Monday, January 24, 2011

Bovina Earmarks

No, I'm not talking about something in Congress that directs tons of money to Bovina (unfortunately). What I am talking about are earmarks that Bovina farmers used to make sure they could identify what sheep belonged them. These earmarks were registered with the town clerk. In the records of the Town of Bovina there is a book of these earmarks dating from the town's creation in 1820 to 1836. There were more farmers in Bovina than this list demonstrates. In 1821, there were probably 150 farmers, while this list, covering a 16 year period, shows 68 farmers (and some are on here more than once). So why only some Bovina farmers show up here is anyone's guess. It could be these were the larger farms or maybe the farmers not on this list always kept their animals securely penned, negating the need to distinguish their sheep from others. Here are the 68 earmarks registered with the town clerk from 1820 to 1836:
  • Bailey, William - Swallow fork on the left ear and a square crop and a hole through the right ear
  • Balentyne, Robert - A half penny on the under side of each ear
  • Bassett, Francis - Swallow fork on the left ear and a half crop on the right ear the upper part cut out
  • Brush, Alexander - A crop on the left ear and a slit in the same and a half crop on the foreside of the right ear
  • Brush, Joel - His sheep mark two half pennys under side of the right ear
  • Cambers, Dan H. - Square crop on each ear & a halfpenny on the underside of the right ear
  • Carman, Joshua - A crop on the right ear
  • Carman, Sr. James - Three halfpennys on the underside of the right ear
  • Cline, Adam - A square crop off the left ear and Halfpennys on the right one on the upper and the other on the lower part of the same
  • Conor, Francis - A crop on the right ear and a hole in the same
  • Croziers, Walter - A half penny on the upper side of the right ear
  • Davis, Alban - One hole through the right ear
  • Davis, Benjamin - A slit in each ear
  • Davis, Samuel - Two half pennys on the underside of the left ear
  • Dean Jun, John - A crop in the Left on a slit in the Right ear
  • Doolittle, William - Sheep mark is a crop on the Right ear and a slit on the left
  • Elliott, John - A crop on the left ear and halfpenny on the underside of the right ear
  • Erkson, John - A halfpenny on the underside of the right ear
  • Halstead, William - A crop of the left ear and a half penny on the underside of the same
  • Hamilton, Robert - A crop on the left ear
  • Hamilton, Thomas - Letter T branded on their face or forehead
  • Hastings, John - A slit in the left ear
  • Hilton, Nathan - Sheep mark is a slit in each ear
  • Jones, George - Half crop on both ears
  • Jones, George - his brand on the head of the sheep mark I between the eyes
  • Jones, George - His sheep mark a crop of the Right ear and a hapenny under side of each ear
  • Jones, William - Crop on the right ear and a halfpenny on the underside of the left ear
  • Jones, William - A half crop on the upperside of the left ear and a halfpenny on the underside of the same ear
  • Ladd, John - Swallow for on the left ear
  • Ladd, Thomas N. - Hole through the left ear and a swallow fork on the right ear
  • Landon, Thomas S. - Two slits on the right ear and a crop on the left
  • Landon, Jr, Thomas - A swallow fork in each ear and a half penny on the foreside of the Right Ear
  • Leet, Charles - A crop on the right ear and a half penny on the underside of the left ear
  • Light, Close - Sheep mark is a crop on the left ear and a halfpenny on the front on upper part of the right ear
  • Ludington, Henry - his cattle mark is a slanting crop of the left ear
  • Maynard, Elisha B. - a swallow fork in each ear
  • McCumber, Christopher - A square crop on the left ear & a half crop on the underside off the right ear
  • McFarland, Thomas - A slit in the right ear
  • McNaught, Duncan - Swallow fork on the left ear and a half crop on the upper part of the right ear
  • McNaught, Hecter - his sheep mark half crop in each ear and a hole in each ear
  • McNaught, John - Mark is altered to a half crop on the lower part of the right ear and a crop on the left ear
  • McNaught, John - A half crop in the right ear and a hole in the left
  • McNaught, Malcom - A crop on the right ear and a hole in the left
  • Minzee, Robert - a half crop on both ears and branded across the nose
  • Mitchell, Robert - Sheep & cattle mark is a swallow fork over the right ear & a crop on the left
  • Nelson, James R. - A hole in the left ear
  • Nesbitt, George - Sheep mark is a swallow fork on the left ear and a crop on the right ear
  • Paterson, Joseph - A half crop on underside of the Right Ear and the upper side of the left
  • Purdy, Frederick - A square crop on the right ear and a half crop on the under part of the left ear
  • Raitt, John - Swallow fork on each ear
  • Renwick, James - A half penny on the underside of the left ear
  • Reynolds, Daniel - A slit in the left ear and halfpenny on the underside of the same
  • Reynolds, John - Two half pennys on the upper side of each ear
  • Reynolds, Stephen - A crop on the left ear and a nick in the side of the same
  • Rider, John - Sheep mark is a crop on the right ear and halfpenny on the upper side of the same
  • Russell, Jr., James - Sheep mark is a hole through the left ear & a swallow fork on the right ear.
  • Rutherford, John - A slit on the left ear and a halfpenny on the underside of the right ear
  • Scott, John - Sheep mark a notch under part of each ear
  • Scott, Robert - Farmer, A half penny on the upper side of each ear
  • Scutt, Jonathan - A crop on the rear or left ear and a slit in the right ? Ear
  • Sopers, Peleg - Crop on the right ear and an oblique slant on the left ear on the front part thereof
  • Storey, Widow Mary - A crop on the Right ear and 2 halfpennys on the underside of the left ear
  • Thomson, James - a half crop on the left ear
  • Thomson, John - Sheep and Cattle mark is a crop on the right ear & a halfpenny on the underside of the same
  • Tuttle, Solomon - The left ear half cut off
  • Wooden, Orrin - Sheep mark is a crop on the left ear and a half penny on the upperside of the same ear
Here's one of the early pages from the register of sheep marks. After about three pages, they stopped including the drawing of the sheep's head noting which ear had the mark.

3 comments:

  1. Charles Leet is my Great 5 Grandfather, its quite cool to see that Earmark.

    Now, I've done some work to try to determine who Charles Leets father was, I believe it was an Allen LEET who lived in Benson, Vermont. I think that his father was a bigmast, I can present the evidence I have my email is linuxcpa@gmail.com if you have any interest.

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  2. Great post! thought I knew everything there was to know about Thoams Hamilton (who built our house) and his brother Robert, but nice to know there is still gems waiting to be uncovered.

    Tom

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