The process of writing a description of property to be included in a deed of conveyance is, by nature, imbued with uncertainty and cloaked in subjectivity. Just think of the countless parties who have set upon that undertaking with the goal of conveying the intent of the grantor, possessing divergent abilities for the task or perhaps none at all. Innumerable descriptions of land have been written in law offices, court houses, outhouses, and at kitchen tables with little or no assistance from surveyors – yet land was conveyed. It is often the difficult task of the land surveyor to determine the on-the-ground location of these conveyances.
“One of the most important duties the surveyor is called upon to perform in connection with his work, and the attorney in advising his client, is as to the construction or meaning to be given to the words used by the grantor or maker of an instrument, containing a description of property to be surveyed or under consideration. Not infrequently the surveyor is confronted with such a question, in the country, many miles from his office. He has no authority to consult, and must make his decision, more or less in the dark, so to speak.”1