Asheville Homes and LAND!- The Keep In Touch Blog

head_left_image

Transfer of Land in North Carolina. It's History by "Metes and Bounds"

Land transfers in the State of North Carolina may bring with them metes and bounds and mystery. Be prepared for bits of history written between the lines in old land surveys, and also be ready for a challenge when you decipher them. Interested in definitions?...Metes... "A boundary defined by the measurement of each straight run, specified by a distance between the terminal points, and an orientation or direction. Bounds... "A more general boundary description, such as along a certain watercourse, a stone wall, an adjoining public road way, or an existing building."

 When you first encounter a metes and bounds survey you may find yourself traveling back in time  to the days when your family's "Old General"   having been granted twenty-five thousand acres for his services in the Revolutionary War, strode the land in North Carolina.  That's where bits of history come in.

Land records are excellent sources of family history information. Land ownership and the accompanying records were precious to many of our crop-growing ancestors who tried to keep land in the family, and created valuable records.

Deciphering land records using the metes and bounds method of describing land can be challenging. This was the method of choice here in North Carolina for centuries.

Back in 1777, a bill that explained how, after locating property, a settler wished to claim that land, was written. It required that a description of the location and boundaries of the property be provided by a surveyor. So a surveyor was dispatched into the mountains, hills and valleys or coastal regions to survey and produce two plats of the land. Each contained a scale, description, angles, distances, marks he had made, any water he had crossed, and, total acreage done in the metes and bounds method that had originated in English Common Law. After a short period of time in which any conflicting claim might be found, the settler was given a copy of the land description, with another copy going to the surveyor as a warrant to survey the land.

Now jump forward a couple hundred years. You are involved in a land transfer and you find yourself looking at a metes and bounds survey. You have come face-to-face with a document a treasure-hunter fairly relishes. Having read the above, you probably have surmised that These documents are complex, and oftentimes downright mysterious. With that old-time surveyor, now you follow along with a series of distances and directions until you arrive back at the point of beginning.

The directions may read,                                                    
"Beginning where Standfield's donkey and goat always stand  
at the crest of the southmost knoll. . ." continue "then go north 15º east
with the center of Sprinkle Creek 90 poles,
thence north 100º east 100 poles to a grave stone,
thence South 10º west 130 poles to a pile of rocks with a cross on it,
thence South 100º west 100 poles to the point of beginning,
containing approximately 92.15 acres, more or less."

Margaret Mitchell's Gerald O'Hara tells Scarlet,
"Land . . . 'tis the only thing that lasts . . . ." Land is a tangible artifact that remains of our ancestors where the history of families is written in the transfer of lands.

 

Resource: List of North Carolina Land Grants in the National Archives   

List of North Carolina Land Grants, 1778-1791

M68

1

 

Copyright © 2006 All Rights Reserved  Asheville ECO Real Estate: Trends, Legacies & The Home Place Greenolina

 

 

 

 

True Guide to AGING IN PALACE eBooklet Becomes Amazon Best Seller

 
Your Home for Today and Tomorrow- Smart UP-Fitting
GO HERE - for Tips & Talking Points.
 Home Decorating, New Space Design

 

Aging in PaLACE eBooklet

 

"Helpful starting points for talking about and designing
a functional and BEAUTIFUL lifelong home."

 

Asheville NC Real Estate Journal for RESOPURCES & REFERRALS -Mountain Homes and Land Legacies- Asheville 1031 Realty© 2014.  Designations: NAR GREEN®, EcoBroker®, Eco Certified ®Real Estate Consultant, ePRO®. Unauthorized reproduction of any information including photos and graphics on this site is a violation of existing copyright laws.  All rights reserved.

he Necessary Disclaimer! We disclaim liability for damages or losses, direct or indirect that may result from use of or reliance on, information contained in the blog or for accuracy of comments or opinions of visitors to our blogs.

 

DAILY  ASHEVILLE AREA NEWS YOU CAN USE 


* INFORMED CHOICES* THOUGHTFUL ADVICE* DATA INTERPRETATION*
-Tell us what is most important to you-
 Email me janeAnne@janeAnne.com  or give a call at: 828-776-0779

LIC #:209970

Comments

I teach license law in Illinois. When I have the class on land description. I have to explain the 3 methods of describing land, One of these is metes and bounds, and I explain that this method was used to describe land in the 13 colonies. They usualy find it confusing and can't find the difference between a POB and a Benchmark.
Posted by David Spencer, Show Me real estate in Kansas City (Keller Williams Northland) over 11 years ago
what a fun post to read!  we have the old metes and bounds description of our family farm saved, dated back into the 1700s.
Posted by Leigh Brown, CEO, Dream Maker - Charlotte, NC (Leigh Brown & Associates, RE/MAX Executive) over 11 years ago
I'm so grateful I don't live back east. This would drive me nuts! But on the other hand I sell passive solar homes.  The house has to be set no more than 10 degrees off of true south not magnetic south. This drives my clients nutty.
Posted by Dena Stevens, Putting The Real Into Realtor Since 2004 (Rocky Mountain Realty ) over 11 years ago
David...It may be confusing, but tell them, it really is FUN! If your students could go out on a "field trip" and walk the land, they would know why I say it is FUN!
Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 11 years ago
Hi Leigh...When you wrote...we have the old metes and bounds description of our family farm saved, dated back into the 1700s. ..I got to thinking that your far-grandparents may well have known mine! Isn't it great to be in the Carolina's?
Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 11 years ago
Dena...As I said ..it REALLY is FUN! Come on over to the Appalachians and I'll show ya' what I mean...these mountains have stories to tell;;;
Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 11 years ago
When I was leasing mineral rights in Tennessee, I was also in the land of "metes and bounds". Points such as janeAnne mentioned, and some like the fallen oak tree (back in the 1800s, so try to find it now). Add that some owners neglected to state in their deed that they didn't have the mineral rights, and you have some interesting situations. I will admit, though, it was really fun to trace back the deeds. Fortunately the old county attorney took me under his wing and showed me where things were misfiled, and which people changed their names in between deed transfers.
Posted by Sharon Simms, St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS (Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International) over 11 years ago
Sharon... it IS really fun to trace back. And always good to have an attorney "on the team"...
Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 11 years ago
I am interested in large tracts of land in rural areas near Asheville. Is the metes and bounds survey someting that is going to cause me problems?
Posted by John Thomas over 11 years ago
John...Not to worry about the metes and bounds survey, especially when you are in the company of a competent real estate professional and her team of experts :-) Definitely more fun than worry!
Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 11 years ago

This blog does not allow anonymous comments