Historic Land Survey Documents Available at Balch Library
Both collections are a rich source of information for genealogists and historians searching for information on land ownership.
Two important collections, documenting land surveys recorded in Loudoun County in the mid 19th century, are now available to researchers at Thomas Balch Library in downtown Leesburg.
The Asa Jackson Collection contains the survey book and measuring tape of Asa Jackson. Jackson, an independent surveyor, regularly surveyed parcels involved in land transactions in Loudoun County and for the Chancery Court of Loudoun County.
His notebook contains 85 surveys from the years 1860-1866 and an index. In addition to the notebook of surveys, the collection includes a 50 foot cotton measuring tape in a leather case, likely used by Jackson in the course of his surveys.
The Yardley Taylor Surveying Notebook belonged to Yardley Taylor, a Loudoun County surveyor famed for his “Map of Loudoun County, Virginia, from Actual Surveys,” published in 1853.
No mention of the map is made in the notebook. It is made up entirely of surveys of parcels in Loudoun County, however, and was in use during the years Taylor was working on his map.
The notebook continues beyond the date of Taylor’s death with surveys in another hand, possibly that of his nephew, Bernard Taylor. The Yardley Taylor Surveying Notebook contains an alphabetical index at the front of the volume, and is bound in the original leather.
These two collections are a rich source of information for genealogists and historians searching for information on land ownership. In addition, they offer a look into surveying methods in Loudoun County in the mid-19th century, a pivotal time as Virginians established farms, towns, and roads, and began to indelibly shape the land.