Looking at a land patent

I’m doing a little researching around today to try to fill in some of the holes in my database from the 19th and early 20th centuries.  One of the resources that I purchased at the FGS conference recently was Family Maps of Montgomery County, Indiana.  I bought the book with the intention of looking up some of the original documents that were referenced within it.  Today, I finally looked up the records listed there in my direct line.

My Beach line has been fairly well researched and documented, as I noted in the Surname Saturday post on this line some time ago.  I’ve also posted about a few of the Beach graves in Linden and at the Meharry Cemetery.  Most of the family records that I can find in the area come through the Meharry line, but Nathan Beach, my 3rd-great grandfather, purchased forty acres north of Crawfordsville.  It was his land patent, dated 1 January 1835, that I found on the General Land Office website today.


So, Nathan purchased "the North West quarter of the North East quarter of Section eleven, in Township twenty, North, of Range six, West, in the District of Lands subject to sale in Crawfordsville, Indiana, containing forty acres."  Looking at the maps that are printed in the book noted above, this tract of land is a little to the southeast of the Meharry Cemetery.

The mapping function on the BLM website is currently not working, so I skipped over to Google and looked for other options.  I found an overlay for Google Earth called PLSS.  It shows where the section and range borders are for a number of states, and luckily for me, this includes Indiana.  Using this overlay, I can more easily locate where the land is situated.


So on this screenshot from Google Earth, the purple lines show the section boundaries overlay.  The range and section numbers and letters are also from the overlay, so I’ve zoomed in here to show section eleven and included Wingate for reference.  I imported the screenshot to Photoshop and added a couple of additional labels and circles (but the picture doesn’t have a paragraph on the back of it to explain it).  Meharry Cemetery is circled near the top of this map, and the land that Nathan purchased in 1835 is also circled.

Oh, and did you notice how the section boundaries line up on the map and the roads inbetween them fall onto the half and quarter lines of each section?  I didn’t see an obvious reference stating that the roads were placed on the boundaries, but it sure seems a likely cause for the location of the roads.

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