I'm browsing the Binns Virginia Personal and Land tax records from 1780s, 1790s, and 1800s to try and locate more sources in my research. In so doing, Binns has some indexing, but it appears to be incomplete, so I've been browsing the records to find ancestors. For example, looking at Botetourt County, Virginia Personal Property Tax Lists 1783 - 1810, I found William Samples in the index for his 1799 entry listed as 1799A on page 15, but browsing the non-free area, I find that same record under page 9. It appears to subscription area gives two pages at a time and the images are not identical.
What determines whether an item is in the index? Is it just random as they build the index, as to whether an entry is listed? Why is the same page available in two different images?
Did the collector go around the county in alphabetical order? What about the listing order of names in the record? It seems to be ordered by last name, did the tax collector follow any logic to their order? In the 1795B entry, I see William Samples again on May 9, 1795. Why was he with all the other last names beginning with 'S' but in the middle after names beginning 'Sh' on April 4th? Also, on prior page 8, the 'S's begin on March 25th after the 'R's section that ends with March 24th, but the 'S' begins with James Shackey. It seems all the 'Sh' names are together on dates near each other.
What are the patterns of entry in the tax books and how can this be used to help search for a given surname and not miss them by error. Was a person taxed every year, so if you don't find them, you should keep looking?