Early Mason County Tithables
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|After Mason County was formed in 1789, the tax man wasted no time calling on Mason County residents. The first tax roll was taken in 1790 and is only 8 pages. As testament to the growth of the county, the next four years were 10, 25, 23 and 41 pages, respectively. Virtually everybody had some taxable property, even if it was only a horse or cow. All years are organized alphabetically, making the list easy to search. Some years show the date the tax man visited the neighborhood, a clue to neighbors who may have been relatives.|
The county tax rolls are a wonderful substitute for Kentucky's lost 1790 and 1800 U.S. Census enumerations. Taken annually, they track the movement of ancestors and their extended family groups, and provide a glimpse of the level of the family's prosperity.
The earliest original tax books are well over 200 years old. The ink has faded with age and many have extensive water damage. On some especially faded spots, I used Adobe PhotoShop to raise the contrast in an effort to interpret the writing. These are noted in the page list below. I also used Photoshop to invert (negative to positive), which may help in figuring out some names. If you can't read a name one way, try the inverse version.
More years will be put on-line as time permits, so please keep checking this site.