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 “Learning about the past enriches the present, and students of all ages will enjoy digging into these historical documents.”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.


Program on Preserving and Storing Documents at TN State Library May 3

Preserving important family records will be easier than ever for people who attend the next in the Tennessee State Library and Archives' (TSLA) series of workshops. Carol Roberts, conservation manager in TSLA's Preservation Services Section, will host the workshop on basic cleaning, repair and storage techniques people can use to extend the life of important family papers, collections ... (click for more)

Catoosa County Historical Society Meeting April 14

The Catoosa County Historical Society will meet on Monday, April 14, at 7 PM in the Old Stone Church Museum, Ringgold, GA. The speaker, Steve McAllister, who resides in Madisonville, TN, will have a book signing after his presentation on the six primary flags of the Confederacy. The title of his book is  The War for Southern Independence; Truths and Facts That Have Been ... (click for more)

Man Shot On Cannon Avenue Early Saturday Morning

A man was shot early Saturday morning on Cannon Avenue. At approximately 5:30 a.m., Chattanooga Police responded to 2300 Cannon Ave. for shots fired.  Shortly after receiving the call, officers learned that a victim arrived at a local hospital.  The victim suffered a gunshot wound to the right leg and is undergoing treatment. The injury is not considered to be life-threatening.  ... (click for more)

Child Playing With Cigarette Lighter Starts $25,000 Mobile Home Fire

A child playing with a cigarette lighter started a mobile home fire on Saturday morning. At 9 a.m., the Chattanooga Fire Department responded to a mobile home fire at 6561 Cassie Lane. It took four fire companies about 10 minutes to get the fire under control. The fire was contained to one bedroom. No injuries were reported. Damage to the home is around $25,000. (click for more)

When The City Was Silent - And Response

I don't know how to say this without getting my head handed back to me on a platter as is often the usual case. But at least I no longer receive the hateful (even threatening) emails and insults I became accustomed to. So I'll just bite and say it: I honestly don't see anything expressed by the NSM that hasn't been said locally on some level at one time or another, and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: VW-UAW Fiasco Begins

One pundit who is awaiting the opening volleys of “The Volkswagen Hearings” is calling today’s start of the labor union fiasco at the Hamilton County Courthouse as fascism at its finest. That’s what you call it, he wrote in a fiery way, when the union, the employer and the president of the United States all line up on the same side. “And this push to eviscerate the legal rights ... (click for more)