The Most Confusing Land Division I’ve Ever Come Across!

I am sure that this isn’t the most confusing land division out there, but it’s the most difficult one that I’ve come across in my 12 yrs of research.  It’s from the estate of my 5th great-grandfather, Charles Clark Moorman.  He died in Bedford County, Virginia in 1803.  His land was divided into little pieces after his death.  This document was dated 1811.

Just look at this drawing of the land….

This is my transcription project for this month – and it’s probably going to take me all month.  There is a description of the division of each individual piece of land and who it goes to – 2 pages worth. I think I need to brush up on my land records terminology!!

I understand the poles and the different types of trees that are used as boundary lines.  The question I have for you readers – because I know that some of you are way more experienced than I am – is what do “pointers” mean?  Is this different than a “stake”.  What exactly are pointers?  Thanks for your help!

After Ginger’s comment, I decided to add the text of this land division also so that you can see what I mean by “pointers”.  I haven’t transcribed it yet.

The above map was right here in the document.

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  • Ginger Smith - January 14, 2012 - 8:07 am

    Hi Jen, thanks for sharing. Do you mean “pointers” that is written on this plat or do you have text to go along with it? Might be more helpful to see the context of the text if you have it as well.ReplyCancel

  • Jen - January 14, 2012 - 1:12 pm

    I’ve added the text Ginger. :)ReplyCancel

  • Ginger Smith - January 20, 2012 - 1:02 pm

    Jen, I think it just refers to pointed stakes that are in the ground. They have to be pointed in order to be driven into the ground. This probably differs from the standard “rock” that is used as a property boundary on many homesteads. I can imagine it would be like we use a chalk line today. To do a corner, we must wrap it around a stake. I wonder if they did the same with their chains?ReplyCancel

  • Janet - March 28, 2012 - 1:37 am

    I am working on some Bedford County deeds, too, and I notice that they refer to pointers in the land descriptions. I think that pointers must be man-made benchmarks –probably large metal stakes or small stone obelisks. Today, surveyors imbed brass disks in rocks as “benchmarks” –the place where surveys begin.

    They must have used pointers where the surveys crossed open lands, because in other places they name the trees –the red oak or the white oak. Dontcha think???ReplyCancel

  • Vickie Eyford-Thornton - April 18, 2013 - 11:14 pm

    Three man made hack marks on a nearby tree that point to a corner stone or stake of a survey.ReplyCancel

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