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Surveying and Land History

Surveying and Land History

To understand the evolution of Franklin County, one must explore Ohio’s rich surveying history and how it influenced the measurement and division of our local land.

Long before Ohio became a state, it was a Native American territory that was eventually claimed by different nations and colonies. The variety and number of these claims caused Ohio to have more original surveys than any other state.

The first surveyors lived a hard life threatened by the perils of the wilderness far from civilization and family.

The endless forests, tall grasses, and rugged terrain of Ohio made tracking difficult. With only a chain for measurement and a compass for navigation, it is easy to understand why there are discrepancies in some of the original surveys.

Following the American Revolution, the federal government appointed “Deputy Surveyors” to oversee and implement the first survey standards.

Typical compensation, shared by surveyors and their crews, was two to three dollars for each mile measured. In some cases, surveyors were paid with land, which resulted in making them original settlers with large land holdings.

Surveyors guided the development of the new frontier as they clarified land titles and property boundaries, and helped to layout the first roadways and towns that would become the fabric of our state and county. We invite you to explore this fascinating history through our Surveyor’s Journal web pages.