New Castle, Delaware
Community History and Archaeology Program 

Annotated tax records for New Castle, 1776-1826

In preparation for writing his book Many Identities, One Nation historian Liam Riordan of the University of Maine transcribed the early tax records of New Castle, and the 1800 and 1830 Federal Census.

He has graciously provided his databases containing the names, assessed values and (sometimes cryptic) notes on political, religious, military service and racial information on the residents. Available here are the data in the form of sortable tables. Also available is an Excel spreadsheet which allows more detailed examination.

1776 | 1798 | 1815 | 1826

The tables provide not only information on individual inhabitants, but also the numerial context of their place in those factors. For example of the latter, more than 40% of taxpayers had revolutionary war service, and participation was even in all economic tiers.

An example of the former is individual details on George Read Jr, builder of the 'most elegant house in Delaware'. Was he wealthy? Did the building of his house bankrupt him? The tax records do not reveal liquid assets, but they show that he was clearly wealthy, though not the richest in town, and that he remained wealthy at least between 1798 and 1826. His father, George Sr., was 5th richest in 1776, and 13th richest in 1798 -- about the top 10% of all taxed inhabitants (which excluded transients and the very poor). George Read Junior was 14th, 8th, and 5th richest in 1798, 1815 and 1826 respectively.

Some details on annotation and abbreviations is available here. For further information, contact Prof. Riordan directly. (Liam.Riordan@umit.maine.edu).