21 March 2012

UK Land Tax Redemption 1798-Two Lessons

Ancestry recently released a new database on its site which it has titled UK, Land Tax Redemption, 1798. Ancestry.com refers to this tax as a "national land tax" and that's really all that I know about it so I won't comment on that any further. Ancestry.com in the description of the UK, Land Tax Redemption, 1798 states (on 21 March 2012) that "these records provide almost a mini census."

Comment 1:
I am not certain what a "mini" census is, but I'd hesitate in calling these records a census of any type. This is a great record, don't get me wrong--and likely lists some of my children's Watson and Hodgson ancestors from Castle Carrock as they were landowners and farmers.

However, the other side of the family were town dwellers, mainly laborers and the type of people who didn't own real property at all. I'm not certain if this database lists tenants of this type. If it doesn't, then calling this document a "mini census" seems a little off the mark.

Lesson 1--learn about a database and don't always conclude that the description is accurate.

Comment 2:
The entries for Jno. Watson are indexed as Ino. Watson. Just another thing to be on the lookout for.

Lesson 2--Continue to be creative with searches. When a new database is released, there's not always been time for others to "correct" entries.