Land deeds can be interesting to read, with their descriptions of plots of land and boundaries measured in rods and poles. But they don’t make much sense until you plat them. A free online tool to plat your family history land deeds can be found at http://genealogytools.net/deeds/index.php. Though this site does not have all the features of a deed mapping program you can buy, it is adequate for most platting.
It works like a table into which you enter the surveyor’s directions. Each line you enter allows you several options depending on how the deed reads. Some spaces in the table are intended to be filled in, like the degrees on the deed or the distance. Other options are chosen from drop-down menus. For example, you can choose the direction (N, S, E, W, etc.), and you can choose the distance in (poles, rods, chains, etc.). With this tool you can create a deed of up to 30 lines long. You can include additional information on your map to identify it: the grantor, the grantee, the city or township, the state or province, a source (Deed book, page, and date), and the number of acres. When you have entered all the pertinent information from your deed, you can plat it and print it.
There are some instructions about platting if you need them under a “help” prompt. For example, one item dealing with “meanders” says, “If you need a meander, you will have to do it manually for now. ‘Rotate’ your deed so that the first call starts from the top of the meander. The last call should end at the other side of the meander. You may have to draw the meander in by hand between the first and last points.” It appears that this platting tool was part of a larger website “genealogytools.net,” but the homepage link currently does not work.
Try this online deed platter with your family history land deeds and see what you think.