Personal Property Taxes | Gilliams of Virginia

Powhatan County, VA Personal Property Taxes
Updated March 18, 2016

Background:
In 1782 the General Assembly of Virginia enacted a major revision of the commonwealth's tax laws. The act provided for statewide enumeration on the county level of certain personal property and land. It also created a permanent source of revenue for the operation of government in Virginia.

Copies of annual lists of personal property owners for each county and city from 1782 (or the date of formation of the county if after 1782) to 1930, and for each fifth year thereafter, are available for research at the Library of Virginia in Richmond. The General Assembly passed an act in 1808 ordering the commissioners not to compile lists of taxpayers or collect taxes. In March 1864, the General Assembly suspended the revenue act of 1864 because there already were adequate funds in the treasury. Therefore no personal property tax records exist for the years 1808 and 1864.

The personal property tax records in the Library are one of four copies required by law. Prior to 1928, one copy of each tax book was sent to the Auditor of Public Accounts. After 1928, the personal property tax book for each locality was sent to the newly created Department of Taxation. The personal property taxes now in the collection come from these two agencies. There are more than 19,000 volumes, comprising one of the largest series of archival records in the Library.

Various revenue acts passed by the General Assembly established the tax rates and procedures for the collection of personal property taxes. At first, justices of the local court were designated to collect the taxes. By 1786, the county courts were directed to divide each locality into precincts and to appoint commissioners to collect the tax. Taxes were assessed between March and April of each year and were payable by the end of December. The commissioners prepared four "fair and correct" copies of the personal property tax books. Copies were prepared for the commissioner, county clerk, sheriff, and Auditor of Public Accounts.


Overview:
Several different GILLIAM families may be found in the Personal Property Tax lists of Powhatan.

The James GILLIAM family of the 1780s with slaves Daphney, Pharoah and Patrick, among others, is the family of James and Frances GILLIAM. James bequeaths those slaves in his Will dated 11 Feb 1821, Sumner County, TN to his children.

It is likely that William GILLIAM of the 1786 Taxes is the brother of James, above, as James' father, John, bequeaths to son, William, a slave named Dinah.

It appears that the James and John GILLIAM of the taxes of the 1790s is James GILLIAM, above and his son John H. GILLIAM. John was born about 1775, making him age 16 in 1792—the first year John appears in the tax lists.

In 1795, a John GILLIAM is listed with the household of William Cardwell along with Josiah Walton and Wm Low. Cardwell may possibly be operating a school or apprenticeship. This John may be the son of James, above, or James of Cumberland, below.

The James GILLIAM family of the 1800s is the family of James GILLIAM, Jr., formerly of Cumberland. James and his family remove to Powhatan after their purchase of Somerset in 1804. The John listed is John who married Maria Jefferson James. James dies in 1812. His estate is listed in the 1812 taxes. His widow, Susannah, is listed the following year.




Date
Tithe
White
Tithe

Slaves

Horses
1782
James GILLIAM
Daphne, Pharoah, Jacob
1

3

2
Date
Tithe
White
Tithe

Slaves
Slaves, Under Age 16
Horses
Apr 1783
James GILLIAM
Patrick, Daphne, Phars, Jacob, Milly
1

2
3
2
Date
Tithe
White Males over 21
White Males, Age 16 to 21
Black Slaves, Age 16 and Up
Black Slaves, Under Age 16
Horses
Mar 1784
James GILLIAM
Patrick, Daphney, Betty, Pharaoh, Jacob, Milly
1
0
6
0
4
May 1785
James GILLIAM
Daphny, Phars, Jacob, Milly, Sampson
1
0
1
4
4
1786
James GILLIAM
Patrick, Dauphney, Pharick, Jacob Milly, Sampson
1
1
2
4
4
1786
William GILLIAM
Dinah, Mourning
1
1
2
0
0
19 Apr 1787
James GILLIAM
James GILLIAM
0
2
5
4
1788
No Gilliams enumerated





1789
No Gilliams enumerated





1790
No Gilliams enumerated





1791
No Gilliams enumerated





Date
Tithe
White Males, Age 16 and Up

Black Slaves, Age 16 and Up
Black Slaves, Age 12-16
Horses
3 Apr 1792
James Gilham
James Gilham
John Gilham

2
1
3
16 May 1793
James Gilham
James Gilham
John Gilham

2
1
3
6 May 1794
James Gilham
James Gilham
John Gilham

2
1
3
23 Apr 1795
William Cardwell
Wm Cardwell
John Gilham
Josiah Walton
Wm Low

1
0
3
1796
No Gilliams enumerated





1797
No Gilliams enumerated





1798
No Gilliams enumerated





1799
No Gilliams enumerated





1800
No Gilliams enumerated





1801
No Gilliams enumerated





1802
No Gilliams enumerated





1803
No Gilliams enumerated





1804
No Gilliams enumerated





12 Apr 1805
James Gilham
James Gilham

6
0
2
6 May 1806
James Gilham
James Gilham

6
0
2
1807
James Gilham
James Gilham
John Gilham

5
0
2
1808
Not extant





1809
James Gilham
James Gilham

5
0
4
1810
John Gilham
John Gilham

4
2
4
1810
James Gilham
James Gilham

6
1
4
1811
James GILLIAM
1

7
8
4
1812
James GILLIAM
1

7
8
3
1813
James GILLIAM Est
0

6
7
3
1814
Susanna GILLIAM
0

5
6
3



Sources:

  • Binns Genealogy. 1790 / 1800 Virginia Tax List Censuses: Reconstructed 1790 and 1800 Federal Censuses. www. binnsgenealogy.com.
  • Library of Virginia. Using Personal Property Tax Records in the Archives at the Library of Virginia - (Research Notes Number 3)