About "Tithables"...

The tithable age for free white males was always 16; free white females were never tithables.

The various acts on tithable seemed change the status of white indentured servants, and later Negro, mulatto, and Indian slaves, and free Negroes, Indians, and mulattos.

Here is a summary, with the original spellings, etc.

Oct. 1649 -
All white male natives, those who are imported free (by their parents or otherwise), or native born servants - age 16 and up.

All imported male servants - all ages. ("... notwithstanding the yearly importation of people into the collonie, the number of tithables in the said lists is rather diminished then augmented, which is in great part conceived, by this Assembly, to happen, in that all under the age of sixteen yeeres are exempted from the lists, and that once passing under that age they are seldom or never acknowledged to exceed the same ..."). No women of any race or station were tithable.

March 1657/8 -
All male servants imported of whatever age; all negroes imported male or female and Indian servants male or female however procured 16 and over; Christian servants who are natives of this country, or free persons imported by parents or otherwise, 16 and over.

Mar. 1661/2
It is hereby enacted and declared that all male persons, of what age soever imported into this country shalbe brought into the lysts and be lyable to the payment of all taxes, and all negros male and female being imported shalbe accompted tythable, and all Indian servants male or female however procured being adjudged sixteen years of age shalbe likewise tythable from which none shalbe exempted, but such christians only as are either natives of this country, or are imported free by their parents or others who shall not be lyable to the payment of levyes until they be sixteen years of age, or such others as by particular acts of assembly are exempted. Further acts exempted persons such as Councellors and ten members of their families, artisans who did not normally plant tobacco and his servants employed in his trade, all persons who came into the country in the last coming in of Sir Thomas Yates, etc. Most of these people still had to pay church levies, and all but those with Yates had to fulfil their militia duties.

Dec. 1662 -
The Assembly noted that many persons purchased women servants for working the ground in order to avoid paying levies on their servants, so that all women servants usually employed in working the crops were added to the tithable list. No age is mentioned.

Sep. 1672 -
All negro women born in this country are now accounted tithable at sixteen.

Oct. 1705 -
All male persons 16 and up; all negro, mulatto, and Indian women age 16 and up who were not free.

May 1723 -
Free negros, mullattos, or indians (except those tributary to the government) male and female above 16, and all wives of such, added to the tithable lists.

Oct. 1748
All male persons of the age of sixteen years and upwards, and all negroe, mulatto, and Indian women of the same age, except Indians tributary to this government, and all wives of free negroes, mulattos, and Indians, except as before excepted, shall be and are hereby declared to be tithable, and chargeable for defraying the public, county, and parish levies, ...

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Created March 26 2001
Updated April 24, 2006
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