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Tax Lists

Have you used tax lists in your genealogy research? Over the years, I’ve used and re-used tax lists, primarily in Kentucky, to try and learn more about my Crawford ancestry. Most of that research was in Lincoln, Madison, Garrard and Barren counties in Kentucky. While those tax lists have proven helpful, they’ve also proven to be difficult. That’s because most of those tax lists have multiple listings for ‘James Crawford’. The difficulty came from trying to figure out which James was which and whether each of them might be related to either of the women listed in those records: Rebekah and Mary Crawford.

While going back thru my research for Henry Duggins (step-son of my James Crawford ancestor), I’ve been using the tax lists for Preble County, Ohio. Year in and year out, Henry Duggins is listed on those tax lists beginning in 1816. These tax lists provide clues to my Preble County Crawford Research.

  • William Duggins – brother of Henry / step son of James and Sally Crawford
  • James Crawford / wife Salley – step father of Henry and William — MY ANCESTOR
  • James Crawford / wife Martha – possible cousin to MY ANCESTOR

While Henry Duggins is on the tax lists in 1816, his brother, William is not fund until 1827 when he is listed with personal property. He is listed again in 1828 and 1829 with personal property.

1829 Preble County OH Tax List

Then in 1830, William Duggins is listed with land in range 2 township 7 section 10.

Thus, the question of William’s whereabouts prior to 1827. Since the 1820 census shows Wm Dougan on the 1820 census living in Washington Township, Preble County, Ohio, I believe that William was living in Preble County, Ohio but doesn’t own property and thus does not appear on the tax lists.

That brings us to the two James Crawford families.

  • When do they appear on the lists?
  • Do the tax lists help figure out which is which?

One James Crawford appears on the 1816 tax list with 150 acres in Range 2, township 7 section 14.

1816 tax list – Preble County, OH

At the end of the 1816 tax list, the commissioners, including a James Crawford, sign the list.

1816 Tax List Preble County Ohio

Since the tax list only contained one James Crawford, the land description is a clue to the identity of James. However, one has to find a deed for the sale of the land to determine the spouse of this James Crawford. That sale occurred in 1829 when James and his wife MARTHA sold that piece of land to Adam Swinehart.

1829 Deed Preble County Ohio, vol. 10 page 343-344

Thus, the James Crawford on the 1816 tax list is the James Crawford who married Martha Knight — and NOT my ancestor!

Then in 1818, two men named James Crawford are listed on the tax lists! One is listed as James Crawford while the second is listed as James Crawford Junr.

1818 Tax List Preble County OH James Crawford
1818 Tax List Preble County OH James Crawford Junr

By 1834, there is only one James Crawford listed on the tax rolls. Since I have already proven that James and Martha moved to Warren County, Indiana before 1834 while James and Sally remained in Preble County, Ohio until their death, I can conclude that the James Crawford on the 1834 tax roll is the James married to Sally.

1834 Tax List Preble County OH

Thus, James Crawford Jr is the James Crawford married to Sally. That makes the James Crawford who was a county commissioner the James Crawford married to Martha.

Since these two James Crawford families appear to migrate together, figuring out which one is James Crawford Junior may help me figure out the Barren County, KY tax lists. Both James Crawford Senr and James Crawford jr are listed on the 1805 tax list in Barren County, KY.

1805 Barren County KY tax list

Even though I suspect that the James Crawford Jr is my ancestor, I still need to find land records to verify that the James Crawford (jr) with 50 acres on the Marrowbone has a wife named Sally. So far, I haven’t been able to locate any records for that land.

While going back thru the Preble County Ohio tax lists to document Henry Duggins has been tedious, it has caused me to look at other records and piece together information on both the Duggins and the Crawford families.

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