Elgin County, Ontario, Canada
Historic Assessment Rolls, Collector’s Rolls & Voters’ Lists
Assessment rolls are a valuable source for tracing the movements of your ancestor or relative. They are especially important when tracing people who were tenants on a property, since Land Registry Office records generally do not record tenants. Assessment rolls are also valuable for determining the earliest date of location on a particular property since the date of registration of a deed occurred sometimes several years after the person had actually settled there.
Information for an assessment roll was gathered for municipal taxation purposes; therefore the statistics found in these records will have little genealogical content. Information you can expect to find are the person’s name, designation as owner or tenant; lot and concession (street address for urban areas), number of acres, value of property, and the amount of tax assessed. Occupations and ages are often also given. For women, marital status is often recorded.
Many of the Assessment Rolls also contain the accompanying Collectors Rolls. The Collectors Rolls were used by the tax collectors to record payment of taxes. They contain most of the same information from the Assessment roll. The collection of Collectors Rolls is not complete, and may be found on the same microfilm reel as the Assessment Rolls. Where an Assessment Roll does not exist, the Collectors Roll can be used as a replacement, since much of the same information is included.
The Elgin County Archives has an extensive collection of these assessment rolls on microfilm. Some original rolls are housed at the Elgin County Archives, and others at Municipal Offices.