Series 540

Department of Agriculture and Food. Division of Animal Industry Brand books, i 1851-

2.00 cubic feet and 10 microfilm reels

These records are housed in the Utah State Archives' permanent storage room.

Historical Note

See history of the records' creator.

Summary of Records

Brands have been registered in Utah since 1851. Brand books were used locally to prevent the duplicate use of brands by livestock owners, and as a means of identifying and controlling animals left in estray pounds or that were being sold. Later, as regulations expanded state control over inspection for disease, transportation, and slaughter of livestock, maintenance of a central brand registry became even more important.

Scope and Content

The law regulating the printing of brand books was passed by the first session of the territorial legislature in 1851. It required the "general recorder to furnish printed copies of all marks and brands to the clerks of different counties," who were also established as auxiliary recorders by the act. [An Act in Relation to Marks and Brands, in Acts, resolutions, and memorials passed by the first annual and special sessions of the legislative assembly... (Salt Lake City: Brigham H. Young, Printer) 1852, p. 84-88]. Auxiliary recorders used them to help prevent duplication of brands assigned to individual livestock owners, and as a means of identifying and controlling animals that had been put into estray pounds or that were being sold in each county. Later, as regulations expanded state control over inspection for disease, transportation, and slaughter of livestock, maintenance of a central brand registry became even more important in the regulatory process. Subsequent revisions of the1851 law expanded the list of officials who were to automatically receive the brand books, provided for public distribution, and changed the frequency of its publication. [Major revisions of the act occurred in 1866, 1897, 1917, 1921, 1939, and 1979].
Brand books contain all livestock brands and ear marks registered with the State Department of Agriculture. Livestock is assumed to include all types of animals raised for pleasure or for profit. The 1917 law was the first to specifically mention cattle, horses, and mules as livestock [ Laws of Utah, chapter 105 (1917)], although the brands of these and perhaps other animals may have been recorded before then. Subsequent revisions of the brand law expanded the definition of livestock to include several other animals.
The first surviving book in the series is an 1874 cumulation that records all brands that had been issued in the territory since 1849. A second cumulative brand book was published in 1884 covering the previous ten years,followed by several supplements. The practice of regularly rerecording brands every ten years started in 1901. The pattern was to publish a cumulative issue with supplementary books published more frequently that would include all new brands registered since publication of the last cumulative issue. Brands and marks not renewed were dropped from the brand book and could be reassigned.
Regular cumulative issues start with the 1901 edition, but some issues are not included in Archives holdings. Beginning in 1976, cumulative issues start appearing at five year intervals. Many annual supplements are also missing from the series as well; and it is possible either that both the supplements and cumulative issues were never published, or that copies were simply not found in the series when it was processed. Laws required publication of supplements only "as often as was deemed necessary".
Entries in the brand books include the brand symbol, name of the person registering the mark or brand,the location on the body of the animal, county of residence of the applicant, and the date the brand was recorded. Graphic illustrations of where the marks and brands appeared on the body were added to the books with the 1901 volume. Brand registry numbers were added beginning in 1922.


Chronological by publication date.

Brands recorded within each book are organized in the following order: first by brands consisting of letter, then by those consisting of numbers, and finally by those consisting of some type of symbol. Separate sections of ear marks or other identification marks follow the brands.

Additional Forms

This series is available on microfilm.
This series is available online as part of the Utah State Archives Digital Archives.
Copies of these records are located at Utah State Library View Online.

Access Restrictions

Microfiche holdings require staff assistance due to fewer reference copies. Handle masters under supervision.

Use Restrictions

These records are available for reproduction and use.

Preferred Citation

Cite the Utah State Archives and Records Service, the creating agency name, the series title, and the series number.

Custody History

A Recorder of Marks and Brands had the responsibility for registering brands and printing the brand books until 1896, when the legislature made the State Auditor ex-officio Recorder of Marks and Brands. For most of the territorial period, however, the Recorder of Marks and Brands and the Territorial Auditor were actually the same person. With the creation of the Livestock Board in 1917, responsibility for the brand books was transferred to it from the Auditor's Office. The Department of Agriculture has produced the series since 1921, with the Division of Animal Industry within the Department assuming the role in the 1991. Additional copies of several books from the agency were obtained by the State Archives in December 2019 (1922-1966) and March 2022 (1991-1996).

Acquisition Information

These records were acquired from the creating agency through established retention schedules.

Processing Information

This series was processed by Val Wilson in April 1988. Microfilming of most of the series was also completed in 1988, with some gaps filmed following that. Updates are made periodically as new publications are acquired.
Some microfiche is of poor quality (faded).
Microfiche processed by Rebekkah Shaw under the National Historical Publications and Records Commission grant to the Utah State Archives and Records Services for the Utah Microfiche Backlog Project (Grant No.: NAR10-RB-50086-10). July 2010 - December 2011

Other Finding Aids

Indexes: A partial index to this series has been created, covering from December, 1851 thru September, 1920. View index. Indexes: Individual volumes contain internal indexes, covering from 1922.

Related Material

Brand registers from the Recorder of Marks and Brands, Series 597, are the registers which are used to compile this series.
Brand inspection certificate files from the Department of Agriculture and Food. Division of Animal Industry, Series 80577, contains the certificates issued.
Brand/earmark application files from the Department of Agriculture and Food. Division of Animal Industry, Series 80579, are the actual applications for these brands in this series.

Container List

111Dec 1849-Dec 1874
111Dec 1874-Dec 1884
112Jan 1885-Dec 1888
113Jun-Dec 1890
114Jan-Jun 1891
115Jul-Dec 1891
116Jan-Jun 1893
117Jul 1893-Mar 1894
118Apr-Jun 1894
119Jan-Jun 1896
1110ca. Dec 1897-Jun 1901, index
2111Jun 1901-Jun 1902
2112Oct 1904-Oct 1905
2113Oct 1905-Oct 1906
2114Oct 1909-Oct 1910
2115ca. Jul 1911-Oct 1912, index
2116Oct 1912-Oct 1913
2117Oct 1913-Oct 1914
2118Oct 1915-Oct 1916
2119Oct 1916-Oct 1917
2120Oct 1917-Sep 1918
2121Oct 1918-Sep 1919
2122Oct 1919-Sep 1920
2123n.d.-Oct 1922, index
2124Oct 1922-Nov 1923, p 1-9
3124Oct 1922-Nov 1923, p 10 cont., index
3125Oct 1923-Sep 1924, index
3126Oct 1924-Sep 1925, index
3127Oct 1925-Sep 1926, index
3128Oct 1926-Sep 1927, index
3129Oct 1927-Sep 1928, index
3130Oct 1928-Sep 1929, index
3131Oct 1929-Sep 1930, index
3132May 1931-Sep 1932, index
3133Oct 1932-Sep 1933, index
3134Oct 1933-Dec 1934, index
3135Jan-Dec 1935, index
3136Jan-Dec 1936, index
3137Jan-Dec 1937, index
3138Jan 1940-Aug 1941, index
3139Sep 1941-Oct 1942, index
3140Nov 1942-Dec 1943, index
3141Jan-Dec 1944, index
3142Jan-Dec 1945, index
3143Jan-Dec 1946, index
3144Jan-Dec 1947, index
3145Jan-Dec 1948, index
4146Jan 1950-Aug 1951, index
4147Sep 1951-Jun 1952, index
4148Jul 1952-Jun 1953, index
4149Jul 1953-Jun 1954, index
4150Jul 1954-Jun 1955, index
4151Jul 1955-Aug 1956, index
4152Aug 1961-Feb 1962, index
4153Feb 1962-Aug 1963, index
4154Jan-Sep 1967, index
521Utah Brand Book 1976
6nonenonen.d.-Sep 1981, index
722Official Brand Book of the State of Utah: 1st and 2nd year Brand Book Supplement 1986-1988
823Utah Livestock Brand Book 1991
824Utah Livestock Brand Book Supplement 1992-1993
none26Utah Livestock Brand Book Supplement 1996-1998
1027Utah Livestock Brand Book 2001
1028Utah Livestock Brand Book 2006
none28Utah Livestock Brand Book 2006 [CD-ROM]
none29Utah Livestock Brand Book 2011 [CD-ROM]
none210Utah Livestock Brand Book 2016