…are really pretty darn cool!  In the past, when I would start to read through a deed, my brain would go something like this:

“This indenture made this 4 April 1927 between Lewis Faust of Wayne County, KY. of the one part & John M. Smith of Russell Co., Ky of the other part. Witnesseth blah, blah…Lewis Faust…blah, blah…$800.00…blah, blah…John M. Smith, his heirs & assigns forever…giant list of blahs as the description continued with a list of trees and bushes with confusing directions here and there…Lewis Faust together with Rebecca, his wife…blah, blah.”

And for me, that was plenty.  I had 2 names, I knew the county and I knew the number of acres and amount of money and at least 1 wife’s name. SCORE!

BUT….as I started working on “the book” the other day, I thought about how I might be able to describe the land they lived on, so I went to take another look at those pesky deeds.  I wondered if my guy had inherited his land from his father or not, but how could I tell that?  I wondered if the land was on the side of a mountain or near a river or what, but how could I tell that?  I decided that maybe, that crazy secret code to describe the land just might be helpful.

So I’ll save my findings for another blog post, but what I really want to write about is how I figured out an easy way to draw an outline of my ancestor’s land. And luckily, because Russell County is COVERED with creeks and river forks, I was able to find EXACTLY where the land was!

Now I’ll admit, being a Geometry teacher for many years helped a great deal, but I think anyone can do this.  And I even created a special, simplified tool to help me interpret “the code” and I’ll share that as well!  But to write out the steps in a logical order is not something I want to rush through, so for this post, I’m going to give you a link to the web site that helped me to figure this out.

http://www.directlinesoftware.com/metes.htm

My next post will be a step-by-step guide to using my tool to draw your own map.  All you’ll need is the tool (I need a name for this thing!) and a ruler with mm markings and paper.  Oh yeah, and a deed! (If your deed has numbers over 100, you’ll want a large sheet of paper or a few sheets of paper you can tape together.)

Hoping to post this evening.  Maybe this has piqued your interest?  Go find a good metes and bounds deed and a ruler and meet me back here tonight! (Update – teenager plans have over-ridden mine!  I’ll be posting tomorrow instead. – See you then!)

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