Metes & Bounds (naming and measuring) Survey
A means by which land is measured and described through the identification of natural features of the land (trees, shrubs, creeks, rivers, roads) names of neighbors' boundary lines and corners, prior owners, etc.) and through the use of differing measuring means - chains, rods, degrees, etc.
Example of a Metes & Bounds legal description.
... containing by estimate thirty five acres more or less bounded as follows: Beginning on a beech the south east corner of Benjamin Bennett land purchased of James A Wilson, thence southward with the eastern boundary of John Vantreasis land purchased of Dale and the Liberty road to a stake in the center of William Dales spring branch, thence north 45 degrees east three chains and 25 links to a walnut, thence north 61 degrees east five chains to a blue ash and sugartree on Vantreasis north boundary, thence north 33 degrees west seven chains and sixty links to an ironwood, thence north 55 degrees west five chains to a beech the southeast corner of a 20 acre tract conveyed by Hendrickson to Philip Haas, thence west of north to a rock in the old dismal road, thence north with a line marked with a knife the west boundary of Ester Kemps land to a rock on the south bank of Hylton Creek then up the creek to the beginning. ...
The first land owners wanted to include in their property such things as creeks, fertile areas, river banks, etc. Because of that a piece of property was rarely square, unless the land was surveyed using the New England Township surveying system. Thus a plat of a piece of property described by metes & bounds can end up looking like these examples:
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