PENNSYLVANIA ORIGINAL LAND RECORDS SERIES FOR YORK COUNTY, PA

 

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"HOW TO PLOT LAND SURVEYS:

A BASIC PRIMER FOR DRAWING DEEDS,

SURVEYS AND OTHER LAND DESCRIPTIONS"

A BOOK BY DR. HIVELY,

ISBN 0-9638436-5-9

Available January 2000, $12.50

Quite popular - now in its 14th printing!

This is the book I wish was available when I started land records research in the 80's. Then, I didn't have a clue as to how to begin and made a bunch of very stupid mistakes as I fumbled around with the mechanics of plotting surveys.

I've clipped some sections from the opening sections of the book to give you a sense of what this is all about. (numbers following topics indicate page numbers).

TABLE OF CONTENTS

FOREWORD 4

CHAPTER ONE: YOUR LAND DOCUMENT 6

ILLUSTRATION #1: PENNSYLVANIA COLONIAL WARRANT CERTIFICATE

ILLUSTRATION #2: PENNSYLVANIA LAND SURVEY

ILLUSTRATION #3: PENNSYLVANIA COLONIAL ERA PATENT WITH NARRATIVE LAND DESCRIPTION

CHAPTER 2: THE METHOD OF EARLY COLONIAL SURVEYING 12

ILLUSTRATION #4: BASIC SURVEY TRANSIT

ILLUSTRATION #5: COMPASS CARD

ILLUSTRATION #6: COMPASS POINT COMPASS HEADINGS

CHAPTER 3: BASICS OF PLOTTING A SURVEY 16

ILLUSTRATION #7: BASIC COMPASS DIRECTIONS

ILLUSTRATION #8: NORTH AND SOUTH

ILLUSTRATION #9: EAST AND WEST

ILLUSTRATION #10: COMPASS QUADRANTS

CHAPTER 4: BASIC PLOTTING TOOLS 20

ILLUSTRATION #11: PROTRACTOR POSITIONED "NORTH"

ILLUSTRATION #12: PROTRACTOR ORIENTATION "SOUTH"

ILLUSTRATION #13: SCALED RULERS

ILLUSTRATION #14: BLOCK GRAPH PAPER

CHAPTER 5: UNDERSTANDING "METES AND BOUNDS" 24

CHAPTER 6: PLOTTING AN ACTUAL SURVEY 25

IMPORTANT PLOTTING REMINDERS 45

CHAPTER SEVEN: PLOTTING TIPS AND "EXCEPTIONS" 46

ILLUSTRATION #15: PROTRACTOR OVERRUN

ILLUSTRATION #16: "PROTRACTOR REVERSE"

CHAPTER EIGHT: COMPUTER ASSISTED DESIGN (CAD) 52

Listing of CAD programs available for deed / software use

CHAPTER NINE: SURVEY UNITS OF MEASURE 57

CHAPTER TEN: TERMS USED IN SURVEYING 58

CHAPTER ELEVEN: LEGAL DOCUMENT TERMINOLOGY 59

GENERAL INDEX: 63

"Clipped direct from the book" :

FOREWORD

This book is about land records, deeds, conveyances, surveys, and other related documents. What information land records provide is extraordinary and remarkably reliable for its clarity of detail and timeliness, regardless of the era from which they might be dated.

My area of scholastic research is and always has been Pennsylvania Original Land Records detailing the fivefold acquisition process from the Proprietors of the Colony of Pennsylvania, beginning with the Colonial Period. What I have learned over the years is: land records research can be fun and rewarding when one knows what to do.

Prior to the advent of E-mail correspondence, the most frequently asked question by snail-mail was "How do you plot a survey?" As part of my doctoral project I incorporated a hands-on session on survey plotting at what was then The Historical Society of York County (now, The York Heritage Trust, York, PA). Although that event was very well attended and well received, there were no handouts from the day's session, and well . . . people do forget if the skill they were exposed to is not frequently employed.

Since the advent of electronic mail, the inquiry concerning plotting of land surveys continues to be the most often posed question. I looked for an elementary primer in libraries and on the Internet. I really looked. Thus, the need apparently still exists for a basic "how-to" book on plotting land surveys.

Several assumptions shape the limited depth of this work. First, it is assumed that a qualified person has already conducted the land survey, and that you are in possession, or have access to the results of that survey. Thus, detailed concepts about how to do a survey are for the most part excluded from consideration.

Second, for the reader's consideration I have included cut out drafting tools that may be employed as the basics of drafting a survey are learned, without the added expense of additional purchases. Should you care to purchase quality rulers of various scales, a protractor, graph paper and other supplies for future work, you may certainly do so to suit your own personal requirements.

Third, I have included a fairly comprehensive summary of terms used in the survey field in the concluding chapters. The art of land surveying has evolved over the years to such an extent that within a very brief time frame many contemporary terms may seem antiquated, or be lost from use. Nevertheless, since these terms either were used in the past, or are used today they have validity and meaning for those documents in which they appear. Thus, what various terms and units of measure mean have significant importance to understanding the land documents.

Fourth, it is assumed that the reader can read (no insult to one's intelligence), and has an understanding of the compass directions: north, south, east and west. It's all quite basic stuff.

Fifth, I struggled (and lost) with the impulse to not say anything about Computer Assisted Design (CAD) programs. One still needs to know how to plot a survey to be able to use CAD, so it all does fit together. I've summarized a number of "dedicated" deed, survey or plot CAD programs for those who are so inclined.

In conclusion, it is my earnest wish that comprehending the basics of survey plotting, you enjoy and derive great satisfaction from your research endeavors and accomplishments. (end quote)

OTHER NOTES:

I would also note that in addition to a Protractor and a Scaled Ruler, the book also contains a number of sheets of 1/4 inch block graph paper for the user to employ in the learning and tutorial process. Except for a pencil, eraser, a straight-edged ruler and a flat surface on which to work, all has been included to learn the basics. My best wishes for those who undertake this fine enterprise.

The Book - HOW TO PLOT LAND SURVEYS is available from on-line Booksellers listed on this site.

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