Lord Thomas Fairfax land survey C0353
Published by George Mason University Libraries
Colonial land surveying in America was an activity generally performed for the purpose of transfering land ownership from the British Crown to private ownership. Surveyorship was a legitimate and respected trade and could be learned through apprenticeship, with much of its activities originating from land surveying of the British Isles. Successful land surveyors were accurate, precise, and detailed with their surveys. Basic surveying methods used many different kinds of surveying tools, but most popular was a tool called Gunter's Chain, which was in use in the United States for three hundred years. Surveyors and chainmen swore oaths to be fair and accurate when it came to performing the high-stakes task of land surveying. The trade has never waned and continues into the modern day, albeit with up-to-date land surveying technology.
A land survey performed on behalf of Lord Thomas Fairfax and written on June 8, 1739 by King George's County surveyor John Warner, likely as a part of the "battle of the maps," which was an effort made by Lord Fairfax and other local Virginia families to lay official claim to parts of the Northern Neck of Virginia. Fairfax succeeded in 1745, thanks to Warner's surveys conducted at the behest of London's Privy Council.
This is a single item collection.
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There are no restrictions on personal use. Permission to publish material from the Lord Thomas Fairfax land survey must be obtained from the Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.
Special Collections Research Center also holds several other collections on historic Virginia, including the Randolph H. Lytton Historical Virginia collection.
Fairfax County (Va.)
Fairfax County (Va.)--History.
A digitized version of this document can be found here: Lord Thomas Fairfax land survey.
Lord Thomas Fairfax land survey, C0353, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.
The donor is unknown.
Reprocessing completed by Amanda Brent in June 2019. EAD markup completed by Amanda Brent in June 2019. This collection used to be a part of the Virginia historical documents collection, C0034.
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Pospishil, Michael. "Surveying (Colonial.)" The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia. https://philadelphiaencyclopedia.org/archive/surveying-colonial/ (Accessed June 5, 2019).
"Surveying." Thomas Jefferson Encyclopedia. https://www.monticello.org/site/research-and-collections/surveying (Accessed June 5, 2019).
Wise, Donald A. "Arlington's County Surveyor Office." Arlington Historical Society. http://arlingtonhistoricalsociety.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Wise_ArlingtonsCountySurveyor_1980.pdf (Accessed June 5, 2019).