Sunday, November 11, 2012

Hendricks County Land Records: Congressional Townships Explained

If you've done land records research in Hendricks County deed books, you've probably run across a legal description of land like "the northwest quarter of the northeast quarter of Section 32, Township 15 North, Range 1 East." Most (but not all) of the land in Indiana is measured from a point in Orange County in southern Indiana. The Congressional township lines are measured going north from that point. So Hendricks County land is in Township 14 North, Township 15 North, Township 16 North and Township 17 North.

The 2nd Principal Meridian line runs north-south and Ranges are measured going east or west from that point in southern Indiana. So Hendricks County land is in Range 2 West, Range 1 West, Range 1 East and Range 2 East.

Each intersection of a township and range creates a grid that's called a Congressional township. A Congressional township is made up of 36 sections (each 1 mile square, amounting to 640 acres per section). The numbering of these sections starts with 1, in the northeast corner of the Congressional township, and then snakes back and forth until it ends with 36, in the southeast corner of the Congressional township.

NOTE: Congressional townships do NOT correspond exactly to civil townships. Civil townships are named by local government (e.g. Brown Township or Guilford Township). A civil township may contain portions of several Congressional townships.

The Congressional Township dividing lines in Hendricks County:
  • County Road 0 (aka Hendricks County Road), which runs east-west and forms the southern boundary of Franklin Township and Liberty Township, is the dividing line between Township 13 North (in Morgan County) and Township 14 North.
  • County Road 500 South (which runs east-west) is the dividing line between Township 14 North and Township 15 North.
  • County Road 100 North (which runs east-west) is the dividing line between Township 15 North and Township 16 North.
  • County Road 625 North (which runs east-west) is the dividing line between Township 16 North and Township 17 North.

The Range dividing lines in Hendricks County:
  • County Road 300 West (which runs north-south) is the dividing line between Range 1 West and Range 2 West.
  • County Road 300 East (which runs north-south) is the dividing line between Range 1 West and Range 1 East - it corresponds to the 2nd Principal Meridian.
  • County Road 950 East (which runs north-south) is the dividing line between Range 1 East and Range 2 East.

Here's a guide to the civil townships represented by a particular Congressional township and range number:
  • Township 14 North, Range 1 East - portions of Guilford Township and Liberty Township.
  • Township 14 North, Range 2 East - a portion of Guilford Township.
  • Township 14 North, Range 1 West - portions of Clay Township, Franklin Township and Liberty Township.
  • Township 14 North, Range 2 West - portions of Clay Township and Franklin Township.
  • Township 15 North, Range 1 East - portions of Center Township, Guilford Township and Liberty Township.
  • Township 15 North, Range 2 East - a portion of Guilford Township.
  • Township 15 North, Range 1 West - portions of Center Township, Clay Township and Liberty Township.
  • Township 15 North, Range 2 West - portions of Clay Township and Marion Township.
  • Township 16 North, Range 1 East - portions of Brown Township, Center Township, Lincoln Township, Middle Township and Washington Township.
  • Township 16 North, Range 2 East - portions of Brown Township, Lincoln Township and Washington Township.
  • Township 16 North, Range 1 West - portions of Center Township, Middle Township and Union Township.
  • Township 16 North, Range 2 West - portions of Eel River Township and Marion Township.
  • Township 17 North, Range 1 East - portions of Brown Township and Middle Township.
  • Township 17 North, Range 2 East - a portion of Brown Township.
  • Township 17 North, Range 1 West - portions of Middle Township and Union Township.
  • Township 17 North, Range 2 West - a porition of Eel River Township.

Conversely, if you know the civil township and are interested in what Congressional townships and ranges correspond to that area:
  • Brown Township - Township 16 North, Range 1 East; Township 16 North, Range 2 East; Township 17 North, Range 1 East; Township 17 North, Range 2 East.
  • Center Township - Township 15 North, Range 1 East; Township 15 North; Range 1 West; Township 16 North, Range 1 East; Township 16 North, Range 1 West.
  • Clay Township - Township 14 North, Range 1 West; Township 14 North, Range 2 West; Township 15 North, Range 1 West; Township 15 North, Range 2 West.
  • Eel River Township - Township 16 North, Range 2 West; Township 17 North, Range 2 West.
  • Franklin Township - Township 14 North, Range 1 West; Township 14 North, Range 2 West.
  • Guilford Township - Township 14 North, Range 1 East; Township 14 North, Range 2 East; Township 15 North, Range 1 East; Township 15 North, Range 2 East
  • Liberty Township - Township 14 North, Range 1 East; Township 14 North, Range 1 West; Township 15 North, Range 1 East; Township 15 North, Range 1 West.
  • Lincoln Township - Township 16 North, Range 1 East; Township 16 North, Range 2 East.
  • Marion Township - Township 15 North, Range 2 West; Township 16 North, Range 2 West.
  • Middle Township - Township 16 North, Range 1 East; Township 16 North, Range 1 West; Township 17 North, Range 1 East; Township 17 North, Range 1 West.
  • Union Township - Township 16 North, Range 1 West; Township 17 North, Range 1 West.
  • Washington Township - Township 16 North, Range 1 East; Township 16 North, Range 2 East.

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