The federal government Public Land Survey System, also known as the Rectangular Survey System, divided public lands into Townships, running north and south, and Ranges, running east and west. Each Township/Range was further divided into a grid 36 sections, each nominally one mile square, or 640 acres. These sections, in turn, were divided into quarters, NW, NE, SW and SE, and each of these quarters were further divided into halves and quarters. Hence we see legal land descriptions such as Twp 33, Rng, 19, Section 9, NWSE (the northwest quarter of the southeast quarter), being approximately 40 acres. These quarters and halves or quarters of quarters (etc.) are called "aliquot parts".
One problem, however, was that this rectangular survey system was plotted on the spherical earth, whose meridians converge at the poles. Therefore, every so often there had to be "fractional" or "correction" sections which might be a little more or a little less than one mile square. These correction sections are on the north and west edges of each Township and Range, i.e., sections 1 through 6 on the north edge, and sections 6, 7, 18, 19, 30 and 31 on the west edge. Being in the northwest corner, section 6 is used to make corrections on both the north and west edges.
Since these sections were not exactly one square mile (or not square at all), legal land descriptions in terms of aliquot parts wouldn't work. Parts of these sections were divided into tracts called "fractional lots" or "government lots", which were numbered. Parcels involving these lots have descriptions such as 2NW (northwest lot 2), or N1/2 1SW (north half of southwest lot one).
These grids are designed to help you translate the legal land descriptions of these fractional lots in Dallas County into the actual location and geography of the land parcels.
Parcels in the SE 1/2 square mile of this section are described as aliquot parts in a normal section. The NW and NE parts have lots numbered 1 on the south and 2 on the north. The SW part has lots numbered 1 on the east and 2 on the west.
Sections 1 through 5
Parcels in the southern 1/2 mile of these sections are described as aliquot parts in a normal section. The NW and NE parts have lots numbered 1 on the south and 2 on the north.
Sections 7, 18, 19, 30 and 31
Parcels in the eastern 1/2 mile of these sections are described as aliquot parts in a normal section. The NW and SW parts have lots numbered 1 on the east and 2 on the west.
Sections 8 though 17, 20 through 29, and 32 through 36
These are "normal sections", exactly one mile square, whose legal land descriptions are in terms of aliquot parts.
The minor corrections along the north and west edges of each Township/Range aren't enough. In addition, major adjustments are needed every 24 miles north and south with "standard parallels" or "correction lines". In Dallas county (and her neighbors Polk and Laclede counties), these major corrections are made in Township 34. Sections 1 through 6 in Township 34, Ranges 18, 19 and 20, are approximately 2 1/2 miles north and south, instead of the standard nominal one square mile.
Township 34, Ranges 18-20, Section 6
Parcels in the lower part of these sections are described like section 6 in each other Township/Range. The addtional length north and south is made by adding more lots, numbered 3 through 8, NW and NE.
Township 34, Ranges 18-20, Sections 1-5
Parcels in the lower part of these sections are described like sections 1 through 5 in each other Township/Range. The addtional length north and south is made by adding more lots, numbered 3 through 8, NW and NE.
Dallas County Map
Section Number Grid
Section Grid, Twp 34
Dallas County Federal Land Patents
Dallas County MOGenWeb
site is maintained by
Comments and contributions are welcome.
Copyright © 1997-2009, all rights reserved.
Last updated: Saturday, 15-Mar-2008 21:17:33 MDT