New Hampshire Glossary: Hog Reeve

Image of a hog, from "Diseases of Swine," 1914, by Charles F. Lynch, page 23

Image of a hog, from “Diseases of Swine,” 1914, by Charles F. Lynch, page 23

hog-reeve (hog reefe) – an elected position in early New Hampshire townships. Settlers often let livestock graze in the woods around their fields, or on the town “common.” Even if these animals were fenced, early fences were often inadequate to restrain stray animals. As a result, each town chose a hog reeve, who assumed custody of livestock that strayed into cultivated fields. Wandering livestock were called “estrays.” They were “taken up,” often to the “pound,” where their owners could retrieve them after paying a small fine. This position was also responsible for appraising damages by stray swine, and for ordering restitution.

Also see “ear marks,” in Brief Glossary of New Hampshire terms

Do you know where this “monument” (Manchester New Hampshire’s town pound) is located?


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2 Responses to New Hampshire Glossary: Hog Reeve

  1. bevson says:

    My Samuel Patch was a hog reave in Wendall, NH in 1802. It was a short-lived duty since he was back in VT in 1804, but I loved that he was named in the town records.

    • bryanne Ineson says:

      In doing research to join the DAR it was discovered that our ancestor Archibald Mcduffee was a Hog Reeve in Chester New Hampshire. I’m looking to learn more about it bryanne Ineson

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