Individuals entries are the vast majority. All heads of household plus those people within a household who have their own separate livestock, money or household items will be listed. Users should remember that, just as a census reflects one day in ten years, so the personal property tax list reflects one day in a year. People have always moved in and out of areas on without regard to the day censuses will be taken or taxes assessed. Also, families may haved lived somewhere other than their own single-family home and thus not listed as owing taxes. Names on this list are those the assessor believed lived in the county on June 1 of the previous year. Not being on the list does not mean that the individual did not live in Christian County, only that on tax assessment day, the assessor did not identify the person as the head of a household in the county.
Because numbers of entries are hand-entered, repetition and skipping of numbers occurred. When a number has been repeated, both or the second of the numbers are indicated with as asterick after the number.
As with all records, researchers are reminded to be creative with spelling or risk missing the information they seek. For instance, these records are for the same surname, but the “correct” spelling cannot be determine from the records:
Breasweth, Dan'l 1879 Polk p013
Breeazwite, Daniel 1891 Polk #0256
Breesairtz, Ernest 1899 Polk #0404
Breesaurtz, L. 1894 Polk #0443
Breseritz, P. T. 1890 Polk #0226
Breesewitz, P. T. 1891 Polk #0283
Breeswits, P. T. 1900 Polk #0505
Breezewits, Ernest 1900 Polk #0504
Breezewitz, Daniel 1890 Polk #0221
Breezeworth, Daniel 1881 Polk #0167
Breesawitz, E. 1894 Polk #0415
Breiswirth, Daniel 1886 Polk #0203
Breeswitz, Dan 1888 Polk #0206
Briesewatz, Dan 1881 Polk p011
Brieswitz, Phillip 1892 Polk #0366
Brisurtz, Daniel 1880 Polk #0163
Brusenity, Danell 1884 Polk #0191
Some years, the tax collector made many notes about the location or status of the tax payers. Some years, they made none. For instance, only once in this time, all merchants in the county had the word “Merchant” written in the notes. These notes may be the only hint as to when the person died or where they went upon leaving Christian County. However, many notes are single letters or hints that are open to multiple interpretations. Obviously, the fact that notes were not made many years does not mean that no one died or moved that year. We simply have to be grateful that they were made some years.
Some notes’ meanings are clear and obvious. Others, the reader gets to guess right along with the transcriber. Here are some:
Dead - Died between June 1 of the year before official tax year and early spring of the year following the official tax year. For instance, if a person was listed on 1879 tax list and the note says Dead, the assessor believed they were living in township listed on Jun1, 1878 but the collector was told before April 1, 1880 that the individual had died.
B - may be Billings or Boaz
Bl - Billings
Bo - Boaz
C - may be Chadwick or Clever
Cancus - Kansas
Cannot be found - probably means gone
Can’t be found - probably means gone
Ch - Chadwick
Cl - Clever
E - may be Eau de Vie or Elkhead
g - usually means gone, may sometimes mean Greene County
goan - gone
gon - gone
green - Greene County
High - Highlandville
Eau - Eau de Vie
Elk - Elkhead
K - usually Kenton
N - Nixa
No such man - apparently an error in assessment
No such person - apparently an error in assessment
P - may be Ponce de Leon or Pembina
Pem - Pembina
Poncy - Ponce de Leon
R - may be Republic, Rogersville or Riverdale
Rep - Republic
Riv - Riverdale
Rog - Rogersville
S - may be Sparta, Spokane or Springfield.
Spa - Sparta
Spfd - Springfield
Spo - Spokane
V - Velsor
Banks, insurance companies, mines, mills, lumber companies, merchants and partnerships in unspecified businesses were sometimes listed in personal property tax lists. Of these, only banks and insurance companies were consistantly listed. On individual listings, one year merchants were noted. These are included both on individuals and businesses. Any listing of two individuals were assumed to be a business, and they are listed only in the businesses
Administrators, Curators, Guardians, Estates, Heirs, and Executors were listed each year. However, the person whose estate was being administered was not always mentioned. Some years, the collector noted taxpayers who had died. Sometimes, the estates were handled by relatives. Many had as their executors people who handled many estates or the affairs of heirs requiring a guardian or curator, much as current public administrators. All individuals named in the record are indexed here, whether as the person who had died, the heir who had a guardian, or the individual handing the financial affairs of the estate.
SPECIAL ROAD DISTRICTS
From 1897 through 1900, Special Road District assessments were made for people living in areas surrounding but outside the towns of Ozark and Billings. These $2.50 charges were made to only men ages 21 to 60. A statement such as this precedes each listing. Some individuals paid the tax, but many did not. A bonus is the fact that individuals not meeting the age, gender or residence criteria are noted.
The following is a correct list of all male inhabitants over the age of twenty one and under the age of sixty years of age residing within the limits of the Ozark [Billings] Special Road District and without the limits of the incorporated City of Ozark [Billings] so far as I have been able to ascertain who are subject to poll tax for the year 1899 [1897, 1898, 1900].
Please remember that 19th century people would not have understood our fixation on "correct spelling". Some entries may reveal creative spelling. Although I have included many "See also " notes to other spellings, if you don't find expected names under a spelling you now use, please use your imagination. As in all record, some individuals were surely missed or repeated and names misunderstood, particularly when assessor was unfamiliar with the surname.
Please note that some of these lists are LARGE and may take a while to download!