Indiana tax lists from the 1800s were based on how much property someone owned, usually real estate, but sometimes also personal property (such as livestock) if it reached a certain minimum value.
However, the federal taxes that were assessed during the Civil War focused on those who owned personal property such as a horse and wagon, or professionals such as doctors and lawyers who received a license from the state. As such, these federal assessment lists from the 1860s can give you insight into a different group of ancestors than those that were included on Indiana's property tax lists from the same period.
An 1862 federal tax assessment list for Johnson County, Indiana:
|Johnson County, Indiana federal tax assessment, 1862. Image courtesy Ancestry.com. Click here for full-size PDF (will open in new tab.)|
The National Archives has microfilmed these federal tax assessment lists. Indiana's portion covers 1862 through 1866. Digital images are available at both Ancestry.com (subscription required) and FamilySearch (free):
- Ancestry.com: U.S. IRS Tax Assessment Lists, 1862-1918
- FamilySearch: United States Internal Assessment Lists, 1862-1874
For the FamilySearch database, you must browse the digital images; they are not yet indexed there. The records are arranged by state and then by county. Ancestry.com's database does have a searchable index, but if you also want to browse the digital images, be aware that they are arranged by state and then Congressional District, not by county. We have a table (PDF format) of Indiana's 92 counties and what Congressional District they were in from 1821 through 1911.
You might want to compare the quality/legibility of the digital images on the two sites. Here is the same Johnson County 1862 list, as viewed on FamilySearch:
|Johnson County, Indiana federal tax assessmet, 1862. Image courtesy FamilySearch. Click here for full-size PDF (will open in new tab).|