Posted By John Giles on 2/6/2010 at 4:49 PM

I am currently working on a 500 Acre survey (wish it would have been that bonanza job. I can already see my butt disappearing) I have already discovered nothing but a huge mess. It is comprised of several tracts. One of which is 375 Acres and the main issue in this discussion.

My research has taken me back to to the early 1800's and I have figured the mess out.

I knew going in there was some kind of problem since the 375 Acre tract (one of five the client owns). It missed closing by about 1500 feet. Most likely just calls missing. Which is what the problem was.

I was unable to find the description of the adjoining property because it is owned by a very large company that owns, I dare say, almost half of the county I'm working in.

The company has a survey on their property and I found it well marked with a hacked and painted line along with all the corners along my clients property. So any smart surveyor would of course be a happy camper and just go with it. The boundary line has been around for a couple decades and, if nothing else, could be considered to have matured into the property line. But that can be argued.

I wanted to know why in the world the 375 Acre description missed closing by so much and I had to know what went on with the property.

I tried to find the description of the company property before it was surveyed but have had no luck in it so far. I haven't given up yet. Their deed though is hundreds of pages long and the thousands of properties are just thrown into it without regard to which district in said county. So I have to read each and every description. As a quick look for the acreage on the Tax Map didn't aid my search as it must have been combination of one or more parcels at some point. Since that acreage doesn't show up in the descriptions.

I am in the process of finding the company property description by first finding the land grant for it then trace it forward as a way to unmuddy the mess of trying to trace it back.

I focused my efforts on my clients deed. I discovered through the chain of title that the 375 Acres had once been a part of 5 different tracts. It was combined in the 1860's into it's current configuration. However I soon discovered that even the original description found had typo's though a much better closure of 300 feet. Not bad considering the 1500 feet I was dealing with. I found the typo's in the land grants.

Some of the land grants themselves have closing errors ranging from 11 feet to about 30 feet. VERY GOOD. Other land grants have apparent typo's too. Though when I use the adjoining land grant call, that has a good closure, I can get an overall decent closure on the other land grants. Other parts of the new 1860's survey include portions of very large tracts that were sold by one owner under this new 1860's description. So portions of the 375 Acres has been traced all it can be. Portions of the 375 Acres is the original survey. While other portions are not. I know by topo overlay that some calls are bad. As the deed calls for the meanders of a ridge (which had been omitted from the description since the early 1900's) By the overlay it is clear some of the calls placed on the 'meander' line are bad since they fall off the ridge and onto the hillside. (This part it not the problem part either.) I have it figured out. The meander call overrides the bearing and distances. Unlike a water boundary the ridge did not move.

I discovered through the original land grants of the property that the survey of the company property looks nothing like what it is supposed to where it joins my clients property. As a matter of fact none of it is correct but one single corner just before the description became a mess. They ALMOST made it to the ridge where the meanders are called for but not quite. I guess they had trouble finding the descriptions too when they surveyed it. I just dug deeper.

It appears they used the calls in the deed with all the errors (and lack of knowledge it was supposed to go with the ridge) then slapped a straight line where they could not find calls and further put the existing calls in the wrong place. I found the missing calls.

The evidence in the field is the lines as surveyed by the company. No old fences or cleared fields or any other evidence you can think of are out in the field.

BTW all of the evidence is in favor or the company. They didn't survey in part of their own property, an area of about 30 Acres.

So my question is this.

DID I DIG TOO DEEP? If I would have just blindly used the existing survey I would not have caused what just might turn out to be a mess. My clients believed the company survey was correct and have relied on it as their boundary. They did not fence the boundary. But these lines are kept up by the company and looks as though they had been repainted as recently as a couple years ago. I also found some hack marks unpainted that they missed.

In your opinion, could you knowing where the line is supposed to be, produce a plat only showing the line where it is in the field AND NOT produce a survey of the correct line as was intended since at least 1835? The rest of the lines in the field fit with the old land grants.(Don't read: Thats what John is doing! OMG! or GOOD FOR HIM FOR DOING THAT!)

I did not find any original corners EXCEPT for the called for ridge.

I have dug and done this job correctly. I could not possibly tell you every detail about it. The internet server would go down if I did, I fear. Please do not slap me around to bad thinking I didn't do everything possible. I simply didn't include EVERYTHING I did and am doing with this survey. Doesn't mean I didn't do it just I didn't tell you about it. :)

Just reopened the job and to make matters worse I evidently forgot to save my drawing (though I was sure I did) My autosave evidently didn't work (or maybe it got turned off) My electric went off last night while I was asleep, and it appears I lost several hours worth of work. OH JOY! Where does ACAD save the backup files? There isn't a backup file of this job in the folder with it. I'm using dinosaur R14.