Erie County (PA) Genealogy

Family Histories & Biographies

Cattle Marks of Springfield Township

Contributed by Evelyn Baker


Our Springfield Township coordinator, Evelyn Baker, has provided the interesting article below. It concerns the marking of animals owned by the early residents of the township. Evelyn has not only provided names of the people involved, but has also included the very descriptive information about the "markings" and the registration process. Any questions or comments concerning this article should be sent directly to Evelyn Baker.


Cattle Brand Marks

Pioneer farmers of Springfield Township quickly found a need to mark their livestock as the population increased. They wanted simple identifications, that were easily made.

Only the owner or a trusted foreman, who was not too tender hearted, did the branding. It was against all etiquette to brand another farmer's animals.

Farmers would 'traipse to the barn' and often find a neighbor's horse, sheep, bulls, oxen, cows, ducks, or a steer. Strays were commonplace in the early1820s. The ability to read the markings was referred to as ' callin' the brand '.

THOMAS R. MILLER was the first Springfield Town Clerk to register the brand marks, & the lost or stolen livestock. He won the office with 9 votes in an uncontested election. Ballots were cast at a schoolhouse near the Springfield + roads, now known as the intersection of old route 20 & route 215.

 

B r a n d M a r k s

Genealogists are encouraged to trace family brands through their state Department of Agriculture, Brand Inspection Board. In states without brand recording laws, the state cattlemen's association can often be helpful. To the farmer, brand marks were his reputation, character, & a permanent coat of arms.

This is a listing of Springfield Township pioneer farmers & depicts their chosen identities of farm animals. The following historic account was found at the town hall

in an old 1811 - 1850 Ledger.

EPHRIUM ROBINSON's Brand mark: A swallows tail on each

ear & a halfpenny on the upper side of the left ear.

Recorded June 1824

 

ROBERT MORRELL's Brand mark: A swallow tail on the right ear.

Recorded September 25, 1824

 

JAMES BOND's Brand mark: A swallow tail on the right ear & a

hole in the left ear. Recorded April 8, 1827

 

JOSEPH HEWIT's Brand mark: A slit in both ears.

Recorded April 10, 1827

 

SAMUEL GULLIFORD's Brand mark: A hole in both ears.

Recorded November 15, 1828

 

WILLIAM HART's Brand mark: A swallow tail on both ears.

Recorded January 9, 1829

 

JOHN DEVORES's Brand mark: A crop off both ears & a slit

on the left ear. Recorded January 12, 1829

 

N. M. MOON's Brand mark: A square crop of the under side

of the right ear & a swallow tail on the left ear.

Recorded October 18, 1831

 

JOSEPH S. SANDERS's Brand mark: A square crop off the left ear.

Recorded November 6, 1831

 

JAMES WELL's Brand mark: A square crop off the left ear and a

crop off the right ear. Recorded June 21, 1836

 

WASHINGTON JAY's Brand mark: A slit in the left ear.

Recorded April 15, 1837

 

JOSHUA SMITH's Brand mark: 2 notches in the right ear

& a square crop of the left ear. Recorded May 27, 1837

 

STEPHEN F. WARNER's Brand mark: A swallow tail

in the right ear & a square crop of the left ear.

Recorded May 24, 1839

 

JOSEPH BRINDLE's Brand mark: crop of the lower side

of the right ear. Recorded June 1840

 

SAMUEL WILSON's Brand mark: A square crop off the left ear

& a hole through the right ear. Recorded March 15, 1844

 

JOSEPH BRINDLE's Brand mark: Ducks & geese marked with

a slit in the right web of the right foot. Recorded by Springfield

Town Clerk, HERMAN BUMP on December 31, 1842

 

LORENZO D. HARVEY's Brand mark: Sheep marked with a

square crop on both ears & a slit on the right ear.

Recorded May 20, 1846

WILLIAM MARSH, Jr.'s Brand mark: Sheep with a square crop

off the right ear - halfpenny crop on the upper side of left ear.

Recorded by HERMAN BUMP, Town Clerk - no date listed.

WILLIAM ELLIS's Brand mark: Sheep with a crop off the

under side of the left ear. Recorded March 1, 1848

 

S t r a y s

Came to the plantation of HEZEKIAH SMITH on Monday, the 29th of March, a young red cow supposed to be 4 years old this spring. No brand or ear mark. The owner is desired to prove property, pay charges, & take her animal.

Recorded by Springfield Town Clerk, THOMAS R. MILLER - April 4, 1824

 

Came to the plantation of SETH REMINGTON on the 5th of July - a yoke of cattle supposed to be 4 or 5 years old - the one, a red bull - the other, a black

Mully with a little white on belly & end of tail likewise tied to foot with a rope

when he came. Recorded by Springfield Town Clerk, THOMAS R. MILLER

July 9, 1824

 

Came to the plantation of OLIVER SMITH on the 16th of August 1824 - 3 Oxen,

5 or 6 years old - one of them a brindle - the other 2 are red with some white on the belly & a crop on both ears. No other marks perceiveable.

Recorded by Springfield Town Clerk, THOMAS R. MILLER - Sept. 10, 1824.

 

Broke into the enclosure of SANFORD HARVEY on the 15th - a black steer

4 years old - star on forehead - some white about legs. Recorded by Springfield Town Clerk, THOMAS R. MILLER - September 20, 1824

 

Came to the plantation of AMOS REMINGTON on the 31st of September, last,

a large white ram - a crop on the left ear & a slit in the right ear - points of the

horns are cut off. Recorded by Springfield Town Clerk, THOMAS R. MILLER October 4, 1824

 

Came to the plantation of ISAAC SILVERTHORN sometine in September - a red & white steer - supposed to be 2 years old - no brand. Recorded January 1, 1826

 

Came to the premises of HIRAM EATON in Springfield on the 28th of May, 1828

a bay horse - supposed to be 18 or 20 years old - no shoes on - no other marks

perceiveable. Recorded in Springfield - June 2, 1828

 

Came to the premises of THOMAS McKEE sometime in October - 3 sheep with

a crop from the right ear & a crop from the left ear. Recorded February 18, 1830

 

Came to the farm of JOSIAH WHITNEY on January 23, 1831 - a red cow with a

halfpenny mark under side of the right ear - the right horn broke off & tied with a
cloth - some white on bag - supposed to be 6 years old. Recorded Jan. 29, 1831

 

Broke into the enclosue of WILLIAM BREWSTER living on the Ridge Road in Springfield Township on July 13, 1831 - a brindle cow - no regular ear mark, but appears to be cut in the ear by dogs - has a bell - appears to be 10 or 12 years old. Recorded July 16, 1831

 

Broke into the enclosure of ROBERT McINTIRE - a small bay mare with 3 white feet - 3 shoes on - back has been injured by a saddle - owner reguested to prove property, pay charges, & take her away. Recorded June 19, 1834

 

Broke into the enclosure of JOHN SHERMAN - a gray colt - about 2 years old

owner is requested to prove property - pay charges - take him away. Recorded

by A. SMITH, Town Clerk, on June 4, 1844

 

Came to the enclosure of WILLIAM WEED - red steer - about 2 years old - white spots on tail, belly, right shoulder, & legs - broad horns. Recorded by A. SMITH, Town Clerk, on November 18, 1844

 

Broke into the enclosure of REUBEN TAYLOR - a brindle cow - about 5 years old - with high horns - a calf by her side. Recorded August 12, 1846

 

Came into the enclosure of FRANKLIN DIBBLE - brindle & white heifer - about 2 years old. Recorded June 1, 1847

 

Came into the enclosure of PERRY DEVORE on the 20th day of September -

10 sheep - no mark to be seen. Recorded by Springfield Town Clerk, HERMAN

BUMP - September 20, 1848

 

Came into the enclosure of ANDREW WALBRIDGE on February 28th - a white boar pig about 6 months old. Recorded by Springfield Town Clerk, H. G. HARVEY - March 3, 1852

 

Came into the enclosure of THOMAS POTTER on the 15th or 19th - 2 Oxen -

one dark brindle supposed to be 6 years old - the other, a light red with white

on the face, supposed to be 5 years old. Recorded by Springfield Town Clerk,

HERMAN BUMP - May 20, 1853


This page was last updated on  Saturday, April 17, 2004 .

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