Assessment Rolls are created for property tax evaluation and contain some or all of the following information: name of occupant and/ or owner, occupation, religion, and age of the head of the household; then the description (lot size, location), assessed value of property and building. An increase in property value from one year to another can indicate when a structure is built on a property or major change to the structure. When Township Assessment Rolls are used they can assist in filling in occupancy or ownership information between available directories and census data.
Please consult the following maps located in the Reading Room prior to reviewing the Assessment Rolls. Use the Ward Maps for the City of London to find the ward that area of the city is located within. The London Assessment Roll books are organized by ward and then as the assessor walked the streets to compile the information. Prior to annexation it is necessary to work with the Assessment Rolls for the surrounding municipalities. The Annexation Map should be used to confirm the date the property was annexed by the City of London, as Assessment Rolls will begin the next year for that area. The best way to search the volume for the property is by street name and lot/address number or owner/occupant if known.
Assessment Rolls are available for the following municipalities, with most available on microform (inclusive dates are given):
• London 1854-1960, originals (1854-1916)
• There are printed London Assessment Rolls for 1916, 1927, 1939, 1953, 1959 and 1966 with the streets arranged alphabetically and then by street number
• Annexed municipalities of London East, London West and also surrounding areas for London Township, 1875-1897 and Westminster Township, 1854-1955
• Township Assessment Rolls are available for many Counties including Middlesex, Elgin, Lambton.
Prior to approximately 1882, street numbers were not usually given as they were not in common use yet. It is best to know the property owners/occupants before working with the Assessment Rolls. This can often be done by going to the Land Registry Office to get a copy of the abstract for the property as it will list property owners. Collector’s rolls were used to track the payment of property tax and many of the same types of data are tracked if years are missing for Assessment Rolls.