Early Tennessee Tax Lists Now Online

Monday, April 15, 2013

April 15 can be a taxing day for all of us living in modern times, but our ancestors didn’t have it much easier. Although federal income tax only dates back to the Civil War era, Tennesseans have been paying state and local taxes since long before then.

Now Tennessee tax records dating back to 1783 are available free online to Tennesseans, thanks to a partnership between the Tennessee State Library and Archives and Ancestry.com. The online database contains records from 71 of Tennessee’s 95 counties. Famous notables like Andrew Jackson (who paid $66 in taxes to Davidson County in 1829) appear side by side with ordinary farmers, millers and laborers.

Tennessee law did not require tax lists to be kept permanently, so many of the early records have been destroyed. However, those that survived are excellent tools for historical and genealogical research. The database contains many tax lists for some counties, but just one or two for others.

The tax records include other information about people that researchers may find helpful. The tax lists in the database have the names of white males over age 21 for each of the counties, along with additional information about each listed person’s land, slaves, and other property.

The records also show the different types of taxes levied through the years. In some years, the state assessed a tax on each carriage. In others, owners of stud horses had to pay an additional levy. The lists show which taxpayers had these “luxuries” along with the number of acres and town lots owned. This information can be useful for locating ancestors and learning about their financial circumstances.

“I’m pleased that we were able to partner with Ancestry to provide this information free to Tennesseans,” Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. “Learning about the past enriches the present, and students of all ages will enjoy digging into these historical documents.”

The database contains 262,784 records and 7,720 images.  The link for the tax list database is: http://search.ancestry.com/iexec/?htx=List&dbid=2883.


Sons of Co-owner of Service Auto Parts Share Their Memories

Don and David Maddox, sons of Service Auto parts co-founder Owen Maddox, shared their memories in response to my recent article on the business. From Don: Again, thanks for putting this in the Chattanoogan. It brought back many good memories of the days I worked with my father selling auto parts here in Chattanooga. Both Hollin Williams and my father, Owen Maddox ... (click for more)

Service Auto Parts Once Kept Chattanooga's Cars Running

When I think about working on cars, I think of the times that I helped my father (or vice versa, after I started driving).  Engines were simpler then, with enough space under the hood for a mother cat and kittens to ride as stowaways one day to my father's work.  "Where is that meowing coming from?" he thought.  Fortunately, the felines were fine, though their nine ... (click for more)

EPB Files With FCC To Expand TV, Phone, Internet Offerings Outside Electric Service Area

 EPB announced Thursday that it has filed a petition to the FCC "in an effort to respond to neighboring communities’ requests for access to the company’s gigabit enabled high-speed Internet service." Officials said, "EPB offers high-speed Internet access, video programming and voice services using a fiber optic communications network that allows the company to deliver these ... (click for more)

Black Creek Developers Say They "Followed The Rules" On $9 Million TIF: To Continue Project

The developers of the Black Creek project at Aetna Mountain said Thursday they "complied precisely by the rules when we applied for and received approval of the TIF district." Doug Stein said the group plans to continue on with the project, which he said earlier would include the creation of a small town on a huge undeveloped tract on the mountain above Black Creek (formerly ... (click for more)

Cell Phones And Roundabouts

I read the article written by Chris Morgan about the use of cell phones in vehicles and the Chattanooga Roundabouts. Cell phone use in vehicles especially in crisis intersection situations is extremely dangerous. I also agree with his assessment about the roundabouts. One problem I see with roundabouts is that on the two-lane roundabouts where they are coming in from ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The NCAA’s “Division IV”

Jonathan Jensen and Brian Turner are two very smart guys. Not long ago the two sports researchers at Ohio State authored a story that appeared in the Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports that focused on the most successful college football teams in the country and, earlier this week, a writer named Ben Cohen broke it down in understandable terms for a fascinating Wall Street ... (click for more)