Friday, April 18, 2014

How Cabarrus Tax Records Can Supplement 
the 1890 Census

The 1890 census was the first to use punchcards and an electrical
tabulation system. (National Archives: Courtesy Bureau of the Census
)
Now that we have made it past April 15, here is a more pleasant way to think about tax records! As most researchers know, the 1890 census was destroyed by fire. Only three North Carolina townships, two in Gaston County and one in Cleveland County, survived the 1921 fire in the Commerce Department Building in Washington, D. C. Many genealogists have hit a brick wall when confronted with the twenty year gap between the 1880 and 1900 censuses.

As a partial substitute for the 1890 census, the Cabarrus County Tax Scroll showing heads of household is better than no list at all. By 1883, the Cabarrus Scroll lists the taxable head of household by name, race and age, if male. It also shows property by acreage, location and value, as well as numerous personal property categories.

Examples from Cabarrus County Tax Scroll, 1890
  • Township No. 4 (Kannapolis Area)
    D. M. Isenhour, white male, aged 55, owns 167 acres, valued at $1275, on Astons Run. He has three mules at $160, 8 cattle at $50, and 9 hogs at $20. Farming utensils and tools are valued at $175 and all other personal property totals $90. Isenhour's county tax is $4.63 and his township tax is $1.04.
  • Township No. 8 (Mt. Pleasant area)
    Mathew Peatrea, white male, aged 77, owns 143 acres, valued at $1000, near St. John's Church. He has one horse at $35, 5 cattle at $30, and 4 hogs at $10. Farming utensils and tools are valued at $115 and all other personal property totals $60. Peatrea's county tax is $3.22 and his township tax is $1.04.
  • Township No. 12 (Town of Concord)
    Robert McRee is a black male, aged 60. He owns one town lot near Scotia Seminary, valued at $600. He also has 4 hogs at $5.00 and other personal property totaling $50. McRee's county tax is $1.71 and his township tax is 55¢.

    V. Y. Suther, white male, aged 31, owns one town lot, valued at $100, which is his residence. No location is given. His personal property is valued at $50. Suther's county tax is $1.18 and his township tax is 38¢.

    Betty White is a black female whose age is not given because women are exempt from poll (or head) taxes. She owns a town lot near Robert McRee, valued at $100. With no other personal property listed, White's county tax is $1.71 and her township tax is 55¢.
Cabarrus County Tax Scrolls for 1872-1888, 1890-1895 and 1897-1898, are available on microfilm at the Concord Library, Lore History Room.

Courtesy of the Concord Library, Lore History Room

2 comments:

  1. Is it available on line? Is it indexed? Is the same true for Rowan County? Thanks.
    Rev. Tom Ford
    Altadena, CA

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    Replies
    1. Tax assessment records for 1890 are available on the Concord Library-Lore History Room website: https://www.cabarruscounty.us/government/departments/library/Pages/Local-History.aspx
      Scroll down to the bottom of the page and you will see a .pdf link which you can download. It is indexed alphabetically. None of the others are and are only available on microfilm.

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