Thursday, October 19, 2006

Do you know what Aliquot Parts are?

When I corresponded with Linda Schreiber, who provided the informative and useful research tip about finding neighbors in the BLM General Land Records, I asked her about the term 'Aliquot.' Linda provided the information below, from which source I don't know.

However, it is not in Eastman's Dictionary of Genealogy or in the index of Wade Hone's book "Land and Property Research." I thought the definition was useful to have for those of us trying to understand the GLO records:

Aliquot Parts

Using the rectangular system of survey, lands were divided into Townships containing 6 square miles. Each Township was subdivided into 36 Sections, each containing approximately 640 acres. Each Section was further subdivided into halves and quarters, repeatedly, until the parcel of land was accurately described. Without the use of Fractional Sections, Blocks, or Lots (in the case of uneven parcels of land), Aliquot Parts were used to represent the exact subdivision of the section of land. Halves of a Section (or subdivision thereof) are represented as N, S, E, and W (such as "the north half of section 5").

Quarters of a Section (or subdivision thereof) are represented as NW, SW, NE, and SE (such as "the northwest quarter of section 5"). Sometimes, several Aliquot Parts are required to accurately describe a parcel of land. For example, "ESW" denotes the east half of the southwest quarter containing 80 acres and "SWNENE" denotes the southwest quarter of the northeast quarter of the northeast quarter containing 10 acres. It is important to remember that the Aliquots shown in the data base (e.g., "SWNENE") usually translates into words found on the land document.

In General:

- a section contains 640 acres,
- a half section contains 320 acres,
- a quarter section contains 160 acres,
- a half of a quarter contains 80 acres,
- a quarter of a quarter contains 40 acres, etc.

My thanks again to Linda for her help in understanding and using the GLO records at

1 comment:

David Inman said...

The information on "Aliquot Parts" comes from the GLO's Visitor Center pages, specifically the one on the Rectangular Survey System.

Also, note that the final link is missing the initial "www.". It should