Assessment Rolls were created and used by municipalities for property tax evaluation. These documents contain some or all of the following information: name of occupant and/or owner, occupation, religion, age of the head of the household; property description (lot size, location); assessed value of property and structures. An increase in property value from one year to another may indicate when a structure was built or there was 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.
Archives and Special Collections
Please consult the Ward Maps for the City of London to find the ward that area of the city is located within prior to using the Assessment Rolls. This map can be requested from desk staff in the reading room or viewed online. The London Assessment Roll books are organized by ward. 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 (available in the reading room, item C59). 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 is no microfilm (originals only) for 1875-1914.
• 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.
Online Assessment Rolls
Canada, Ontario Tax Assessment Rolls, 1834-1899, Database. FamilySearch. https://familysearch.org. Researchers are required to register to view digitized assessment rolls using this free resource. Family Search is a world-wide genealogical resource from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.