See, this is what happens. You start by researching a friend’s recently found saloon token and then discover that early voter registers recorded (visible) physical marks and scars….
I am guessing it was so voters could be identified definitively on polling day–and pre-photo identification, it makes sense…
The two pages below are from Humboldt’s 1892-1898 Voter Registration records, accessed through Ancestry.com.
I have never heard of a “felon mark”. Notice a lot of men (and note that they were ONLY men), had “mashed” or missing digits.
Update from a commenter on Facebook–I’ll post her name once I get permission:
A felon is a fingertip abscess deep in the palm side of the finger. It usually is caused by bacterial infection, most often from growth of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. A painful bump on the end of a finger that is sometimes mistaken for a felon is a herpes virus infection that forms a herpetic whitlow.
I couldn’t find anything about “felon marks” online. If anyone knows or runs across anything about them, please share in the comments below.