This series contains registers of cattle brands and horse brands, 1914-1947. Includes Brand Owners' Index [Horses] 1914-1930, and "Old Brands" Register [i.e. alphabetical listing of all brands registered in British Columbia between 1871 and 1914]. This unit may be used in conjunction with GR-0409 - GR-0412 and GR-1488 (registers of cattle brands, by district).
A regulated system of branding or marking livestock in British Columbia began with the Cattle Ordinance of 1869 (32 Vic., No. 114) which established a procedure whereby cattle brands and other distinctive markings could be registered with district magistrates for a fee of 25 cents. The system developed further with the Cattle Marking Act, 1875 (BCS 38 Vic. c.14) which defined "cattle" to include "horses, mares, fillies, foals, geldings, colts, bulls, bullocks, cows, heifers, steers, calves, sheep, hogs, mules and asses." Recording officers were appointed for each electoral district and were authorized to keep a register of brands and markings; local justices of the peace were empowered to ensure that brands were not duplicated, obliterated, or defaced and penalties were set for infractions. In 1881 the registration fee was raised to 50 cents (Cattle Brands Act, 44 Vic. c.4) and in 1888 provisions were made for regional cattle districts, whose boundaries were not necessarily identical to those of electoral districts. A distinction was also made in 1888 between the Mainland and Vancouver Island: in Mainland districts, brands were to be registered by an "authorized recording officer" usually the local Government Agent while on the Island brands were to be recorded by district magistrates. These distinctions were abolished in 1894 by the Cattle Act Amendment Act which confirmed Government Agents as "authorized recording officers" throughout the province. The procedure of registering brands was streamlined and centralized by the Brand Act of 1914 (4 Geo. 5 c.9). With this act, provision was made for a Recorder of Brands (responsible to the Minister of Agriculture) and a three man Board of Brand Commissioners. After 1 July 1914 all applications for brand registers or transfers were made through the Recorder's office in Victoria. The fee for brand registration was increased to $1.00 and henceforth all brands were to be renewed annually at a cost of 50 cents.
GR-1488 consists of brands registers and indexes compiled after the passing of the Brand Act of 1914. Volume I of this unit, the "Old Brands" Register, was one of the first records created by the new Recorder of Brands. This volume consists of an alphabetical listing of all brands (cattle and horses) registered in the province between 1871 and July of 1914. The volume was based on older, regional registers [catalogued in BCARS as GR-0409, GR-0410, GR-0411, GR-0412 and GR-1487]. The remaining volumes in this unit (vols. 216) were compiled over the years by staff at Recorder's office from applications received by stockmen throughout the province. Volumes 2 to 12 record brands registered between 1914 and 1930, while volumes 13 to 16 pertain mainly to the period 1930-1947. The Brands Registers in GR-1488 provide the names and addresses of brand owners, brand certificate numbers and dates of allotment, and a detailed description of the various brands and markings. The registers also show when brands were transferred from one owner to another, as well as the status of the brands (i.e. in current use, reissued, or lapsed).
British Columbia. Recorder of Brands