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:
- return – a list of persons with taxable property without an assigned value listed
- 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.)
- rates – a list of persons with the amount of tax assigned to that individual
Types of individuals listed in tax records:
- landholder – someone who holds land by deed or lease
- inmate – a married or widowed, landless individual who may own taxable property (like a horse)
- freeman – single, free man at least 21 years of age
- 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.