Point of Beginning

1847-Vintage Texas Rectangular Surveys

June 10, 2010

Posted By Kent McMillan on 6/10/2010 at 12:13 AM

I've been working on a new project for a couple of days now that promises to be a classic example of Texas surveying. 

The tract, a small ranch of less than seven sections, is situated in an area that one would think was surveyed off into nice, neat 640 acre squares and halves and quarters thereof, all oriented nominally cardinal. One would think that from looking at the official county map that the draftsmen at the Texas GLO compiled from the field notes [translation for the non-Texans: "metes and bounds descriptions"] upon which patents were issued, that is.

Of course, the section numbers are in the thousands, so that gives the game away right there that this ain't no disco. The excellent feature of the original survey which was made in 1847 is that evidently only the North-South section lines were run. I have yet to find any evidence of any East-West closings or corrections reflected by any of the metes and bounds descriptions by which the lands were conveyed by the State of Texas. 

It was all done with the wind (and probably the Texas Indians) at his back by a surveyor who had arrived from Pennsylvania just a couple of years before. Add in the fact that except for one willow on the bank of a creek, the only bearing trees I've seen referenced so far have been mesquites and this definitely ain't no disco.

Best regards,
Kent McMillan, RPLS Austin TX

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