- From: "Joseph McMillan" <j_mcmillan@xxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: 22 Mar 2006 09:33:50 -0800
Edward A. Wenzl wrote:
Cowboy heraldry: Probably the closest thing to an indiginious heraldry
the US every came up with is the "brand." Not only was the brand used
to identify animals (mostly cattle), but was often posted over the
entrace to the ranch. And the brand had to be duly recored.
All true except the idea that brands are indigenous to the US. Marking
livestock both by branding and by cutting notches in the ears was a
custom brought to America by the early settlers, certainly those from
England and I believe those from Spain and France as well. The Georgia
state archives website has an image of two pages from a brand
registration book dating back to 1755--despite the popular image, it
wasn't something invented by cowboys out on the open range.
Also, another difference from fully developed heraldry is that the
brand in many cases would be sold along with the land, especially if
the livestock was also conveyed.