EARLY TAX LISTS
Originally, as part of North Carolina and continuing with the establishment of a Tennessee state government in 1796, the county was divided into specific political sub-divisions or districts. These districts were designated by the names of the captains in the county militia and known as Captain’s Companies until 1835 when a new state constitution replaced the Captain’s Companies with Civil Districts, in which the county was divided into specific numbered districts.
Under either system, a person was designated by the County Court to collect the taxes in a specific district. Note that the compiler of the tax list (the tax collector) was not necessarily the captain of the company being enrolled. The tax-taker was appointed by the County Court and references to this can usually be found in the County Court minutes.
The tax lists found in this sub-series were compiled by the collector and filed with County Court and maintained by the County Clerk. When finished, the tax collector, after deducting his fee, turned the remaining monies collected over to the county sheriff. The sheriff during this period also acted as the county’s treasurer. The sheriff deducted his fee and forwarded the tax money to the state treasurer.
The tax lists vary from year to year as to the information provided, as this changed with changes in the law. Generally, the records list the individual’s name, the number of white polls, the number of black polls, acreage owned, and the tax. For some years additional information may include type and number of livestock (horses, cattle, etc.); cash held; etc. Later years seem to record more specific kinds of information. The tax lists are fairly extensive from 1778 into the mid-1820s with only scattered surviving lists thereafter.
It is our plan to begin uploading the earliest lists–1778 – 1799. Many of these pages were large and were scanned in sections. They have been uploaded in the order that they appeared in the document. Some lists were several pages sewn together with thread–amazing that this has survived for over 200 years! Just click on the thumbnail image to view full size. It is possible to enlarge the images to focus on specific names and enhance the clarity.
PLEASE NOTE–on some pages, there are penciled notes from the WPA (1935-1943) workers. We left these notes intact, as we felt the notes were also a part of history.
No surviving lists found for 1780
No surviving lists found for 1782 – 1786
No surviving lists found for 1789