Those who do a lot of research in Guernsey County, may already be aware of this, but I recently discovered that the Guernsey County Map Department – an arm of the Auditor’s office – has digitized and placed online a number of maps that might be helpful in your Guernsey County property research. And I know you all are making property research a key piece of your research plan, right? (Hint: the correct answer is, “Yes, yes I am.”). Take a look around, and i hope you’ll find something of use in your searches.
The table below shows the maps currently on their site. Clicking on the links will take you directly to those pages.
I love this map of the towns of Centerville and Easton (click for larger size):
Most of us could probably figure out the complicated numbering scheme for the twenty or so lots in each town, but I appreciate the effort! Notice, however, (with the exception of the National Road) the widths of the streets and alleys shown here: 16.5, 33, and 66 feet. While those measurements may seem odd, they are the base measurements for almost every street you’ll find. It all comes back to surveying and the surveyor’s chain. 66 feet is one chain which is comprised of 100 links. Therefore, 33 feet is simply half a chain (50 links), and the seemingly ungainly measurement of 16.5 feet is a quarter chain (25 links).
The Gunther chain is quite a brilliant invention, and the simple fact of the matter is that our country was surveyed end to end, one chain at a time. For an in-depth history of Gunther’s chain and the surveying of America, I highly recommend, Measuring America: How an Untamed Wilderness Shaped the United States and Fulfilled the Promise of Democracy, by Andros Linklater. If you’re a geek like me, you’ll love it!