Fayette County History & Genealogy

History of Fayette County

From R. S. Dills' History of Fayette County


In examining a map of the Virginia Military District, the irregularity of the surveys will be observed, while on the west side of the Little Miami they are regular. All the public lands outside the military district were surveyed regularly, according to act of congress passed May 18, 1796. By this act a surveyor general was appointed, whose duty it was, by himself and through deputies, to survey the unreserved and unpatented public lands, by running north and south lines according to the true meridian, and east and west, crossing the former at right angles, so as to form townships each six miles square, and sections each one mile square. On the other hand, lands within the military district were not surveyed pursuant to any order of government at any particular time, nor in accordance with any definite plan.

The land was entered by persons holding land warrants, issued by the State of Virginia to her soldiers in the continental army, and in the army of General George Rodgers Clarke. In the majority of cases the original owners of these Warrants did not themselves enter the lands, but other parties purchasing them, in many instances one person purchasing a number of them, located the aggregate amount in one or more tracts in whatever part of the territory he chose, provided it had not been previously entered. It was necessary only that it should be surveyed by a surveyor regularly and legally authorized to perform this work. These surveys were numbered in the order in which the tracts of land surveyed were entered, the survey taking its number from the entry. It frequently occurs that a survey having a higher number was made at a much earlier date than that having a lower number; but in every case the tract having the lower number was entered first. Thus, survey No. 463 was surveyed June 30, 1796, while survey No. 932 was surveyed March 18, 1794, nearly two years prior to No. 463.

By examining a map of this district, it will be observed, also, that some surveys have several numbers. Thus: John Nichols, Nos. 6281 and 6332, in Concord; Nos. 7267, 7657, and 7890, for Wallace; Nos. 6058, 6059, and 7250, for J. Hays, in the northern part of Paint. In these, we observe in the first, two, and in the two latter, three difierent entries, all surveyed into one tract. Conversely, we also observe in many cases, the same number of entry surveyed into two tracts. Thus, entry No. 669, of 1,000 acres, was surveyed into two tracts, one of 600, for Daniel Clark, and the other of 400 acres, for James Dougherty, found in the southern part of Wayne Township. These were surveyed by Nathaniel Massie, both on the same day, March 13, 1795; returned to the land oftice, examined and recorded, the former July 3, the latter July 4, 1795.

In looking over the old records of these surveys, two dates will be noticed; for instance, in No. 463, June 30, 1796, July 8, 1796. The survey when made was dated, then returned to the land office, examined, and recorded at the time of the second date.

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