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Property Description Phrase Question

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I am looking at several property descriptions of the rural area around my parcel (all previously owned by one owner).  I researched the history of my section back to the original land patent in 1837 (Sylvan Township, Washtenaw County, MI). Even my own property's description starts out like this: "Beginning at the north 1/4 corner of Section 2, T2S. R3E...."  Where is the "north 1/4 corner"? If it had said, "the north west 1/4 corner" I would have understood. My parcel is actually in the NW corner of the NE 1/4 of Section 2. The original survey dividing up the larger property also shows this wording.  I'm attaching a piece of that survey.

Really appreciate your help.


Posted : November 12, 2022 1:37 pm
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A quarter corner is the corner halfway between section corners because it is one of the corners of a quarter section. Thus the North quarter corner is the NW corner of the NE quarter section and also the NE corner of the NW quarter section.

You were probably thinking quarter mile, but that's not how the term is used.

Posted : November 12, 2022 9:04 pm
Jitterboogie reacted
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Like Bill said, a 1/4 corner decided a section into 4, a 1/16th corner divides a section into 16 chunks. Approximately a quarter mile. That might be what you are thinking of👍

Posted : November 12, 2022 10:02 pm
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I think I can expand on the previous answers to your question. Since we are concerned with Section 2, we have to be careful and always refer to the GLO map. The North 1/4 corner of Section 2 was not set during the original GLO survey. You can download the GLO maps from the MI DNR, but they are generally poor copies, I always preferred to look at the copies the Register of Deeds has. I have attached the GLO map from the MI DNR site.

It looks like there is a lot going on in the North side of that section for sure.


But back to you question, What is it and where is it? Searching for J01 T2S R3E, it  looks like it went through remonumentation in 2008

Researched Date:
Peer Approved Date:
Recorded Date:
First Page:
If you go to the Washtenaw County Register of deeds and search for the corner remonumentation at Liber 007, page 116 you can get a copy for a small fee. The document will present a complete history of that monument and the witnesses at the time of filing.


The GLO Map

Posted : November 13, 2022 5:03 am
Jitterboogie reacted
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THRAC ALERT. My first retracement of a GLO survey involved writing the DNR, waiting to see what came back, writing again, waiting, going to the field, writing again, waiting, one more trip to the field. Information is cool...


Posted : November 13, 2022 8:52 am
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Bill answered the basic question concerning nomenclature correctly to educate a layperson.  John's wonderful comments point out how differently we, as professionals, must approach what is effectively the question of "where is it?".

John was able to explain why things are not as simple as they might seem to be.

Posted by: @johnmay

The North 1/4 corner of Section 2 was not set during the original GLO survey.

In my world that only happened on those townships having a north line that is a standard parallel.  With 30 mile intervals between standard parallels there is only a 20 percent chance that a Section 2 will not have had the north quarter corner set during the GLO survey.  


Posted : November 13, 2022 10:05 am
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That's why it cannot be stressed enough to start with the GLO survey. I was pretty lucky to work in an area of Michigan that was pretty straight forward as far as GLO. That part of the work is what I miss the most.

Posted : November 14, 2022 2:32 am
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