Tax Roles

I’ve been trying to learn more about my ancestor, John Thompson (1797-1857) in hopes of identifying his parents. He married Sarah Iglehart in 1820 in Ohio County, Kentucky. Thus, I wanted to learn more about any Thompsons in Ohio County, Kentucky around the time of this marriage.

Fortunately, the Ohio County, Kentucky Tax Books, 1799-1875 are available for viewing on Family Search. Even though these images aren’t indexed, it was fairly easy to find the images for the ‘T’ portion of the alphabet. (Note: I also recorded information for the Igleharts while viewing this resource.)

I found a John Thompson listed in 1820. This John Thompson was over 21 and owned a horse.

1820-Tax-KY-Ohio-Thompson-JohnIn 1821, the only Thompson’s I found were a John Tompson and a John Thompson — both over 21 with John Tompson owning a horse. In 1822, there was only 1 Thompson (Tompson) listing — John Thompson with two horses. In 1823, John Thompson still owned 2 horses but he also owned 50 acres of land on the Rough watercourse.

1823-Tax-KY-OhioCounty-Thompson-JohnIn 1824, John Thompson was listed with 2 horses and NO LAND. A James Tomson was also listed.

1824-Tax-KY-OhioCounty-Thompson-JohnIn 1825, there weren’t any Thompsons listed on the tax role. This was true of 1826, 1827 and 1828.

Since it has been a while since I’ve used tax records in my research, I used the Family Search wiki for Kentucky Tax Records to learn more about these records and what they might be telling me about John Thompson.

From the data I collected, I now have more questions:

  • Is the John Thompson in the tax record the father of James Thompson? If so, then the John Thompson in the tax record would not be my ancestor.
  • Could John Thompson and James Thompson be brothers? If so, then the John Thompson in the tax record could be my ancestor?
  • Who was the 2nd John Thompson (Tompson) in 1821? Is this a father/son situation?
  • Is the John Thompson in these tax records from 1820 to 1824 my ancestor?

At this point, I don’t have enough information to determine whether these tax records are for my John Thompson.

Are you a THOMPSON researcher? Feel free to contact me on Facebook (Marcia Crawford Philbrick) or via email at mcphilbrick on