Viewing Tip

If you see a large "X" at the top right of Ask Olive Tree Genealogy blog, click on the "X" to close it. Closing the "X" will give you the best viewing experience and allow you to leave a comment on a blog post

Friday, August 6, 2010

A Dictionary Can Be Your Best Friend

Marlene asked the following question: 
I was searching tax lists for Berks county Pennsylvania for the year 1785 and at the end of each township was a list of inmates and list of single men. I thought a inmate was a single man. What is the difference?
ASK OLIVE TREE ANSWER: Marlene, any dictionary (offline or online using a Search Engine) will provide you with a generic definition of the word "inmate".

However in this case, more specifically, an inmate is a resident in some type of institution - usually a prison or an orphanage or an asylum/hospital of some sort. It has nothing to do with marital status

1 comment:

  1. Actually, in this case an "inmate" is "a married or widowed, landless individual (man) who may own taxable property" (like a horse), not a resident of an institution. Pennsylvania tax records usually divided men into landholders (by deed or lease), freeman (single men), and inmates.

    ReplyDelete