Original Field Notes > Site Use Information
Site Use Information
This website provides access to scanned images of the original General Land Office survey field notes and plat maps. All of this material is based on the township, range and section descriptions of the Public Land Survey System (PLSS). To effectively use this material, you will need to know this description for the property you are researching. This legal description can be derived from topographic maps, land ownership maps, deeds and or property tax bills among other sources.
The site provides for two basic searches. A search on known township and range numbers will provide results that include all of the field notes and plat maps associated with that township. Entering a section number can further refine this search. This more detailed search will only provide the field notes and plat maps for that section. An interactive map of all of the counties in the state can also be used for searching. Clicking on a county will bring up a map of that county and the townships. Clicking on a township will provide results that include all of the associated field notes and plat maps.
The results page for each township search provides a listing of all of the individual entries for that township. Each of these is a separate image and can be accessed by clicking on it. The field notes and plat maps for the exterior township and range lines are listed first. Please note that the south township line and the east range line are considered to be associated with a township. The north township line is associated with the township to the north, and the west range line is associated with the township to the west. These township lines can be accessed by searching those townships. The interior notes and related entries are listed second. From the results page, it is possible to link directly to the notes for adjacent townships via the links at the top of the page.
Viewing individual entries
Clicking on an individual entry in the results list will link to the image for that page. In most cases this will bring up a two-page spread image from a notebook. The entry sought may be on either side. The size of this image can be adjusted to any of four preset sizes by clicking on the icons at the bottom of the menu on the left-hand side of the screen. Just above the size icons is a link that will bring up a separate window with a township reference diagram. This will be useful in finding the order of the sections within a township. At both the top and bottom of each page are three navigation icons that link to other pages within the notes. The icon to the left of the word "content" will link to the contents for that notebook. The arrows to either side of the word "entry" will link to the next entry in that notebook. The arrows to either side of the word "page" will link to the next page spread in that notebook.
Just above each page image is a link entitled "display image for printing." Clicking this link will open up a new window with just the page image. From this page, the image can be printed.