During 2019 Chesterfield Courthouse Chapter National Society Daughters of the Revolution worked again with the library of Virginia as part of the Library’s “Adopt Virginia’s History” program to preserve a second important piece of history – Chesterfield County (Va.) Lists of Tithables, 1752 June, that records the list of tithable heads of household in Chesterfield County for June 1752. Included within this document are individuals whose descendants still live in Chesterfield County, including the Blankenships, Cogbills, Vanns, and Vadens.
In seventeenth-century and eighteenth-century Virginia, the term “tithable” referred to a person who paid (or for whom someone else paid) one of the taxes imposed by the General Assembly for the support of civil government in the colony. In colonial Virginia, a poll tax or capitation tax was assessed on free white males, African American slaves, and Native American servants (both male and female), all age sixteen or older. Owners and masters paid the taxes levied on their slaves and servants. For a more detailed history of tithables, consult “Colonial tithables” found on the Library of Virginia’s website: https://www.lva.virginia.gov/public/guides/rn17_tithables.htm.
During the Revolutionary War, British soldiers burned the 1749 Chesterfield Courthouse. Before that happened, the County Clerk Thomas Watkins removed from the Chesterfield Courthouse the Chesterfield County (Va.) Lists of Tithables, June 1752 and other documents. These documents exist today because of Thomas Watkins’s diligence.
Before restoration, the 267-year-old paper Chesterfield County (Va.) Lists of Tithables, 1752 June had tears and gaps where it had deteriorated. Recognizing the historical significance of the document, the Chesterfield Courthouse Chapter NSDAR chose this project and contributed funding for its repair and restoration. Over a period of a few months in the fall of 2019, a team of restoration professionals contracted and supervised by the Library of Virginia restored this valuable resource for students of colonial history as well as for genealogists who are researching ancestors from Chesterfield County. The Library of Virginia houses the Chesterfield County (Va.) Lists of Tithables, 1752 June.