Kinsearching November 4, 2007




Marleta Childs
P. O. Box 6825
LUBBOCK, TX 79493-6825

     Many genealogists with colonial roots in the Tidewater region of the Old Dominion will be interested in SURRY COUNTY [VIRGINIA] TITHABLES, 1668 - 1703 by Edgar MacDonald and Richard Slatten. Keeping the material in chronological order, the book reprints articles that appeared in The National Genealogical Society Quarterly and the Magazine of Virginia Genealogy in the 1980s.

     MacDonald and Slatten begin their volume with an introduction concerning land, demographics, and parishes. Three helpful maps accompany the commentary. To help researchers gain a better understanding of the subject, Slatten's well-documented "Interpreting Headrights in Colonial Virginia Patents: Uses and Abuses" follows the introduction. Serving as a cautionary tale, the article is invaluable to genealogists who are attempting to build a case for an immigrant ancestor from a headright list.

     The main part of the volume pertains to Surry County's tithable (taxable) lists, which are extant for all the years between 1668 and 1703 except for 1671, 1672, and 1676. After being rescued from oblivion by the authors, the lists--long buried among records such as court orders, deeds, and wills--constitute a partial census of the early inhabitants of the county. Since Surry was created from James City County in 1652 and in the eighteenth century became the parent of Sussex County, the taxable rolls may also provide clues to the re-location through boundary changes or the migration of families in those areas. Approximately 20,000 entries appear in the index. A few recurring surnames are BAGLEY, BENTLEY, BLACKBOURNE (and several variant spellings), BRIGGS, CLEMENTS, FOSTER, HARGRAVE/HARGROVE, IRONMONGER, JUDKINS, MAGGETT, MARRIOTT, PETTWAY, PHILLIPS, and RUFFIN.

     At the beginning of several of the lists is an erudite explanation of the circumstances affecting the specific rolls, such as changes in tax laws, annexations of other parishes, and events like Bacon's Rebellion in 1676 (one of the years in which the enumeration is missing). For lists with no explanation, the authors provide the source of the data. Usually, the rolls furnish the name of the assessor or compiler, his parish, date of compilation, names of taxpayers (which includes some females), and the numerical assessment. From a study of the nearly complete thirty-five year span of records, researchers may be able to estimate when an individual taxpayer died during that period.

     As a bonus feature, MacDonald and Slatten reproduce "The 1704 Quit Rent Roll: Misreadings (and Omissions?)." The knowledge gained from reading this article may be applicable to problems in similar situations. Because SURRY COUNTY [VIRGINIA] TITHABLES, 1668 - 1703 gathers the tax rolls into one convenient volume, the book will be a boon to many genealogists.

     The 278-page paperback has maps and a full name index. To the book's price of $32.50, buyers should add the cost for postage and handling charges. For U.S. postal mail, the cost is $4.00 for one book and $2.00 for each additional copy; for UPS, the cost is $6.00 for one copy and $2.50 for each additional book. The volume (item order #9853) may be purchased by check, MasterCard, or Visa from Clearfield Company, 3600 Clipper Mill Rd., Suite 260, Baltimore, Maryland 21211 (for phone orders, call toll free 1-800-296-6687; fax 1-410-752-8492; website

     Charles N. Ferguson, 811 South Market, Shawnee, OK 74801 is seeking information about the parents, siblings, and any other family information about Orville HUDSON, who lived in 1910 in Seminole Co., OK. He and his family appear on the 1910 census as follows:

Orville HUDSON, white male, age 43, b. in TX; both parents b. in MO
Lola I. HUDSON, white female, age 33, b. in TX; father b. in U. S.; mother b. in AR
Minnie L. HUDSON, white female, age 17, b. in OK
Joseph O. HUDSON, white male, age 11, b. in OK
Viola HUDSON, white female, age 9, b. in OK
Clarence E. HUDSON, white male, age 5, b. in OK
Alva HUDSON, white male, age 3, b. in OK
Roy HUDSON, white male, age 1, b. in OK

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