Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Records of Estrays

County government records from the first few decades of Licking County are relatively sparse.  The 1875 courthouse fire was very destructive.  As a result it is sometimes difficult to find pre-1875 genealogical and historical information for the county.  During the next few months we will be highlighting some pre-1875 records which did survive, and which you might find interesting and useful.

The Records & Archives Department has two volumes of what are called Records of Estrays.  These little books contain valuable information for two townships:  Jersey and Harrison.  The Harrison Township volume dates from 1833-1875, and the Jersey Township volume is from 1838-1890.  They record when a person found a stray animal on his property, and reported the finding to a justice of the peace or township clerk.  If you have had trouble tracing ancestors who lived in one of these two townships during the 19th century, it might be worth your while to search these books.

The image here shows a record of a Harrison Township man named Rufus Carter who, on November 2, 1833, "took up as a stray a brindle cow which I found running at large on my premasis [sic]...."

Some old-fashioned spelling, archaic words, and other specialized terms describing livestock are used in the Records of Estrays, so unless you're a farmer or historian, you might need help with some of the language.  The Records & Archives staff will be glad to help you while using these and other documents.  For more information, call 740-670-5121, or send us a message at http://www.lcounty.com/frmFeedback.aspx.