Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Plotting the Metes and Bounds of Simon Gates Home Farm in Gardner, Mass.

In Amanuensis Monday - Post 250: Appraisal of Real Estate of Simon Gates (1739-1803) Estate (posted 5 January 2015), I transcribed the description of the home farm of Simon Gates (1739-1803) of Gardner, Worcester County, Massachusetts.

I wanted to try to plot these boundaries.  First, I tabulated the corner numbers, the directions, the distance, the marker used, and the neighbor between each marker.  I used a table in Microsoft Word to do that.  The resulting table was (corrected from original posting):

The next task was to see if there are free Deed Mapping software available on the Internet (because I prefer free to cheap or expensive, realizing that you get what you pay for!).  I Googled [ deed mapping software ] and quickly found Deed Mapper ( which costs $99.

There was one free programs that I found immediately:  Deed Platter - (

I entered the information in the table above into the online form for "Platting Deeds in Metes and Bounds."  I added more rows to enter information, and the result looks like this (2 screens):

 I clicked on the "Plat Deed" button and saw the lines drawn.  In addition, there was another table for the marker description (e.g., stake and stones) and the neighbors on the boundary.

I did a snip of the resulting platted map of the deed boundaries (after double checking the land description with the table of metes and bounds above), and added the neighbors:

Well, that's close but no cigar here!  The line from Corner 21 should go to Corner 1, but it's off by several rods.  The surveyor may have made a mistake in transcribing the land description,  or I did in entering data into the program table. 

Note that in the land description, I converted the minutes of a degree to a fraction of a degree (e.g., 30 minutes = 0.5 degree) and I converted the number of links to a fraction of a rod (e.g., 25 links = 1 rod).  

Now I have to do the other four land descriptions, and try to find the land on a map of Gardner, Massachusetts.

The FREE metes and bounds program at works great!  Thank you, creator of this tool!!!

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver


Linda Stufflebean said...

Randy, I bought DeedMapper years ago and tried plotting out metes and bounds. I actually completed quite a few pieces of land and I was amazed to discover how many survey errors are in those property descriptions. I plotted and replotted properties that didn't "close" at the end and they came out wrong again and again. Either the surveyors or recording clerk often erred so it may be that you didn't make any mistake at all.

Diane B said...

Randy, I am fascinated by this! I can't wait to try it. The deeds I look at are pretty old, but not substantially different from what you have here. I would also probably place the names of the adjoining property owners out on all sides. Perhaps one could get one or two of these puzzle pieces to fit together someday. Who knows!! You've given me a lot to think about. thanks for posting!

Linda Schreiber said...

Thanks, Randy
Most of what I have dealt with was twp and range, but I have further land research to do back ease, both north and south. I appreciate both the mapper link and also the ideas on how to handle the data!

Dana Leeds said...

Thanks for sharing this! I've never plotted a piece of land, but wouldn't of thought to look for a program. Nice!