TRANSITIONAL-GENEALOGISTS-FORUM-L ArchivesArchiver > TRANSITIONAL-GENEALOGISTS-FORUM > 2009-06 > 1244237639
From: Harold Henderson <>
Subject: Re: [TGF] Of Rods and Roods was Plat abbreviations
Date: Fri, 5 Jun 2009 16:33:59 -0500 (GMT-05:00)
Thanks for putting this question forward, LeRoy. It's been most educational.
>Sent: Jun 5, 2009 3:52 PM
>Subject: [TGF] Of Rods and Roods was Plat abbreviations
>I've been following LeRoy's thread with interest. Thank you, Patti, for
>making the document scan available!
>The use of length and area units does not seem as precise as I thought I
>understood the words to mean. Of course, that usually means my
>understanding is flawed. <g>
>From a 1767 deed in Middletown, CT (Middletown Deeds, 21:154)
>"One Certain piece of land
>lying in the parish of Middle haddam in sd Middletown containing
>twenty Rods of Land lying Four Rods wide Northerly & Southerly &
>Five Rods long Easterly & Westerly and is Bounded Easterly on a highway
>Northerly on Joshua Cooks land. Westerly & Southerly on land belonging
>or that did belong to Joseph Parke with a mansion house Standing
>So, although I had thought that 'rod' was a unit of length, here it is
>used as both a unit of area and length. with an implied 'square' for
>the area 'rod'. This is clear from document context. 'Rood' is not a
>possibility (I think). What I don't know is if there would be other
>situations where context would be more obscure, and it would be easier
>for me to misunderstand.
>Became even more nervous regarding my potential for error after reading
>Wikipedia's entry for 'Rood':
>"When referring to areas, rod may be found in old documents and has
>exactly the same meaning as rood."
>"It is confusingly called an acre in some ancient contexts.[citation
>"Rood also refers to a British unit of linear measure between 16.5 and
>From Wikipedia's entry for 'perch':
>"A perch is as a unit of measurement used for length, area, and volume
>in a number of different systems of measurement"
>Actual lengths varied according to time and place. Although as a
>_survey_ measure: "The rod as a survey measure was standardized by
>Edmund Gunter in England in 1607 as 1/4 of a chain (of 66 feet), or 16
>1/2 feet (5 1/2 yards) in length, in the 13th century."
>"As a unit of area, a square perch (the perch being standardized to
>equal 16.5 feet) is equal to a square rod, 30¼ square yards, 25.29
>square metres or 0.00625 acres (25.3 m2). There are 40 square perches to
>a rood, 160 square perches to an acre This unit was usually referred to
>as a perch or pole even though square perch and square pole were the
>more precise terms. Confusingly, rod was used as a unit of area but it
>meant a rood.
>Obviously, regional interpretations of perch would yield different
>My conclusions from this very limited exploration are 1) the words
>'rod'/'rood' may not have the same meaning, even in the same document
>and 2) context should be sought to clarify meaning.
>Thank goodness for the sum on LeRoy's plat example!
>Does anyone know where to look for definitions 'in place' at the time a
>document was created? would these be government reports/legislation?
>An official list of weights and measures? For the above 1767 Connecticut
>example, should one look in colonial records or British?
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