The State Archives of North Carolina Publishes a New Online Collection of Tax Records

The North Carolina State Archives has released a new digital collection, entitled Tax Lists and Records, drawing from General Assembly, Treasurer & Comptroller and Secretary of State records. The bulk of the records are from the Colonial and Revolutionary War eras, but some lists date from as late as 1853.

Lists sent to the General Assembly are from various counties and give the names of the heads of households and others who were subject to taxation. Horses, cattle, livestock, and other luxury goods such as carriages and coaches are also often referenced. Information about slaves may also be present in these lists.

You can learn more in the blog of the North Carolina State Archives at

My thanks to newsletter reader Victor Jones for telling me about the new collection.


Nothing found when I search for Johnson. Indicates the site has a problem.


Agreed – searching for Smith (or smith) also returns no hits.


I tried typing in my Rutherford surname and I got a hit, but it was for Rutherford county, not the surname. So, I typed in Wake and got Wake County. I think it’s county-based, not surname based. Once you open up the county record, you can see the pages with the names of taxpayers.

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I’m reading that this includes only 15 of the 100 NC counties.


Need a more specfic link to these tax records. I haven’t found them after an hour of searching.


It hasn’t been indexed so ‘search’ won’t return anything.


If you read the cover material it says: “Counties included in these lists are: Beaufort, Bertie, Bladen, Brunswick, Camden, Carteret, Caswell, Chowan, Craven, Currituck, Dobbs, Gates, Granville, Halifax, Hertford, Johnston, Jones, Martin, Montgomery, Nash, New Bern District, Northampton, Onslow, Orange, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Pitt, Richmond, Rutherford, Sampson, Surry, Tyrrell, Warren, and Wilkes.” Obviously, since not all counties are listed yours may not be included.


    The county list may be complete for the time frame in question as most North Carolina counties were established after the colonial era. For example, old Orange County included parts of what are now Guilford, Wake, Chatham, Caswell, Alamance, Durham and perhaps other modern counties.


I typed in the county name. The tax list (Tyrrell 1786) was alphabetical by first letter of last name but not alphabetized within the letter.


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