Public Land Survey System

PLSSPublic Lands Survey Systemsurveysurvey townshipTownshippublic land survey Townshipsurveyingback 40land surveyback forty
The Public Land Survey System (PLSS) is the surveying method developed and used in the United States to plat, or divide, real property for sale and settling.wikipedia
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Seven Ranges

first seven ranges surveyed in OhioOld Seven Ranges
Beginning with the Seven Ranges, in present-day Ohio, the PLSS has been used as the primary survey method in the United States.
The Seven Ranges (also known as the Old Seven Ranges) was a land tract in eastern Ohio that was the first tract to be surveyed in what became the Public Land Survey System.

Plat

Plattedlaid outPlat map
The Public Land Survey System (PLSS) is the surveying method developed and used in the United States to plat, or divide, real property for sale and settling.
United States General Land Office surveyors drafted township plats of Public Lands Surveys to show the distance and bearing between section corners, sometimes including topographic or vegetation information.

Land Ordinance of 1785

Land Act of 1785General Land Ordinance of 1785Land Ordinance
Also known as the Rectangular Survey System, it was created by the Land Ordinance of 1785 to survey land ceded to the United States by the Treaty of Paris in 1783, following the end of the American Revolution.
The Land Ordinance established the basis for the Public Land Survey System.

Surveyor General of the Northwest Territory

Surveyor GeneralSurveyor General of the United StatesOffice of the Surveyor General
Following the passage of the Northwest Ordinance, in 1787, the Surveyor General of the Northwest Territory platted lands in the Northwest Territory.
This act, and those that followed evolved into the Public Land Survey System.

General Land Office

Land OfficeUnited States Land OfficeU.S. Land Office
The Surveyor General was later merged with the General Land Office, which later became a part of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
Starting with the passage of the Land Ordinance of 1785, which created the Public Land Survey System, the Treasury Department had already overseen the survey of the "Northwest Territory", including what is now the state of Ohio.

Surveying

surveyorsurveyland surveyor
The Public Land Survey System (PLSS) is the surveying method developed and used in the United States to plat, or divide, real property for sale and settling.
In the US, the Land Ordinance of 1785 created the Public Land Survey System.

Northwest Territory

Old NorthwestTerritory Northwest of the River OhioNorthwest
Following the passage of the Northwest Ordinance, in 1787, the Surveyor General of the Northwest Territory platted lands in the Northwest Territory.
The Land Ordinance of 1785 established a standardized system for surveying the land into saleable lots, although Ohio would be partially surveyed several times using different methods, resulting in a patchwork of land surveys in Ohio.

Willamette Stone

Willamette MeridianWillamette BaselineBaseline
For example, a single Willamette Meridian serves both Oregon and Washington.
The grid defined by the stone extended the Public Land Survey System and was used as the basis of land claims in the Oregon Territory.

Section (United States land surveying)

sectionsection cornerssections
Lastly, townships are subdivided into 36 sections of approximately one square mile (640 acres, ~2.6 km 2 ) and sections into four quarter-sections of 0.25 square mile (160 acres, ~0.65 km 2 ) each.
In U.S. land surveying under the Public Land Survey System (PLSS), a section is an area nominally 1 sqmi, containing 640 acre, with 36 sections making up one survey township on a rectangular grid.

Bureau of Land Management

BLMU.S. Bureau of Land ManagementUnited States Bureau of Land Management
The Surveyor General was later merged with the General Land Office, which later became a part of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Baseline (surveying)

baselineBase Linestandard parallel
Ohio was surveyed in several major subdivisions, collectively described as the Ohio Lands, each with its own meridian and baseline.
In the United States Public Land Survey System, a baseline is the principal east-west line (i.e., a parallel) upon which all rectangular surveys in a defined area are based.

Survey township

townshiptownshipsCongressional Township
Subsequent work divides the land into survey townships of roughly 36 square miles (~93 km 2 ) or 6 miles (~9.7 km) on each side.
Survey township, sometimes called Congressional township, as used by the United States Public Land Survey System, refers to a square unit of land, that is nominally six (U.S. Survey) miles (~9.7 km) on a side.

Metes and bounds

metes-and-boundsmetemetes
The original colonies (including their derivatives Maine, Vermont, Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia) continued the British system of metes and bounds.
Beginning with the Land Ordinance of 1785, it began a transition to the Public Land Survey System (PLSS) used in the central and western states.

Beginning Point of the U.S. Public Land Survey

Point of Beginningestablished
The Beginning Point of the U.S. Public Land Survey is located at a point on the Ohio-Pennsylvania border between East Liverpool, Ohio and Ohioville, Pennsylvania, on private property.
The Public Land Survey System of the United States was established by Congressional legislation in 1785, in order to provide an orderly mechanism for opening the Northwest Territory for settlement.

Fifth principal meridian

Fifth principal
The Fifth principal meridian, often denoted the "5th Meridian" or "PM 05," is a principal meridian survey line used in the United States for land claims in the Public Land Survey System (PLSS).

Boise meridian

Boise
The Boise meridian is one of the 35 principal meridians of the Public Land Survey System of the United States.

Principal meridian

meridianmeridiansP.M.
Proceeding westward, accuracy became more of a consideration than rapid sale, and the system was simplified by establishing one major north-south line (principal meridian) and one east-west (base) line that control descriptions for an entire state or more.
In the United States Public Land Survey System, a principal meridian is the principal north-south line used for survey control in a large region, and which divides townships between east and west.

Northwest Ordinance

Northwest Ordinance of 1787Ordinance of 1787Northwest Ordnance
Following the passage of the Northwest Ordinance, in 1787, the Surveyor General of the Northwest Territory platted lands in the Northwest Territory.

Fourth principal meridian

Fourth Principal Extended MeridianFourth principal
It is part of the Public Land Survey System that covers most of the United States.

Chain (unit)

chainschainchainage
Distances were always measured in chains and links, based on Edmund Gunter's 66-foot measuring chain.
A federal law was passed in 1785 (the Public Land Survey Ordinance) that all official government surveys must be done with a Gunter's (surveyor's) chain.

United States Military District

Base Line of the United States Military Surveyland grantsMilitary Lands
The land was to be divided into survey townships five miles (8 km) square (16000 acres), the only instance of a government conducted survey not based on the six mile (10 km) square township standard of the Public Land Survey System.

Meridian (geography)

meridianmeridiansmeridian line
Ohio was surveyed in several major subdivisions, collectively described as the Ohio Lands, each with its own meridian and baseline.

Arpent

arpentslong narrow lots
In Louisiana, parcels of land known as arpent sections or French arpent land grants also pre-date the Public Land Survey System (PLSS), but are treated as PLSS sections.

Virginia Military District

Virginia Military ReserveVirginia Military Tract
Surveys were done using the metes and bounds method used in Virginia, rather than the Public Land Survey System established by the Land Ordinance of 1785 used for most of the Northwest Territory.

Cadastre

cadastralcadastercadastral map
The Public Lands Survey System is a cadastral survey of the United States originating in legislation from 1785, after international recognition of the United States.