First off, Mother Bedford refers to Bedford County Pennsylvania. Bedford County was once a huge mother of a county, but as time has gone by, several other counties have be formed from towns that originally were a part of Bedford. Pretty much all of my ancestral lines spent at least some time in Mother Bedford so it is particularly helpful that this site shares such useful information.
While I have been doing my genealogy for a few years, I am in no way an expert. I knew enough to collect early american tax records when I found them, but I haven't quite figured out what all the information means. Tax Assessments include names and value of property. Individuals were listed on the early tax assessment returns in one of four categories: Resident, Freeman, Inmate, and Non-Resident. (Women rarely own property. Upon their husband's death, his property transferred to his oldest son. Occasionally you may find a Resident listing a Widow Smith., indicating there was no male to leave the property too.)
- Resident: Married man who owns property and resides on property
- Freeman: Single man who owns property and resides on property
- Inmate: Any man who rents property he resides on
- Non-Resident: Any property owner who does not reside on said property
And Mother explained the inmate code! It's nice to know my ancestor wasn't a criminal. Now if I could remember which ancestor had this notation on their tax record I'd be totally psyched. Since I don't and I don't want to forget the definition when I finally find him, I've written this blog.