Thanks for reading and commenting about my blog postings. My goal is to accurately document the genealogy of my family and allied families living in Chesterfield County, SC and Anson County, NC. If you have a Chesterfield County surname you are interested in please send me an e-mail.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Oh Brother! Can You Spare me a Dime

The reconstruction era, after the Civil War, were rough times for our ancestors. Money was a scarce commodity and what you did have; you used for survival. Case in point is the minuscule amount of land taxes due during the reconstruction era and how hard it was to come up with just a few cents or dollars to pay these  taxes.

This delinquent tax list[1] is only a partial list; shorten to save space.


Just look at how small some of these taxes are; yet, their land is up for grabs to the highest bidder.

The last entry on this page is my Great Grand Father William J. Purvis. The chart shows that in the year 1887 William J. Purvis owed .59 cents in taxes, on 30 acres of land, that had not been paid.
The top of the Notice: Sale of Land for Taxes that the land would be sold for cash to the highest bidder on Monday, the 4th of February 1889. 

Sadly, Grandpa Jim sold this 30 acres on 7 January 1888 divesting himself of the last parcel of land he was ever to own in his lifetime. He died on 8 June 1941 and is buried in Zoar United Methodists Church cemetery, Chesterfield County, South Carolina.

[1] Sale of Land for Taxes - William J. Purvis, The Messenger and Intelligencer, Wadesboro, Anson County, North Carolina, United States, 3 & 10 January 1888, Page 3, Right two columns of page. Sale of Land for Taxes, 30 acres, .59 cents Taxes due.


  1. Very interesting post! Were those usually printed in the paper? It is something I never thought to look for. How did you come across this? Your research skills are the best.

  2. Colleen,
    Yes, every January, even today those who are delinquent on their taxes are published in the local newspaper - The property owner name, address/description of property and total delinquent taxes.

    I was actually looking for obituaries when I found this. The entire list covers two columns on the far right edge of the paper and in the case of Anson County covers 3 or 4 other townships which I omitted.