Friday, October 11, 2013

Platting Deeds

Did you see yesterday's post on Upfront with NGS? "Mapping Deeds -- some options for family historians!" caught my eye. I love using maps in genealogy. I'm lucky (for once) because my family mainly lived in parts of Georgia where land was distributed by land lottery. This results in nice square lots (mostly) that are even easier to map or plat than township/range. If you have Georgia ancestors buying or selling land lottery land, you should become familiar with the available online land lottery maps as they simplify platting, enormously. You can see an example of where I identified ancestors land with Google Earth in this post from my personal blog.  That doesn't really help the rest of you working anywhere else!
I was familiar with DeedMapper software although I had not used it. It's low on my list of things to learn given how much I work in Georgia deeds. However, I've started on a project in Pendleton District, South Carolina land which of course involves metes and bounds. This project isn't exactly standard either as the records already show a drawing of the plot, I just need to get them all onto a map!
Yesterday I took a few minutes to try out one of the tools linked in the Upfront with NGS post. The Deed Platter from is free and simple to use. Since I already had a drawing this was a good test to see if the results would match. Below are the original and the results.
Nice match. There are two measurements where the number is a little unclear and I could never get the plat to close perfectly but this was an easy way to test out different possibilities for those hard to read numbers. Also, this is just the image result from the Deed Platter. A full page is generated where you can enter notes from the deed you're using as well as the citation. I saved my result to Evernote using Evernote's Web Clipper which worked out great and is one way to have searchable results. This would be one way to manage a project involving multiple plats and the neighbors and associates represented in those deeds.
This tool doesn't help place the plat on a map but it is free. I will hopefully be trying out the software I wasn't familiar with from the Upfront with NGS post, Metes and Bounds.

  1. Pendleton District, South Carolina Commissioner of Locations, Plat Book 3, 1809-1820, p. 114, John Shi[cut-off] (8 January 1814), relapsed to William Adair (25 November 1814), Anderson County Courthouse; FHL film no. 22,853, item 4, Salt Lake City.