Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Tax Records, 1782-1860. Microfilm, 76 rolls. Bucks County Historical Society, Doylestown, Pennsylvania.
This database contains images of original tax lists from Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
Bucks County, Pennsylvania, traces its long history back to 1682, when it was founded by William Penn. Its current boundaries were established in 1752. This database contains almost 80 years of tax records from Bucks County in several different forms. These records provide interesting details on wealth and means, but they may be most valuable for locating an ancestor in a specific township at a particular time.
What You May Find in the Records
While the majority of the records in this collection are tax records, they don’t share a uniform format. Early records typically give a name followed by categories of property owned. These categories vary by record. For example, in 1782, Bedminster Township recorded totals for land, houses, cows, and sheep. Later, in 1802, Bensalem Township recorded totals for acres of land, value of buildings, horses, cattle, and then figured a valuation and total tax assessment. According to 1823 Milford Township records, residents were subject to a dog tax, and Bensalem’s 1832 records tallied both county and state taxes.
Starting in 1846, these records adopted a new, expanded format that can provide rich detail to researchers. These later records ask for information on
- farmland and town lots
- wharves and fisheries
- mortgages and stocks
- money at interest and debts owed to the taxpayer
- and household furniture
There are also columns for
- annual income
- paying offices or posts
- items subject to special taxes—which included watches in 1846
These records extend over two pages, so if you are browsing files, make sure to look at both pages.
The database also includes lists of all taxable inhabitants in a township (these often include only a name and occupation) and a collection of orphans’ court (probate) records from 1683 to 1786. Records are grouped by townships. Remember that townships were incorporated at different times, and records associated with a particular township will not appear until after a township’s incorporation date.