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Massachusetts Tax Valuation Records, 1771 (ICPSR 7734)

Principal Investigator(s): Pruitt, Bettye


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).

Access Notes

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Study Description


Pruitt, Bettye. Massachusetts Tax Valuation Records, 1771. ICPSR07734-v1. /Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributors], 1980. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR07734.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR07734.v1

Export Citation:

  • RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    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

Geographic Coverage:    Massachusetts, United States

Time Period:   

  • 1771

Date of Collection:   

  • 1975--1978

Universe:    Taxable property of residents in Massachusetts towns in 1771.

Data Type(s):    census/enumeration data

Data Collection Notes:

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).


Data Source:

property tax lists


Original ICPSR Release:   1984-05-10

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