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UMass Amherst Libraries

Genealogy

A guide to selected genealogical resources at the W.E.B. Du Bois Library.

Introduction

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.