Texas County Tax Rolls
Microfilmed copies of the Texas county tax rolls are available for on-site use in the Genealogy Collection. In most cases, the microfilm covers the period from the year of the county's organization through the late 1970s.
Within each county, the records are arranged by the first letter of the taxpayer's last name, but not strictly alphabetized. They are not indexed. While tax rolls do not include genealogical data and will not explain family relationships, they will provide information on the amount of land and personal property owned. They are useful for determining when someone came to a county, how long they resided there and when they left the county or died.
Assessments of real and personal property, poll taxes, and other county and state taxes appear on the tax roll microfilms. In most cases the taxpayers are grouped according to the initial letter of their last names, but the names are not strictly alphabetical. On many tax rolls the names are listed under different headings, e.g., Form B: Assessment of Property Situated in the County and Owned by Residents Thereof, Form C: Assessment of Property Situated in the County and Owned by Non-Residents. These headings might vary from county to county and from year to year.
There are many irregularities in the tax rolls. The rolls do not exist for certain counties and large parts of others are missing. Very often the early rolls for a particular county are incomplete or have been lost entirely. A few counties were filmed out of their alphabetical order, requiring the researcher to scan the box labels in the microfilm cabinets to find a specific one. Often the pages were filmed out of order or with parts of the originals obscured, and there are many re-takes. Notes provided on the microfilm box labels will help resolve some of the difficulties. In general, the later tax rolls are more standardized and consistent than the earlier ones but researchers should always be alert to problems with spelling and handwriting. A thorough search of the tax rolls can involve examining every page in a particular year or span of years.
Some of the irregularities that appear in the tax rolls are given below but there is no exhaustive list of missing or displaced records.
Series 1 (earliest rolls through 1910): Tax rolls are missing for some periods in the following counties.
Archer 1870 - 1873
Armstrong 1870 - 1882
Baylor 1870 - 1873
Bowie 1840 - 1845, 1874, 1880
Encinal (Webb) 1856, 1868, 1870
Loving 1895 - 1897
Runnels 1842 - 1872, 1876
Stephens 1858 - 1860, 1866, 1868, 1871, 1873, 1876
Ward 1842 - 1886
Series 2 (1911 - 1921): The following reels are missing.
1911 Reel #19
1912 Reel #19
1913 Reel #20
1914 Reel #13
1915 Reel #13
1916 Reel #13, 14
1917 Reel #14
1918 Reel #13
1919 Reel #13
1920 Reel #13
1921 Reel #14
Series 3 (1922 - 1947): The tax rolls have not been filmed for the following counties.
Series 4 (1948 - 1959): The tax rolls have not been filmed for the following counties.
Maverick, McCulloch, McLennan, McMullen, Medina, Menard, Midland, Milam, Mills, Mitchell, Montague, Montgomery, Moore, Morris, Nacogdoches, Navarro, Newton, Nolan, Palo Pinto, Panola, Parker, Parmer, Pecos, Polk, Potter, Presidio, Rains, Randall, Reagan, Real, Red River, Reeves, Refugio, Roberts, Robertson, Rockwall, Runnels, Rusk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, San Patricio, San Saba, Schleicher, Scurry, Shackelford, Shelby, Sherman, Smith, Somervell, Starr, Stephens, Sterling, Stonewall, Sutton, Swisher, Taylor, Terrell, Terry, Throckmorton, Titus, Wharton, Wheeler, Wichita, Wilbarger, Willacy.