anti-horse thief society

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As the United States was in its growth stages, horse thieves flourished in the frontier areas of the country. A thief could steal a horse and hurry it across state lines or into the Indian territories where authorities could not easily follow. Local societies were formed around the country with the purpose of detecting (the horse thief) and pursuing them, to both return the horse and deliver the thief to the authorities (or simply hang him). Some groups would maintain a fund to immediately replace any stolen horse; and when a horse was returned, if the owner no longer needed one, it was sold and the proceeds added back into the fund. To learn more, see the GenWeekly article, To Catch a Thief" ($).

Was your ancestor a member? Find out, by checking the Anti-Horse Thief Society publications that have been indexed at the Genealogy Today (listed below).

Related Information
  • Brunswick Society for Apprehending Horse Thieves 1867 Members ($)
  • Cumberland Detective Society 1916 By-Laws ($)
  • The Fellowship Horse Company 1860 ($)
  • Green Township Vigilant Society 1897 By-Laws ($)
  • Honeybrook Horse Company 1904 Constitution ($)
  • Hopewell Pursuing and Detecting Society Charter Members ($)
  • Mass. Society for Detecting Horse Thieves 1880 Members ($)
  • Mt. Top Horse Thief Detecting Society 1919 By-Laws ($)
  • Muscatine County Horse-Thief Association 1911 By-Laws ($)
  • National Horse Shoers Protective Association 1897 Calendar ($)
  • Norfolk and Bristol Horse Thief Detecting Society 1874 Members ($)
  • Rising Sun Detective Association 1926 Members ($)
  • Schoharie Union Anti-Horse Thief Society 1879 By-Laws ($)
  • So. Jersey Pursuing and Detecting Society 1886 Members ($)
  • Three Men on a Horse Official Programme ($)
  • Warren Company 1906 List of Members ($)
  • Worcester Association of Mutual Aid in Detecting Thieves 1929 Report ($)
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