Sunday, August 14, 2011

Land Platting Workshop with J. Mark Lowe

Yesterday I attended a land platting workshop presented by J. Mark Lowe. I have a very basic knowledge of land platting from taking the NGS course. This means that I can use a protractor and plot the dots/corner descriptions (Metes) and the distance between them (Bounds). By taking this workshop I was hoping to expand on this knowledge, and I wasn't disappointed.

First we received some nifty new tools.


The round one is a land measure compass and the bottom is a ruler that has measurements in tenths to an inch. Both the land measure compass and the ruler are much more detailed than my protractor and ruler that I've used at home. It made platting much easier.

Next we discussed how to establish a scale. This was a new concept for me. I'm not the greatest with math and it takes me a little longer to process math problems than other folks. However, once I understand the formula I'm good to go. There were also calculators supplied, which was a tremendous help. The scale we were using was 1 inch = 121 poles. I should probably mention here that "back in the day" land surveyors used measurements called chain, link, pole, rod, perch, furlong, mile, and acre to record the measurements of property or land. Some of them may sound very random, but they were and are precise measurements that still hold up today. It wasn't just any old chain or rod laying around.

Before we started platting deeds, Mark gave us a worksheet to abstract from the deed, the direction, distance and description. This is extremely helpful. Rather than platting and abstracting the data at the same time from the deed, you can just go down the list of directions/descriptions checking them off as you go. For example, here is one example of a single description from a list of about 23 that I was platting:

N 45* W   120 poles   (conversion is) .99 inches   (description or Metes) White Oak on Sulphur Creek

Once we completed platting out a set of directions we were able to trace what we plat onto a piece of mylar, and place it over the property on a published map. It was really cool to see this, especially if all the work you just did matched. Now just imagine the thrill of being able to do this for one of your own ancestors!




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