Student Surveyor

I don't need to do this and I have some text that probably describes best practices in these cases, but just wondering about found monuments vs record corners.  It seems like there would be a number of ways to show someone's property on a map in this case, each of which would sacrifice to a differnt adjacent property.  ow do you decide what you think is the 'best' fit when property corners in the field don't quite match up with recorded documents (like maybe 1'-2' off in some cases)?


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  • First of all you MUST identify what a monument really is - natural, original, of record, found etc.
    Then you must associate the monument with the legal description. If a "found monument" is not referred to then in all likelihood is not a real monument that relates to your work - unless it is an original or natural monument.
    I have personally retraced surveys where 150 year old carved stones where ignored by others because they didn't fit nicely with a proportional split according to Tiffin's original instructions using modern equipment in very hilly terrain.
    In this case you fall back on the "original intent" and hold the stone as true.

    You should research your jurisdiction and find some judgements or published articles that spell out a ordered hiarchy of controlling monuments.

    One last thing to remember - surveyors are not courts or judges. Surveyors who "fix things" are in some cases technically awarding judgements when they ignore rules. We cannot and should not forget that.
    • Student Surveyor

      Good explanation.  Thank you.  I like the legal aspects of surveying as well.  They seem to be another kind of puzzle, different than the technical.

  • Government Professional

    Original monuments prevail.  1-2 feet "off" on a 100 year old half mile line is "acceptable" and quite common.  Exactly 1 or 2 foot off on a "modern" subdivision is possibly a blunder that could be "corrected" under certain circumstances.

    • Student Surveyor

      OK.  This one is an old property; really four 20+\- acre connected parcels all bounded on one side by "Kamehamaha land", originally determined while Hawaii was still a kingdom under Kamehameha III (Ahupua'a), so pre-1949.

      It would be an interesting research project if I were commissioned to do it.


  • Land Surveyor

    Dear Dave,

    I don't know if anyone can with confidence answer your question directly. I relate the proving of monuments and boundaries to be very like doing genealogy. Each one has a story. They have a good or poor pedigree. Occasionally, there is an interloper who tries to get into the family but whose DNA doesn't match.

    It is the place where a surveyor must put on his detective hat and assume a professional posture, sift through the evidence and eventually draw conclusions and report them to the world.

    Best wishes,


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