The present abstract of Pittsylvania's 1810 personal property tax list is NOT a transcript of the entire document; rather, it is a summary of three items important in delineating the 1810 "substitute" census for this county, i.e., number of male tithables 16 and older, number of slaves twelve years and older, and the number of horses. The original form of the census was in alphabetic order by date and letter. The substitute list presented here is in absolute alphabetic order for easy reference.
In the current volume, the data is recorded thus:         Going, John (free negro)
(Sycamore)                    1    -    1
Goodman, Edmund                1    -    1
Goodwin, John H. & son
Robert (Smith's Mt.)    3    1    8
Column one represents the tithable males (16 and over) in the household; column 2 is the number of slaves over 12; and the final column is the number of horses, mares or mules.
For genealogical researchers in this 1810 period, personal property tax records may provide additional important information. Oftentimes, juniors and seniors are listed adjacent to one another and recorded on the same day. When a taxpayer is noted as “exempt”, it can be a clue to someone holding a particular position in government or being elderly, infirm, or for some other reason no longer required to pay the tithable tax. Women, both black and white, appear occasionally as heads of households when they own property in their own right or as the widow of a property owner.
Another valuable source for filling in information about an ancestor is the land tax record, and especially the one for 1815. In that year, the enumerators began to add the location of the property in relation to the county court house. Roger Ward has abstracted all of the 1815 land tax records, and they are available from this publisher at www.iberian.com.
The 1810 substitute census list for Pittsylvania County contains 2,026 households, 2,753 tithables, both white and free black, and 3,477 slaves over the age of twelve, and 5,572 horses.
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