I'm looking at the Charlotte County Personal Tax records for 1798 (paywalled) as shown in this image:

enter image description here

Isaac Brizendine died in 1797, and I believe the first line ends with Estate and the second line ends with Heir, but it is hard to read.

Have I interpreted those correctly?

Why does Isaac have two entries?

Would it be a minor child over age 16 that is the Heir and his brothers Joshua should be around age 18 and illegible, begins with an I or a J, that are over 18?

Or could the second Isaac be a Jr. and it reads Junior and not Heir?

Note the following from the Library of Virginia:

Personal property tax records are a substitute for records of those counties where destruction of the original deeds, wills, or other records has occurred. By studying the lists from year to year, researchers may trace an ancestor to determine the date of departure from a locality, or possibly the year of death. The name of a taxpayer will continue on the tax list, noted as “deceased” or “estate,” until the estate is settled.

  • 1
    I have no particular knowledge of Charlotte tax records, but I think it is most likely that the first entry is for the tax on the estate, just like the modern estate tax, and the second entry is the tax on Isaac Brizendine, Jr. To me, the first letter of the last word looks like an I or J, not an H, and the last looks like a superscript r, so I think it reads Jun^r (read that as a superscript r).
    – Jack
    Commented Aug 14, 2017 at 1:29
  • @Jack See updated question wherein I give info on estate treatment, it is not a tax on the estate like a modern estate tax, but a continuation of the annual tax on the property until it is settled and distributed to new living owners.
    – WilliamKF
    Commented Aug 14, 2017 at 16:29
  • 1
    I removed your surname tag - see genealogy.meta.stackexchange.com/q/28/19
    – PolyGeo
    Commented Aug 14, 2017 at 19:06

1 Answer 1


I can't speak intelligently to the question of whether or why the first entry is a reference to Isaac Brizendine's estate, although the quote that WilliamKF added seems to provide an answer to that question.

As far as the second entry goes, I believe it is for Isaac Brizendine Jr. Specifically, to me, the first letter of the last word appears to be very similar to both the I in Isaac and the J from Joshua. I don't believe it is an H. The last letter clearly seems to be a superscript r and there are two letters in between, which, while not totally clear, seem to be a u and an n. Thus, I read the last word as Junr.

There are a couple of other reasons I'm pretty sure it doesn't read "Heir."

  1. If his estate is still listed because it hasn't been settled, then it makes little sense that a person would be identified and taxed as an heir of that estate.
  2. I'm quite sure that the last letter is supposed to be a superscript. If so, I've only ever seen that used when abbreviating or contracting a word. Since heir has four letters and the last word also appears to have four letters, it obviously wouldn't be an abbreviation of heir. This implies that they are abbreviating a longer word.

So in summary, I believe that the second entry on the image reads Isaac Brizendine Junr.

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