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52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 15: Taxes

Megan

Well to say that this weeks 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge has been “taxing” would be an understatement.  I struggled to come up with anything that could fit this.  I have never looked for tax records – do they even exist for Australian or UK records?  Must look into this.  Then I had a vague memory of finding something to do with rates for my step-grandfather.  Bingo!  I had my inspiration.


Week 15 – Taxes


The record I have chosen to write about is in relation to Horace Alfred Lance.  He was my grandmother, Marjorey Brand’s cousin – their mothers Ella and Gladys Matheson were sisters.  Following his wife’s death, Horace married Marj in 1964 – second marriages for both – and lived with her daughter and his three children.


There are many government records that help us to paint a picture of our ancestors and their lives.  The State Records Office of Western Australia has a range of Local Government Records available at the repository on microfiche.1   Some of these can also be found on Ancestry.2  One such collection is the Rates Books for the Perth City Council.


The Rates Books show who owned the property and the residents of the property at the time.   They are useful for not only identifying where your ancestors lived but the history of a property.1   Ancestry describes their collection:

This collection includes images of rate books that record payments residents made for road maintenance. Records can include the property owner’s name occupant’s name occupation description of property, value, tax rate, and date and amount paid

Because these records place individuals at a particular address in a particular year, they are very helpful for tracing your Perth ancestors’ whereabouts. This collection includes rate books for the local councils amalgamated into Greater Perth in 1914, including Leederville, North Perth and Victoria Park.2


2018 101 Berwick Street, Victoria Park, Western Australia

101 Berwick Street, Victoria Park, Western Australiaa


In the 1939 Rates Book for the Perth City Council, Horace is seen living at 101 Berwick Street, Victoria Park.3  The property was located in Subdivision 1, Town Lot 1166 in Swan region and had a net value of £47. 3  The photo shows the house as it stands today on Google Maps.

Horace was required to pay a figure of £5.5.9 for the yearly rates that covered roads, health, and sanitary charges.3





1939 Perth Rates Book Horace Alfred Lance

Excerpt of 1939 Perth Rates Book Horace Alfred Lanceb


I must admit I don’t really understand everything contained within the document.  I need to spend some time researching the meaning of the contents of the document!  Another thing on my to-do-list.



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Bibliography
1. State Records Office of Western Australia, ‘Local Government Records’, http://www.sro.wa.gov.au/archive-collection/collection/local-government-records, Accessed 18 April 2018.
2. Perth, Western Australia, Australia, Rate Books, 1880-1946′, https://search.ancestry.com.au/search/db.aspx?dbid=3178, Accessed 18 April 2018.
3. Rates Book, 1939 City of Perth, Victoria Park Ward, Western Australia Rates Notice Book, P.124, No.2225. LANCE Horace Alfred, Ancestry.com. Perth, Western Australia, Australia, Rates Books, 1880-1946 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc., Original data: Perth City Council. City of Perth Rate Books. Consignment number 3460, item numbers 1-626. State Record Office of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia.

Image Credits
a. Google Maps, ‘101 Berwick Street, Victoria Park, Western Australia’,  https://www.google.com.au/maps, Accessed 18 April 2018.
b. Rates Book, 1939 City of Perth, Victoria Park Ward, Western Australia Rates Notice Book, P.124, No.2225. LANCE Horace Alfred, Ancestry.com. Perth, Western Australia, Australia, Rates Books, 1880-1946 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc., Original data: Perth City Council. City of Perth Rate Books. Consignment number 3460, item numbers 1-626. State Record Office of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia.
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2 Comments

  1. Anna
    AnnaReply
    April 23, 2018 at 8:04 pm

    Hi Megan,
    I think this blog is amazing! Every family has its own unique story and history. And sometimes we need to be a little bit of detectives to find our roots.
    I think tax documents will contain a lot of valuable information. Like in your case you were able to identify the property where one of your ancestors lived in and also partly his financial background.
    Reading this documents can be really hard as the language changed a lot. Plus it is always hard to read hand-written texts. And if the record you are looking is at least drafted in the language you speak, that is not too bad. What if your ancestors are from the other continent and the record in a completely different language. That might be challenging.
    Looking forward to reading more ancestors’ adventures from you!

    • Megan
      MeganReply
      April 23, 2018 at 10:52 pm

      Hi Anna

      Thank you for your wonderful insights.  I must seriously look into finding if there are tax records available for my ancestors.  It’s another thing on the to-do-list.  I am so glad you are enjoying my blog and the stories of my ancestors.

      Regards,

      Megan

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