Tax Record Definitions

I found these definitions listed on the Chester County [PA] Archives website and found them very helpful. So, I thought I’d share them.

Types of tax records:

  1. return – a list of persons with taxable property without an assigned value listed
  2. assessment – a list of persons with taxable property which includes the assigned values, also may include the amount of various types of property (land, including types of land; cattle, sheep, horses, etc.)
  3. rates – a list of persons with the amount of tax assigned to that individual

Types of individuals listed in tax records:

  1. landholder – someone who holds land by deed or lease
  2. inmate – a married or widowed, landless individual who may own taxable property (like a horse)
  3. freeman – single, free man at least 21 years of age
  4. nonresident landowner – the owner of unoccupied land

I find this list particularly helpful. I’ve always wondered at the definition of “inmate” and how old a man had to be before he was officially “of age” and therefore could be listed in tax records.  Can I also assume he couldn’t own property on his own (without a guardian) until he was 21? If you know, please leave a comment.


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, "Tax Record Definitions," A Pennsylvania Dutch Genealogy, the genealogy & family research site of Kris Hocker, modified 18 Sep 2009 ( : accessed 9 Oct 2015).

Content copyright © 2009 Kris Hocker. Please do not copy without prior permission, attribution, and link back to this page.

1 Comment

  1. Wilma Dibelka

    What a treasure KrisHocker is. I am by no means an expert and this site is full of interestingly presented information. Thenk yiou ! ! !

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