About this collection
This collection contains Tax Registers from the city of Sibiu (Hermannstadt). They are often organized by city district. With some gaps, they cover the years 1707 up to and including 1909. Known as Sibiu in Romanian, Hermannstadt in German and Nagyszeben in Hungarian, this city is located in Transylvania, Romania. It is situated in the center of Romania near the Southern Carpathians mountain range and about 160 miles northwest of the capital Bucharest. Found within the city is an area known as the "Königsboden" (King's Base). This historic location, populated by Transylvanian Saxons, was autonomous for 700 years until 1867. By the 12th century in Transylvania (Siebenbürgen in German), Sibiu was already the most important Saxon municipal and political center. Transylvanian Saxons are the oldest extant group of German settlers in Eastern Europe. In this case, the term Saxon doesn't necessarily refer to a settler's place of origin, rather, it was used to designate various waves of German colonists.
In the 18th century, Sibiu became the capital of the Habsburg territory known as the "Grand Principality of Transylvania." Colonists enjoyed privileged civil and tax entitlements. But in 1781 these privileges were abolished by an edict from Emperor Joseph II. This led to conflicts over citizens' status and increased bureaucratic control. An individual family's gains and losses over the years may be documented in these tax registers. The registers served as the basis for taxation and today provide insights into property ownership in the covered time periods.
What you can find in the records
The tax registers are bound in chronological yearly volumes or, volumes may combine several years. Pages are usually handwritten in tabular format. In later years, double-sided forms were preprinted but filled in by hand. At times, Latin terms were used. However, most entries were made in German. Generally the following details may be found:
- Acquisition Date
- Last Name, Given Names, sometimes Profession of Taxpayer
- Details on the amount of tax payable (Land, Staff, Buildings, Income)
- Payment Date
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More about using this collection
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