52 Ancestors: Taxes


Quite a bit of my mom’s family tree has been very taxing for me. She knew the names of her grandparents, but after that the information was pretty limited. She is only a second-generation American, and it can be difficult finding information in other countries.

For the longest time (I am talking years), I was stuck on Nathan Dayton Stoughton, my 3x great-grandfather. I had found him on some Canadian censuses, but never U.S. ones.

He was born around 1800 in Herkimer, New York, but at some point before 1834 moved to Canada. He had seven children, including my great-great-grandma Margaret.

A few weeks ago I was poking around on Ancestry and checking out some DNA matches, when I saw a Stoughton name. This person has a Stoughton ancestor who was born around the same time and in the same place as mine, and upon a little research, I discovered they were siblings! This unlocked a whole new branch of my tree, and I finally had a name for Nathan’s father: William.

One of the ways I checked to see if William Stoughton was in the area and of the right age was to check both the census and tax records. For the 1800 and 1810 censuses, only the head of household was listed, and there is a William Stoughton in Herkimer, New York. The census lists one white male under the age of 10, which presumably would have been Nathan.

1800 census
1800 United States Federal Census.

The New York Tax Assessment Rolls from 1799 and 1800 also list William Stoughton living in Herkimer. He is listed as owning a home and lot.

tax 1800
1800 New York Tax Assessment Rolls of Real Estate and Personal Taxes.

He is also listed on the same tax roll in 1804.

On the 1810 census, William Stoughton is still listed in the area, now with one white male aged 10 to 16, and two under the age of 10. I assume that since 10 years had passed, Nathan would now be 10 or 11.

1810 census
1810 United States Federal Census.

Uncovering this line has been important to me. Having the name Stoughton led to my relatives (incorrectly) assuming direct lineage from William Stoughton, judge for the Salem Witch Trials. This had been repeated over and over, but since he had no children, a direct line is impossible.

Judge William Stoughton. Not my direct ancestor.

My Stoughton ancestors moved to Canada. William died in 1845 in Picton, Ontario, and Nathan died in 1886 in Arnprior, Ontario. It would be Nathan’s grandson William McCallum who would immigrate to the United States.

That’s all I have for this week’s prompt!

If you are interested, you can find the rest of my 52 Ancestors posts my clicking the tag at the top of the post.

Until next time,


2 Replies to “52 Ancestors: Taxes”

  1. I have ancestors who went to Canada also. It was around Revolution/war of 1812 so I’m thinking they were torries. Went to Nova Scotia. They returned years later but my grandfather still visited relatives in the 1930-40s.

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