Cattle raising was a way life, it was the driving force behind the whole economy of South Texas. If your ancestors ever owned cattle more than likely you will find their marks and brands at a great resource that the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley has online. This resource is the Hidalgo County Marks and Brands Books A, B, and C.
Back in June 14th 2015 author and UTRGV Special Collections Librarian Janette Garcia made a presentation for Las Villas del Norte on how to research your family history at UTRGV and provided us with online resources and information on inter library loans. On that day she mentioned that book B was the only one that was available online.
This past September the 15th Anthony Garza shared on Las Villa del Norte private Facebook group that there were now three books online. Since June they added Book A and Book C. From what i have read these books are the only surviving ones and they cover the years 1852 to 1920.
What You Can Expect To Find
If your ancestor did not have a common name and or know where he was from it will be easier. I tried looking for one of my wife’s ancestors but I found two. His name was Ramon Salinas. I found one listed as residing in La Havana in 1874 and the other one listed just as Hidalgo County in 1913. If I were to assume based on the time period then the 1874 one is him but how can I be sure? There is no way, all I know is that during that time period he bought huge amounts of land in Hidalgo County form his cousins that lived in Camargo. This is the challenge. Only the name and ranch are listed.
The First Record that I Found
The Second Record
The above two records are the types of records that you will find listed.
Index to the Books
Please read the description since it does mention that de la Garza’s are listed as Garza and the same goes for all other last names.
Browse the Actual Digitized Books
This is the link were you will find the books hosted at UTRGV’s ibrary website.
Please let me know of your finds and if this resource was useful to you. I finally want to thank Anthony Garza for bringing this great resource to my attention once again.