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New Hampshire Taxation

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Online ResourcesEdit

Why Use Tax RecordsEdit

By studying several consecutive years of tax records you may determine when a young men came of age, when individuals moved in and out of a home, or when they died leaving heirs. Authorities determined wealth (real estate, or income) to be taxed. Taxes can be for polls, real and personal estate, or schools.

Tax record content varies and may include the name and residence of the taxpayer, description of the real estate, name of original purchaser, description of personal property, number of males over 21, number of school children, slaves, and farm animals. Tax records usually are arranged by date and locality and are not normally indexed. Tax records can be used in place of missing land and census records to locate a person’s residence.


How to Use Tax Records for New HampshireEdit

County LevelEdit

No detailed attempt to locate all annual tax lists for New Hampshire towns has been made. However, they can be found in manuscript collections in public libraries, in the town clerk's offices among the pages of the annual town meetings, and at archives and other repositories. Both residents and non-residents who owned property or businesses may be listed on the annual assessment, which would indicate the number of voting-age males as polls, ages of males listed were 21-50 and occasionally 16-60, and for men moving to or leaving a town and since non-landowners were listed as well, although a few officials were usually exempt.

Two important sources of tax record collections which have been microfilmed and are listed above are available free to view at a Family History Library, they are, The Multi volume nonresident tax list from 1849-1874 and The 1798 U.S. Direct Taxes for district 13. This is 9 Volumes of New Hampshire towns located at that time in Strafford county. [1]

State LevelEdit

  • 1862-1866 Internal revenue assessment lists for New Hampshire Internal revenue assessment lists were created into divisions called Districts, each county is put into a district. County names are arranged alphabetically within the division and then within months. The following is a list of counties placed in which district. (knowing the district and county your ancestor lived in will make searching this years taxes list a little faster)
    (once on page scroll down to district desired and click on camera to open)

U.S. Internal Revenue Assessment Lists. Three types of Reports: A=Annual; M=Monthly; S=Special Years and Reports may be different.

Districts for New Hampshire Counties:
DISTRICT 1, Belknap, Carroll, Rockingham, and Strafford counties
DISTRICT 2, Hillsborough and Merrimack counties
DISTRICT 3, Cheshire, Coos, Grafton, and Sullivan counties


Printed books with tax records: Available at Salt Lake Family History Library or check with WorldCat for other locations.

  • 1633–1699- New Hampshire Residents, 1633–1699, Family History Library book 974.2 x4h Jay Mack. . Oxford, Massachusetts: Holbrook Research Institute, 1979.
  • 1732 - New Hampshire 1732 Census FHL book 974.2 X4hj Holbrook, Jay Mack. Oxford, Massachusetts : Holbrook Research Institute, 1981.
  • 1798 - Direct Tax, New Hampshire District #13 Family History Library book 974.2 R4f Fipphen John S. Bowie Md Heritage Books 1988 This relates to a special tax taken in the United States in 1798. District 13 consisted of the towns of Alton, Brookfield, Effingham, Middleton, New Durham, Ossipee, Tuftonboro, Wakefield, and Wolfeboro. An index is included. (view at Family History Library in Salt Lake or check Worldcat for closest library with the same film)
Tax money bag.jpg

Tax LawsEdit

Abraham Lincoln instituted the income tax in 1862, and on July 1, 1862, Congress passed the Internal Revenue Act, creating the Bureau of Internal Revenue (later renamed to the Internal Revenue Service). This act was intended to “provide Internal Revenue to support the Government and to pay interest on the Public Debt.” Instituted in the height of the Civil War, the “Public Debt” at the time primarily consisted of war expenses. For the Southern States that were part of the Confederate side of the Civil War, once Union troops took over parts of the Southern States, income tax were instituted on them. [2]

  • To learn more about this Collection click here
  • To learn more about the Civil War taxes click here

What history has shown us is that while property taxes are locally levied, there is significant state involvement with the amount of tax local political subdivisions can levy, how property assessments are conducted, and what services local taxing subdivisions must provide for their residents. This comes at a cost to state taxpayers, because the state has obligations it must fund as well, with a limited amount of state tax dollars.

ReferencesEdit