One of my Favorite Surveyors
Some surveyors were good, some weren’t so good!
Someone recently asked me if I had developed a sense of the skill and personalities of any of the surveyors whose plats I frequently work with. Well, yes, I certainly have. Some were quite good at their work and others were not. Some surveyors took great care with their drawings and others clearly rushed to get the job done. I do have a few favorite surveyors.
One of the best surveyors to work in the area of Orangeburgh District, in my opinion, was Alexander McInnis. According to the 1850 Orangeburgh District census, he was born in Scotland about 1785. He began his surveying about 1816 and worked through at least 1847, completing at least 100 plats in the area.
What makes many of McInnis’ plats so satisfying to work with is that he often took the time to indicate the original owners of any adjoining property and then, to frequently add something like “now in the possession of.” Some of his plats have been the only way I have been able to properly locate an original plat that was surveyed with “all sides vacant.” And his notes about current owners provide evidence of changes in land ownership when there are no other existing records. I wish all of the surveyors had been as methodical as he was!
Here is an example of his work:
For those of you familiar with the 1735 immigrants to Orangeburgh Township, you will probably recognize the Stewets and Zorn names. Their properties were mapped in my first book. In the next few weeks I will try to post a copy of this plat on a topographic map. So that you won’t miss anything, be sure to subscribe to my postings via Email or RSS Feed, if you have not already done so.
Tags: Orangeburgh Township