Tax Records

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General Overview

The two most common tax records found are real property and personal property tax records. Other types of tax records may include but are not limited to delinquent taxes, inheritance tax duplicates, incorporated companies, and assessment records.

Property tax lists can be useful for several reasons. They serve as a substitute census by helping the researcher determine when an individual migrated to the region and when he moved from the area. They place a particular individual in a particular place at a particular time, very similar to census records and directories. The main difference is taxes were collected each year. Federal census records were recorded every 10 years. Mid-20th century directories were recorded every two years in Wayne County, Ohio and Wooster. 19th-century directories for our area do not exist on a regular schedule.

Real property tax lists were kept for the purpose of levying taxes. The land owner was exempt from paying taxes for the first five (5) years if he was the first owner. Once the land was sold, it immediately became taxable. They show the amount of land, location of the property, and the appraised value. On some real property tax records, the original owner is listed.

Real property taxes may give clues when a house or structure was built. There will be an increase in the value of the property, leading to an increase in the taxes paid on the property. They assist researchers in determining the location of an ancestor’s homestead. When a researcher discovers his ancestor paid taxes on property, it indicates that the researcher may want to look through land deeds for additional clues on the family.

The other type of tax lists were for personal property, such as chattel (horses and cattle). Individuals did not need to own property to own chattel. This is helpful for those ancestors who were established in the community but did not own land.

For Wayne County, Ohio tax records, the department owns them on microfilm for the years 1816-1838. Some are personal property while others include real property. In book form, we have personal property tax lists for the years 1831-1832, 1839-1845, 1848, 1854, and 1856. We have Wooster City for 1860-1865. There is a separate book for the 1849 Wooster City and Canaan Township property taxes.

Summary of Real and Personal Property Tax, Wayne County, Ohio

Summary Table of Real and Personal Property Tax 1814-1830

Year Real Personal Lawyers/Physicians Book/Film Notes
1814 X Book
1815 X Book
1816 X Book/Film
1817 X Book/Film
1818 X Book/Film
1819 X Book/Film
1820 X Book/Film
1821 X Film
1822 X Film
1823 X Film
1824 X Film
1825 X Film
1826 X X Book/Film
1827 X X Film
1828 X X Film
1829 X X Film
1830 X X Film


Summary Table of Real and Personal Property Tax 1831-1865

Year Real Personal Lawyers/Physicians Book/Film Notes
1831 X X Book/Film 1844 lawyers & physicians
1832 X X Book/Film Book has personal tax only
1833 X X Film
1834 X X Film
1835 X X Film
1836 X X Film
1837 X Film
1838 X Film
1839 X Book
1840 X X Book
1841 X X Book Wooster real & personal tax
1842 X Book
1843 X X Book Wooster real & personal tax
1844 X X Book Wooster real & personal tax; see 1831 book for lawyers & physicians
1845 X Book Wooster real & personal tax
1848 X Book Owner’s name and total value only
1854 X Book Owner’s name and total value only
1856 X Book Owner’s name and total value only; townships in alpha order
1860 X Book Wooster only
1861 X Book Wooster only
1862 X Book Wooster only
1863 X Book Wooster only
1864 X Book Wooster only
1865 X Book Wooster only
  • For the 1848, 1854, and 1856 tax records, only the owner’s name and the total value is listed. The 1856 tax records are organized in alphabetical order by township. Within each township, the list of names is given by the first letter of the surname.
  • For the 1860-1862 Wooster City real property tax records, the owner’s name, the description of the land (range, township, section, part), the number of acres and the value of the land is given. The total tax is given in dollars, cents, and mills.
  • The 1863-1865 Wooster City real property tax records are the same as the 1860-1862 real property tax records. Rather than acres given, the number of feet in front is given.

Miscellaneous Tax Records

  • Cigarette Assessment Taxes 1905-1917: Organized by year. Information includes by whom assessment is to be paid; village, town, or township; description of premises, usually a given in-lot number; name of owner of premises; and date.
  • Duplicate of delinquent chattel: Wayne County, OH 1884-1890: Includes Wooster City only. Organized by Ward, then by 1st letter of surname. Information includes owner’s name; value (dollars); road tax; dog tax; unpaid taxes; taxes of <year> including penalty; remarks; unpaid taxes for February settlement <year>; remarks (reasons for no payment).
  • 1849 Wooster City and Canaan Township Property Taxes: First half includes Canaan Township and second half includes Wooster City; Canaan township information includes the owner’s name; range, township, section, part; acres and value. Wooster City includes owner’s name; in-lot or out-lot number; part; number of feet; and value (dollars).
  • Liquor Assessment Receipts Wayne County, OH 1889-1892: Listed by year and within each year, by the village or town. Information includes by whom payable; date of assessment; premises on which the assessment is a lien (owner’s name, in/out-lot, land description); amount of assessment; assessment due 20 June <year>; and treasurer’s entry.
  • Lessees of VA Military School Lands: no index; no apparent organization to the book; includes the name of the lessees; township, range, section, part; acres (given in hundreds [hds]; annual interest (dollars, cents); years due and unpaid. Within the village or town, the following information is provided: range, township, section, in/out-lot; description; feet frontage; acres hundreths/value; and payment.


Other Resources for Tax Information

Other resources including tax information include the following books:

  • Early Land Records of Wayne County, OH.
    • Chapter 4 => 1814-1819 (pages 99-107)
    • Chapter 4 => 1820 Wayne County tax list in area remaining in Wayne County 1820 (pages 108-122)
    • Includes plat maps of each township.
  • Wayne County Tax List 1826
    • Includes real and personal (chattel – horses and cattle)
    • Includes plat maps of each township
  • Ashland County, Ohio Research Aid #3: Lake Township
    • Real property taxes 1820-1829 (pages 25-28)
    • Real property taxes 1830-1834 (pages 32-33)
    • Real property taxes 1835-1838 (pages 37-41)
    • Personal property taxes 1826-1829 (pages 28-30)
    • Personal property taxes 1830-1834 (pages 34-36)
  • Ashland County, Ohio Research Aid #5: Perry Township
    • Real property taxes 1818-1838 (pages 46-63)
    • Personal property taxes 1826-1834 (pages 64-71)
  • Ashland County, Ohio Research Aid #6: Mohican Township
    • Real property taxes 1816-1830 (pages 57-67)
    • Real property taxes 1831-1838 (pages 70-78)
    • Real property taxes Jeromesville & Mohican 1826-1838 (pages 87-91)
    • Personal property taxes 1826-1834 (pages 79-86)
  • Ashland County, Ohio Research Aid #7: Jackson Township
    • Real property taxes 1819-1830 (pages 56-62)
    • Real property taxes 1831-1838 (pages 70-78)
    • Personal property taxes 1826-1834 (pages 63-67)
  • The 1812 Census of Ohio: A State-Wide Index of Taxpayers

There were no 1812 tax records for Wayne County, Ohio. The 1814 tax records for Wayne County, Ohio were included in the book as a substitute. The book lists the tax payers in alphabetical order by surname and lists the county each tax payer pays taxes in. Some taxpayers owned property in more than one county. All known counties are listed.