This series contains registers of brands (for both cattle and horses) kept by district recording offices prior to 1914. Registers pertain to brands registered in Cariboo, Similkameen, Okanagan, and Nanaimo districts. This series may be used in conjunction with other district brands registers (GR-0409 - GR-0412) and with post-1914 brands registers (GR-1488). 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¢. 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 by cabinet 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 ¢ (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 ¢. GR 1487 consists of brands registers and indexes kept prior to 1914. In most cases, the registers show the name and address of brand owners, the date and certificate number of the brand registration, and a description of registered brands and markings. Registers pertain to both cattle and horses. Since the districts covered by the registers were not rigidly defined, researchers may have to consult more than one volume to locate specific brands or brand owners. This series may be used in conjunction with GR 0409 GR 0412 (Registers for Cariboo, Lillooet, and New Westminster, 18701913) and with GR 1488 (post1914 brands registers and indexes).
British Columbia. Recorder of Brands