I've still been applying last months information and have set up a spreadsheet to function as a worksheet and timeline. This is something I would recommend as a means to support census information as well as narrow times down-such as death dates, ages etc. Now, one must be aware that tax records are not necessarily complete in all areas. Murphy's Law has followed me down this avenue as well! I've been to KDLA and find chunks of records and naturally the specific years I need are not there.....go figure! LOL So this does narrow down some searching-but with genealogy-there's always another line to pursue! :) My game plan was/is to focus on years before, during, right after ancestor turns 21 and then before, during and after death date. Going with when they first appear in the tax records is very likely the year they turned 21 as they had to pay taxes (leastwise in Kentucky)starting at that age. Then you can have some clues as to potential fathers (or confirmation if you already know that information. My next step is then to follow the land records and having the tax dates and land amounts, I can narrow down the search and fine tune it a bit. Sounds good! Below is a copy of one of the pages for the tax records on my 3rd great grandfather-Hyrcannous Jett. Yes, the spelling of his first name is still a mystery! But at least I'm finding information and thanks to Fold3-I've been able to get Civil War information! To explain a little about my spreadsheet, I've found the first time he appears in tax records-which does calculate to 21 years old based on birth date. He is also listed right by his father. This shows the land and counties he was in. I've identified census years in blue and put the county he was in during that year. In the actual spreadsheet, the entire row is highlighted in blue to stand out a bit more. As I look up records, I can fill in the blanks and then go to the deeds to see what all happened with the land. You may note the Wtr Course or Nearest Nbr- this is for either the water course which was noted in several years of tax records and then a switch was made to nearest neighbor-so I'm utilizing that column for both. I put his year my other records indicate he would be 21 and year of death in bold. Using a spreadsheet also allows me to put in more information if needed/desired. For example in notes I can note year he married and years of each child or I can add additional columns for this information. Some folks may think this is a bit redundant but it does help me to better analyze the information and I like the visual-things click easier....as you can see-there's more to be done......
|Year||Last Name||First Name||Land||Wtr Course or Nearest Nbr||County||Notes:|
|1856||Jett||Arkannas||Breathitt||21 yo, 1 horse/mule, 10 hogs|
|1870||Breathitt Co Ky|
|1880||Breathitt Co Ky|
|1890||Breathitt Co Ky|
|1900||Breathitt Co Ky|