April 15 can be a taxing day for all of us living in modern times, but our ancestors didn’t have it much easier. Although federal income tax only dates back to the Civil War era, Tennesseans have been paying state and local taxes since long before then.
Now Tennessee tax records dating back to 1783 are available free online to Tennesseans, thanks to a partnership between the Tennessee State Library and Archives and Ancestry.com. The online database contains records from 71 of Tennessee’s 95 counties. Famous notables like Andrew Jackson (who paid $66 in taxes to Davidson County in 1829) appear side by side with ordinary farmers, millers and laborers.
The database contains 262,784 records and 7,720 images. The link for the tax list database is: http://search.ancestry.com/iexec/?htx=List&dbid=2883.