Often Overlooked Resources: Marks and Brands

Though I was born in Georgia and raised throughout the southeast United States, I’ve lived in New York City since 1989. So I think I qualify as a bona fide city dweller at this point, thoroughly urban if only marginally urbane. My ancestors, on the other hand, are a different matter. With rare exceptions, they were rural farmers from the colonial period to the early twentieth century. So when I switch from urban-based client work to rural-based personal research, I really have to shift gears.

I suppose that preface is an indirect way of clearing my throat before giving voice to a confession I’d rather not have to make. But it’s the truth, so here goes: Forgive me, NGS Monthly readers, for I have sinned. I have never attempted to use marks or brands in researching my rural farming ancestors. I know, I know. What on earth is wrong with me?

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