Livestock Brands and Marks
An Unexpected Bayou Country History: 1822–1946 Pioneer Families: Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana
A richly illustrated and incomparable collection documenting the brands and marks of the pioneers of Southeast Louisiana
A 2014 Humanities Book of the Year
Researching the original brand registration of his great-grandfather Pierre Cenac for his book Eyes of an Eagle, Dr. Christopher Everette Cenac Sr. discovered a serendipitous trove of local history in the form of long-forgotten volumes in the Terrebonne Parish Courthouse in Houma, Louisiana. The three ledger books that emerged through the efforts of the local Clerk of Court became, in themselves, a series of capsulized glimpses into the citizenry of the area's early agrarian foundations. In extraordinary condition, these ledgers held an unprecedented set of the original livestock brands and marks of bustling bayou cattle country.
Each registration entry furnished a record of the progression of settlement of the parish. The registration of a brand often served as the family's calling card upon making Terrebonne Parish their home. Livestock Brands and Marks: An Unexpected Bayou Country History: 1822-1946 Pioneer Families: Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana is designed not only to share the actual registration treasures of all 1140 brands in the brand books themselves, but also to chronicle a short history of laws governing animal identification, to document advances in forms of ownership identification, and to familiarize the reader with both ancient and more recent livestock breeds that received brands and other marks recorded in those three ledger books. Three hundred black-and-white and color illustrations illuminate this fascinating history.
Dr. Cenac’s stunningly designed book provides a comprehensive account of the nuanced world of cattle ranching, an integral part of South Louisiana culture since the beginning of European settlement. Through substantive writing and previously unpublished images and photographs of recovered artifacts, Cenac conjures insights into the lives of farmers and families in Terrebonne Parish. An orthopedic surgeon, Cenac wrote his first book, Eyes of an Eagle, by combing through courthouse documents for the original brand registration of his great grandfather. During this research, he uncovered ledger books that capsulized glimpses into the citizenry of the early agrarian foundations of the area. These ledgers are the basis for this landmark chronicle.- Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities