What a treat to discover this mailing list and find out I am not the only map fanatic who
spends time straining my eyes looking at old plats! I've browsed the archives and
picked up a few good ideas already so it seems like I should introduce myself.
The first part of my project is to try to map all of the colonial and state grants between
the North and South Forks of the Edisto River in what was the old Orangeburgh District,
SC. A fairly complete set of plats for the grants of the entire state of SC exist at the
archives in Columbia, SC. I have so far identified about 900 plats as being in my area of
interest and expect there to be about 1200. I use Deedmapper to print out a transparency
to the same scale as the 7.5 minute topographic maps of the area. I have the 15 minute
maps installed with my program but find they do not give me enough detail. (Question for
list - Is there a way to get the more detailed topos installed?) I use transparency
markers to make notations (on the transparencies) about neighbors, watersheds, roads, etc.
that show up on the plats, much like Garry just explained he did with annotations within
Deedmapper is very important for creating the transparency plats to the same scale as the
topos. But since most of these surveys weren't too accurate, I am not usually
satisfied with the results of locating several adjoining plats on a map. (My experience
has been that only a few of the square or rectangular plats come out anywhere near the
acreage the surveyor indicated, not to mention illegible or missing survey lines). So my
next step is to work with a current day tax map of the area and try to identify some of
the old survey lines that might still exist in the current (and hopefully more accurate)
surveys. Then I can identify where the original plats were "on the ground"
which, as I understand survey law, is what counted anyway; not what the surveyor might
have drawn on his plat. At this point I can manually draw in what I think the original
plat actually was on a paper copy of a topo map. Does anyone know of any software that
would allow me to draw my versions of !
the plats on the computer?
The second part of my project is trying to trace ownership of all of this land between the
time it was originally granted (anywhere from 1735 to about 1840) up to 1865. All of the
courthouse records that would record these transactions were lost in the Civil War. This
involves using post Civil War deeds, census records, some manuscript collections and a lot
of database creation and manipulation with some additional use of Deedmapper when I find
plats of any of that activity.
I did run into a situation with Deedmapper last week that I would like some advice on. I
frequently back up my Deedmapper files on a floppy disc. After getting about 200 plats
entered, I discovered that they would not all fit on one floppy. I finally realized I
could save just the plat data and not the maps so I circumvented the problem for now. My
questions is if there is a way to make Deedmapper save a project on more than one floppy
or will I eventually need to split my project into several files?
I hope I haven't jumped in with too many questions all at once. Any and all advice
will be appreciated.
in Savannah, GA