Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Branding Marks

I've never owned an animal that had a brand or needed one. No horse, cow or anything like that. There haven't been too many in my recent family who would have either.
Gwen and the Longacre Brand
In my wife's family line were several who owned ranches.

Her great uncle David Coffman, a part time preacher who also married us, had several ranches near Abilene, Texas where he raised sheep. I don't know if he tried to brand them, but he also had cattle and probably registered a brand for the cows.

It's serious business in Texas where you have to register your brand each year with the County and pay a fee. If you are late someone can apparently take your brand as their own.  

My daughter travelled with her grandmother to Abilene a couple years ago for a high school reunion and found this display painted on one of the downtown buildings that had samples of local cattle brands. It included one for her grandmother's Longacre family. Her grandfather was Benjamin Longacre and both he and his father raised cattle in Texas.

The web page of the Texas Cattle Raisers Association interprets what the artwork in a brand means. So the Longacre brand with a line over the LO is called a rail.

I found this 1889 newspaper article that described another Texas family brand. John William Glenn was my wife's great grandfather. He was born in 1870 in Bluff Springs, Alabama and died in 1943 in Dublin, Erath County Texas.

Dallas Morning New August 12, 1889
He moved to Texas with his parents in 1888. This report described the brand on his mule that someone stole in 1889 as having a 3 with a half circle over it. A half circle is supposed to mean "swinging." So this means his brand was the Swinging 3. John William Glenn was also a Methodist minister so I doubt the design of his brand had any family connection.

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