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Massachusetts Tax Valuation Records, 1771

Resource Type
Dataset : census/enumeration data
  • Pruitt, Bettye
Other Title
  • Version 1 (Subtitle)
Publication Date
Free Keywords
agricultural production; agriculture; American Colonies; commodities; crops; demographic characteristics; eighteenth century; farming communities; farms; landowners; livestock inventories; property; real estate; residents; social history; tax records; taxes; taxpayers; towns
  • Abstract

    This collection contains the names and descriptions of taxable property of nearly 38,000 individuals who resided in 152 Massachusetts towns in 1771. Data items include type and value (in pounds, shillings, and pence) of real estate, buildings, and other assets, as well as tabulation of livestock and farm commodities produced. Specific variables pertaining to value of real estate, buildings, and other assets include annual worth of whole real estate, tons of vessels, value of trading stock, value of factorage or commissions, value of money lent at interest, and types of buildings (e.g., tanhouses, stillhouses, warehouses, gristmills, superficial feet of wharf, ironworks). With respect to tabulation of livestock, variables provide information on number of horses, oxen, cows, goats, sheep, and swine. Data describing farm commodities cover acres of pasture, number of cows the pasture will keep, acres of tillage, bushels of grain produced per year, barrels of cider produced per year, acres of salt marsh, tons of salt marsh hay per year, acres of English and upland mowing land, tons of English and upland hay per year, acres of fresh meadow, and tons of fresh meadow hay per year. Other variables specify taxpayer name, title (e.g., widow, doctor, blacksmith), and status of taxpayer (e.g., decedent, landlord, free Negro).
  • Table of Contents


    • DS1: Dataset
Temporal Coverage
  • Time period: 1771
  • 1975 / 1978
    Collection date: 1975--1978
Geographic Coverage
  • Massachusetts
  • United States
Sampled Universe
Taxable property of residents in Massachusetts towns in 1771.
Collection Mode
  • The data were originally obtained from original tax lists maintained by the state of Massachusetts as Massachusetts Archives, Volumes 132-134.

    The tax list has been published in its entirety, along with extensive discussion of Massachusetts tax laws and practices (see citation below).

This study is freely available to ICPSR member institutions via web download.
Alternative Identifiers
  • 7734 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
  • Pruitt, Bettye Hobbs. The Massachusetts Tax Valuation List of 1771, 2nd printing. Camden, ME: Picton Press. 1998.
  • Smith, Daniel Scott. Continuity and Discontinuity in Puritan Naming: Massachusetts, 1771. William and Mary Quarterly.51, (1), 67-91.1994.
    • ID: (URL)
  • Adams, John W., Kasakoff, Alice Bee. Wealth and Migration in Massachusetts and Maine: 1771-1798. Journal of Economic History.45, (2), 363-368.1985.
    • ID: 10.1017/S0022050700034057 (DOI)
  • Pruitt, Bettye Hobbs. Self-Sufficiency and the Agricultural Economy of Eighteenth-Century Massachusetts. William and Mary Quarterly.41, (3), 333-364.1984.
    • ID: (URL)
  • Pruitt, Bettye Hobbs. Agriculture and Society in the Towns of Massachusetts, 1771: A Statistical Analysis. Dissertation, Boston University. 1981.
  • Pruitt, Bettye Hobbs. The Massachusetts Tax Valuation List of 1771. Boston, MA: G.K. Hall. 1978.

Update Metadata: 2015-08-05 | Issue Number: 6 | Registration Date: 2015-06-15

Pruitt, Bettye (1984): Massachusetts Tax Valuation Records, 1771. Version 1. Version: v1. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.