World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article
 

Survey township

1826 map of the Connecticut Western Reserve in northern Ohio showing both survey and civil townships. The survey townships are represented by the numbers (horizontal "town" and vertical "range" numbers) while the civil townships using the same boundaries are represented by the names.
1877 map of Warren County, Indiana. Among all civil townships, only Pine Township exactly matches a survey township with 36 sections.

Survey township, sometimes called Congressional township, as used by the United States Public Land Survey System, refers to a square unit of land, that is nominally six (U.S. Survey) miles (~9.7 km) on a side. Each 36-square-mile (~93 km2) township is divided into 36 one-square-mile (~2.6 km2) sections, that can be further subdivided for sale, and each section covers exactly 640 acres (2.6 km2). The townships are referenced by a numbering system that locates the township in relation to a meridian (north-south) and a base line (east-west). Townships were originally surveyed and platted by the US General Land Office using contracted private survey crews and are marked on the U.S. Geological Survey topographic maps.

Contents

  • History 1
  • Survey township vs. civil township 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4

History

Prior to standardization, some of the Ohio Lands were surveyed into townships of 5 miles (8.0 km) on each side. These are often known as Congressional Townships.[1][2]

Sections are divided into quarter-sections of 160 acres (65 ha) each and quarter-quarter sections of 40 acres (16 ha) each. In the Homestead Act of 1862, one quarter-section of land was the amount allocated to each settler. Stemming from this are the idiomatic expressions, "the lower 40", which is the 40 acres on a settler's land that is lowest in elevation, in the direction towards which water drains toward a stream, and the "back forty", the portion farthest from the settler's dwelling.

Survey township vs. civil township

Survey townships are distinct from civil townships. A survey township is used to establish boundaries for land ownership. A civil township is a form of local government. In states with civil townships, the boundaries of survey townships are often coterminous with civil townships. County lines, especially in western States, usually follow township lines, leading to the large number of rectangular counties in the West, which are agglomerations of survey townships.[3]

In western Canada, the Dominion Land Survey adopted a similar format for survey townships, which do not form administrative units. These townships also have the area of 36 square miles (six miles by six miles).

See also

References

  1. ^ A History of the Rectangular Survey System by C. Albert White, 1983, Pub: Washington, D.C. : U.S. Dept. of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management : For sale by Supt. of Docs., U.S. G.P.O.,
  2. ^ http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/more/cadastralsurvey/cadastral_history.html
  3. ^ Geological Survey Circular. The Survey. 1933. p. 24. 
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.