpayer name, and is condensed thereunder from year to year, rather than being presented as a facsimile of the original record. Part of an 1827 list is damaged, therefore records are incomplete for that year. Page 16 is missing on microfilm for 1844, so the original was consulted at the Library of Virginia.

In October 1786, an Act of Assembly established districts in each Virginia county, positions of commissioners of revenue, and provisions for recordkeeping of land taxes to include the person’s name who owned the land, the number of and yearly rent of lots where a town was involved, quantity of land, tax rate of land per acre, total value of land exclusive of lots, and amount of tax at 1½ percent of the value. Beginning in 1814 the format and content for the data collected was greatly changed. It was generally sorted by the following column headings: name of owner of land, [that owner’s] residence, estate [whether held in fee, life, or right of wife, etc.], number of acres of land, description of land [neighboring owners, geographic features or tract name], distance and bearing from the courthouse, rate of land per acre, total value of land, amount of tax on land at 8.5 cents per $100 value, and explanations of alterations during the preceding year. Starting in 1816, town lots are accounted for on a separate page of the tax list. Beginning in 1851, a column was added to show the name of the land tract, and some of these have been inserted in 1850 entries.

The full-name and place index includes a heading “adjacent,” which may be used in building a neighborhood and separate neighbors or adjacent property owners from the taxpayers. Appendix A presents a summary of taxpayer activity for lots in the Town of Tappahannock and the Town of Laytons, 1782–1850.

Wesley E. Pippenger

2023, 8½x11, paper, index, 320 pp.

ISBN: 9780788429149