Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Early Assessment Records

I recently spent some time looking through the information available at the NYS Archives in Albany. I think it's time for another visit! I did find they held the assessment records for Scipio (and many other towns in Cayuga County) for 1799 to 1803. Scipio became part of Cayuga County in 1799. It is also when the Revolutionary War veterans were moving here to claim their land. The first census record for Scipio is the 1800 census; before that documentation is pretty sketchy for who was a resident.
I sent for copies of the microfilm records and received 100 pages. At a cost of twenty-five cents a page that was quite a bargain!
I plan to compare the assessments to the list of names from the balloting book, to see how many of those veterans who drew land in Scipio were among those residing here in those early years.
For those other Historians or just plain interested folks, you can order the records from the Archives through inter library loan to your local library. If they have a microfilm reader and printer, you can review and print whatever you like. The series is B0950 Tax Assessment Rolls of real and personal estates for Cayuga County.
Unfortunately, my library does not have either a reader or a printer so I elected to use some of my budget to pay for printed copies of all 5 years.
All hand-written, some of the names are difficult to make out as are older census records. The name, Great Lot number, acreage and real and personal property values are given in most cases. Some of the records mention whether there is a house, a house and farm, or just a lot. Land on the Indian Reservation is separately accounted for.
From this list, it will be possible to determine pretty nearly where property owners resided in Scipio's early days.

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