Archiver > TRANSITIONAL-GENEALOGISTS-FORUM > 2010-02 > 1267227749

From: Kathy Gunter Sullivan <>
Subject: Re: [TGF] metes and bounds
Date: Fri, 26 Feb 2010 18:42:42 -0500
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I love the metes and bounds descriptions in North Carolina surveys. The
descriptions are so colorful and full of clues, such as "where John
Parker made improvements before his death, where widow Henderson's dower
lies, the Anderson cow pasture now owned by Jeremiah Jones, where the
river crooks by the old meeting house," and all the creeks named for the
people who first settled on them.

That was fun for you, Rondina, to learn that the B&B you were staying in
was part of a land survey of interest. In some rural areas, landmarks
like old chimneys and decrepit cemeteries remain. As you know, it takes
a "local" to point these out. In November, I attended a seminar on
applying plats to Google Earth. One of the examples of precise placement
was possible because a house foundation corner still exists and 1809
county court road orders reference the house as one of the road
parameters. The remnants of that road are visible today (an advantage of
undeveloped rural country). These help assuage our lack of vital records
in town and church registers and lack of city directories and minimum

I was able to visit an ancestor's land because I traced its title
descent while knowing the shape of the waterway tributary winding
through his property. The current land owner did not know the name of
the small creek, but I was able to tell him because the metes and bounds
of the original land grant were dependent on those "meanderings." This
was a great day for both of us.

In North Carolina, the terrain doesn't lend itself to the Federal
system, but the metes and bounds system does have advantages.


Kathy Gunter Sullivan, CG
Charlotte, North Carolina

Rondina Muncy wrote:
> Karen,
> I have one deed where a point is based on the location of a chimney. Of
> course, the house is long gone, but I was able to determine where it was
> located. Even where the wood wound up---in the historic farmhouse turned B&B
> that I had been staying at for years.
> Rondina
> ________________________
> Rondina P. Muncy
> Ancestral Analysis
> On Fri, Feb 26, 2010 at 5:04 PM, Karen Rhodes <>wrote:
>> It might also be instructive to point out that these "metes and bounds"
>> surveys often used as landmarks for point-to-point measurements objects
>> such as trees, rocks, and even roads, which might be moved, modified, or
>> demolished altogether later on. [snipped] I'm glad Florida is a
>> federal-land state, though the documents I am dealing with now may
>> include Spanish land grants, which are also old-fashioned and used such
>> landmarks. That's real fun, and even more fun when the measurements are
>> in leagues or varas!

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