Bracken County Tax Rolls
Bracken County Tax Rolls
Scanned and contributed by Marla McCullough, KYGenWeb Bracken County Coordinator
Since 1790, as a requirement of the U.S. Constitution, in years ending in "0," census takers have gone out into the field to count noses. Beginner genealogists are told to start their public records research with these decennial federal census enumerations. The census records do, indeed, provide one means of pinpointing the location of a family, but they are far from comprehensive. What if the family you are seeking was overlooked? What if the census taker misspelled the surname so badly that it's beyond recognition? What about the nine years between federal census enumerations? A lot can happen in that time. Most baffling, what if your family lived in one of many states whose 1790, 1800 and/or 1890 enumerations were lost or destroyed as is the case with Kentucky?
Researchers of Kentucky families have been given a gift not available in some other states, in the form of the annual county tax assessment records. Like us, our ancestors no doubt grumbled about their taxes, but their economic pain left us one of the best sources of information about the earliest Kentucky residents. The tax records reveal a lot more than the early census records. They are a year-by-year snapshot of movement within the commonwealth. They help track down ancestors affected by sudden population growth and the need to carve new counties from parts of other counties. They offer insight into the financial condition of a family. Depending on the way the tax enumerator laid out his books, it may be possible to extrapolate many details. For example, the names of watercourses and the person who filed the original land title entry may help pinpoint a deed and location of land your ancestor owned. Some tax books show the date the tax man visited your ancestor. By abstracting all names of persons visited that day you can reconstruct your ancestor's neighborhood, and possibly find his (and, yes, her) relatives.
Scanning and cropping these images is very time consuming, and it isn't feasible to put all years on-line. As time permits, I plan to add years ending in "5" to bridge the halfway point between the federal census enumerations. I make no guarantees about the legibility of all images. Some old tax books are in terrible condition; torn, water damaged and chewed by insects. Please do not contact me to help interpret a name, as the image you see represents my best effort to make the writing legible.
To browse 1805 Bracken County Tax Rolls alphabetically by surname, jump to:
Film Start - Title Page - A, B - B, C - C - C, D - D, E, F - G, H - H - H, I, J, K - K, L - L, M - M - M, N, O - O, P - P, R - S - S, T - U, W - W, Y - Late Stragglers - Summary
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