In order to graze horses and cattle on the Ballarat Common owners were required to register their stock brands. The owners gave descriptions of animals and named a responsible person to be contacted if the animal strayed. Besides the names of the owners, it is interesting to read what details were noted in the column residence. While most of the localities would be within the rural district of Ballarat, many are from further afield, such as Castlemaine, Geelong, Maryborough, Melbourne, Sandhurst, Tarrangower and Warrnambool. This entry for central Ballarat is an exception. One brown cow which 'ought to have a calf at foot' was owned by Wm WEST at the Ballarat Camp 40th Regiment. These are early days with many challenges for the clerks so expect the spelling of names and places to be creative.
There are 562 entries with the first recorded in May 1855 so some precede the proclamation of Ballaarat as a municipality on 18 December 1855. The bulk of the entries end in the early 1860s but there are some isolated entries up to the early 1870s and one aberration in 1876.
To see a listing of brand records on file, see our Index Listings Data Index Listing