Georgia Tax Records

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This entry was originally written by the Johni Cerny and Robert S. Davis for Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.

This article is part of
the Georgia Family History Research series.
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None of Georgia’s colonial tax records have survived. Surviving Georgia tax records begin on a county basis in the late 1780s. By 1783 Georgia tax laws provided for taxing land according to its quality and quantity, and male polls were white males over twenty-one. Other taxes were imposed on town lots, slaves, and free persons of color, buildings and improvements, merchandise, lawyers, and doctors. The poll tax on all adult males has resulted in tax digests, which serve as census substitutes and supplements.

The R. J. Taylor Jr. Foundation in Atlanta has selected and indexed some tax digests for the years 1789–1819. Tax records no longer exist for every county, and others were omitted from the foundation’s publications, which makes the title misleading. See An Index to Georgia Tax Digests, 1789–1819, 5 vols. (Spartanburg, S.C.: Reprint Co., 1986) and Ruth Blair, Some Early Tax Digests of Georgia (1926; reprint, Easley, S.C.: Southern Historical Press, 1971).

Federal direct tax records for Georgia and the southeastern United States for 1865 to 1873 are at the National Archives—Southeast Region. The years 1865 to 1866 are on microfilm.

Ancestry.com has a Georgia Tax Index, 1789-1799 collection in their online database.

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