Land Tax started in England in 1692. The land tax assessments were administered by the Court of Quarter Sessions. These were local courts usually held in the county’s town or seat, which in Cheshire’s case was Chester.
After 1780, the Land Tax Assessments were also used by the Clerks of the Peace as voter registration for parliamentary elections. Only those responsible for the property were listed, so not everyone in the town was recorded. Often poorer sub-tenants or labourers were not listed on the assessments.
The Cheshire Land Tax Assessments contain over two million records from about 450 towns. The majority of the records cover the years 1786-1832, but there are some earlier records dating as far back as 1700 and some more recent records dating to 1908 included. The amount of information varies, but the records typically list the property owner, the name of the occupier, and the amount of tax money collected for that year. The Land Tax Assessments are a key resource in terms of pinpointing an ancestor’s location, and forming a picture of their social standing.