Friday, 19 October 2012

Ottawa (Gloucester) Tax Assessment Rolls 1855-1919 on Ancestry

Ancestry.ca have added name indexed images of Tax Assessment and Collector Rolls, 1855-1919, for Gloucester Township, the part of Ottawa east of the Rideau River containing, in no particular order, the Governor General's residence at Rideau Hall, the Prime Minister's residence at 24 Sussex Drive, the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre, and my home.

According to Ancestry:

This database contains images of both tax assessment and collectors rolls. Tax assessment rolls provided estimates of property values that were used as a basis for municipal taxation. Collectors rolls were used to record taxes paid. Both documents contain similar details, which may include the following:
name of occupier
age
occupation
name of owner
address or lot
acreage
value of property
taxes assessed
Forms may indicate include marital status for women, religion, number of children and other breakdowns of residents by age, livestock owned or improvements made to property, and other details related to taxation or population statistics. Tax assessments are useful for both tracing your ancestors’ movements and the details they can provide on a family’s situation.
Browsing casually I found the "population statistics" for 1910  included a count of all people residing on the property, and some records of births and deaths during the year.

A map showing land divisions is useful in understanding the locations within the township. Ancestry doesn't provide that so try the Ontario Country Atlas for Carleton County, Gloucester Township, online from http://digital.library.mcgill.ca/countyatlas/search.htm . Also helpful is the website of the Gloucester Historical Society, especially the list of Early Gloucester Families.

Near my home a large area, including the land now occupied by the Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club, was settled by William Upton who is recorded in these tax records. You'd never guess his interesting story prior to arrival in Canada told in this article by Mark Jodoin.




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