Kentucky Tax Lists – Things to know and Things to look for

As your research journey brings you to Kentucky, one of the sources, that can not only provide clues but also enhance your research journey, are tax records.  Taxes are a part of life and, as such, have been around for a long, long time.  As Benjamin Franklin stated: “…in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” in a letter he wrote in 1789. While taxes can be one of the things we are not thrilled with having to pay, they can also be the key to finding the answers we are looking for in researching our ancestors.

Census records are great resources and help to put together a timeline, but they have significant time gaps with the federal census occurring every ten years and some states have supplemented information by conducting state census records between the federal censuses.  So, we can gather information every ten years with an occasional 5-year bonus.  A lot of life goes on between those years and let’s face it, our ancestors didn’t wait until every ten years to move, migrate, marry, have children or die so we could get find it on the census.

If you are interested in family research and in putting together a full picture of their lives, taxes can help. Tax records are great for drilling down and gathering more information. Census and tax records can provide us with clues and data that can put the pieces together to form the life puzzle of our ancestors.  Both work well in complementing each other and provide us with two separate sources to help us validate the story.

Check out the Learning Leaves page for what Kentucky tax records can reveal and things to keep in mind when searching.   Happy Hunting!