05 March 2007
My forebear John Rucker revieved a patent in Spotsylvania County, Virginia in 1727. Part of the image of the patent is shown here--this is the part that describes the shape and size of his piece of property. There's a neat program that will allow you to type in the description of the property and get a grapical representation of that property--Deedmapper. Deedmapper is a great tool for genealogists who work a lot with deeds that contain metes and bounds descriptions.
The image shown below (we shrunk it) shows the shape of Rucker's piece of property. The goal is to plat out the properties of his likely neighbors and determine how the adjacent properties fit together. This is not a short or an easy process, but in an era with no vital records, land records are one of the few sources genealogists have at their disposal.