In the absence of the 1790, 1800, and 1810 censuses of Georgia, these early tax lists are a godsend, standing in as almost perfect substitutes for the missing enumerations and in many ways improving on the detail found in most old census records. The counties for which tax records are provided, with their years of coverage, are as follows:
Camden 1794, 1809
Glynn 1790, 1794
Montgomery 1797, 1798, 1805, 1806
Warren 1794, 1805, 1818
Wilkes 1792, 1793, 1794
For each tax list a great deal of information is provided that cannot be found in any other record source. For example, each tax list generally gives the name of the taxpayer, the name of the adjoining property owner, and the name of the original grantee of land–information impossible to find in a census record and of the utmost importance in genealogical research. In addition, though less relevant genealogically, the tax lists identify the number of slaves attached to the property, the watercourses, the acreage, and the value of the land.
Valuable as they are, when these lists were originally compiled and published by Georgia State Historian Ruth Blair in 1926, they were not published with an index and were almost impossible to use. A dozen years later, however, a new State Historian, Mrs. J. E. Hays, prepared a complete index to all 25,000 taxpayers and adjoining property owners and published it as a 1938 W.P.A. project. The two parts, the 1926 Digests and the 1938 Index, are finally united in this reprint edition which can now claim to be the foremost source in early Georgia genealogy. To the genealogist searching for his Georgia roots, this is the true starting point of any serious research.