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The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Researching the Early History of Black Lives in the Connecticut River Valley


Tax records are available at both the state and local levels. These resources help identify residency and frequently include the names of heads of households, ages, relationships, occupations, enslaved people, wealth, personal property, livestock, assessed valuations, acreage, and property locations.

Since tax records list the heads of households in particular areas at specific times, they often serve as substitutes for lost census records. Tax records are usually very complete resources because they include eligible voters and every owner, male and female, of real estate and taxable personal property.

The W.E.B. Du Bois Library owns significant Massachusetts tax records in various formats. Tax lists may also appear in town histories.

Selective List of Materials in the W.E.B Du Bois Library

Annual reports of officers and committees of the town of New Salem, Massachusetts: also valuation and taxes for the year ending... - New Salem (Mass.) 
Call Number: JS 1211 N42 A12
Valuations and taxes are in 1893-1894, 1921, 1927-1930, 1932, 1934, 1936-1938, 1943, 1950-1952, 1954- 1961, 1963-1965, 1968-1972, 1975, 1977, 1979, 1982, 1993

Massachusetts Archives 
Call Number: Microfilm A 180
Tax records appear among the 328 bound volumes held by the Massachusetts Archives at Columbia Point. The valuations and taxes volumes are mostly arranged by city or town. Some contain tables of contents which are city or town listings only and do not include surnames. Volumes and years follow.

Volume 130 Valuation of Towns 1760-1770
Volume 131 Valuations, 1770
Volume 132 Valuations of Towns 1771
Volume 133 Valuation of Towns 1771
Volume 134 Valuations of Towns 1771
Volume 161 Valuations 1777-1781
Volume 162 Valuations of Towns 1781-1785
Volume 163 Valuations of Towns 1786
Volume 322 Valuations and Taxes 1738-1777
Volume 323 Valuations and Taxes 1778-1787
Volume 324 Valuations and Taxes 1788-1799

Milton town records, 1662-1729, issued in observance of the tercentenary of the founding of the Massachusetts Bay Colony 
Call Number: F 74 M66 M38+
Tax lists appear among the town records.

Norwich landgable assessment, 1568-70 
Call Number: DA 670 N59 N863 Volume 63
"As its name implies, (it derives from the Old English land and gafol, a rent) it was essentially a type of ground rent and was payable to the lord of a borough for burgage tenements."

Records of Middlesex County, Mass. Towns through 1830 
Reproduces manuscript town records held by town clerks, treasurers, and assessors and drawn from such other sources as town libraries and historical societies. Includes valuation lists. Project filmed entire documents and, thus, the records go well beyond 1830 for some towns. The list of the towns available follows:

Acton (Microfilm A 588), Arlington (Microfilm A 589), Ashby (Microfilm A 590)
Bedford (Microfilm A 591), Billerica (Microfilm A 592), Boxborough (Microfilm A 593), Burlington (Microfilm A 594)
Cambridge (Microfilm A 595), Carlisle (Microfilm A 596), Chelmsford (Microfilm A 597), Concord (Microfilm A 598)
Dracut (Microfilm A 599), Dunstable (Microfilm A 600)
Framingham (Microfilm A 601)
Groton (Microfilm A 602)
Holliston (Microfilm A 603), Hopkinton (Microfilm A 604)
Lexington (Microfilm A 605), Lincoln (Microfilm A 606), Littleton (Microfilm A 607), Lowell (Microfilm A 608)
Malden (Microfilm A 609), Marlborough (Microfilm A 610), Medford (Microfilm A 611)
Natick (Microfilm A 612), Newton (Microfilm A 613)
Pepperell (Microfilm A 614)
Reading (Microfilm A 615)
Sherborn (Microfilm A 616), Shirley (Microfilm A 617), Stoneham (Microfilm A 618), Stow (Microfilm A 619), Sudbury (Microfilm A 620)
Tewksbury (Microfilm A 621), Townsend (Microfilm A 622), Tyngsborough (Microfilm A 623)
Wakefield (Microfilm A 624), Waltham (Microfilm A 625), Watertown (Microfilm A 626), Wayland (Microfilm A 627), Westford (Microfilm A 628), Weston (Microfilm A 629), Wilmington (Microfilm A 630), Woburn (Microfilm A 631)

Records of Middlesex County Mass. towns through 1830: descriptive guide to the microfilms - Early Massachusetts Records 
Call Number: Microforms Guides Z 1296 M52 E15
Provides a general list of the contents on every reel, such as "tax list 1761-1821" and "valuation and tax book 1825-1835."

Salisbury, Connecticut records - Russell, Donna Valley 
Call Number: F 104 S2 R87 1983
Volume 2 Includes lists of taxpayers for 1742, 1746, 1756, and 1760

Town Report. Annual reports of the town officers of the Town of Ware 
Call Number: JS 1509 W6 A12
A "list of persons assessed and exempt - a poll tax in the Town of Ware April 1, 1914" is bound in the 1910/1911 - 1914 volume.

Valuation and taxes of the Town of Amherst for the year 1903. 
Call Number: HJ 9256 A59 1903

Valuation and taxes of the town of Hadley for the year 
Call Number: JS 894 H41 A13 1929

Valuation and taxes of the town of Sunderland for the year 
Call Number: JS1468.S9 A13 1909,1929

Find More

Search the Library Catalog by Subject. Examples of subject searches:

Real property tax - Massachusetts - Hardwick - Periodicals

Real property - Valuation - Massachusetts

Tax assessment - Massachusetts - Leverett - Periodicals

Taxation - Massachusetts - Boston - Lists

Taxation - England - Essex - Lists

Taxation - Massachusetts - Wenham