Many announcements are being made at the annual National Genealogical Society conference held this year in Kansas City, Missouri. Here's one of those announcements, written by Arphax, THE company known for publishing land survey maps:
Kansas City, Missouri, May 14, 2008. Arphax Publishing of Norman, Oklahoma is pleased to announce the publication of its first three books in its new series of books, the Texas Land Survey Maps.
“This represents the result of nearly three years work,” says Greg Boyd, creator of the series. “Similar to my Family Maps series of books, I’ve taken land-ownership, transportation, and geographic data from a multitude of sources and melded it into something unique and totally researcher-friendly.”
Arphax chose this year’s National Genealogical Society Conference in the States to unveil this latest addition to its burgeoning list of historical-map titles.
Boyd adds: “I’ve been promising a Texas series for almost two years. Because of new software innovations and newly available data, I’ve felt it necessary to switch gears a couple of times. Last fall I decided to quit making promises, to focus on getting our Texas maps fashioned into the most user-friendly and comprehensive tool I could envision, and to just make it happen. That happens today.”
The Texas series will eventually be published in both digital and print versions. Boyd says, “It’s only coincidental that the print-version was completed first. That’s why we’re releasing the first books in the series now. The software version is receiving some finishing touches and will be out in the next few months.”
The first three books in the Texas Land Survey Maps series, all available as of today, are for Cooke, Lavaca, and Rusk Counties. Plans are to publish one new Texas book each week. At that pace, it will take five years to complete all 254 counties in Texas. Arphax has published books for over 375 counties in 18 states in its first three years in business. Its first New Mexico book was published just two weeks ago.
The company asks that Texas researchers be sure and let Arphax Publishing know which counties they prefer to be published first. Requests can either be directed by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, via the “Contact” form available from its web-site at www.arphax.com or by phone at 1-800-681-5298, or by mail (address listed above).
Boyd continues: “Of course, if you are researching Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Utah, or Wisconsin, we want to hear from you too. Our Family Maps series is still going strong and continues to be our anchor series.”
But What’s Different About Texas?
Unlike other states that entered the Union in and after the 19th century, Texas retained its public lands and distributed them by its own methods. It did not follow the same township and section method native to the “public-land” states. While parcels may be of just about any shape and size, they are at least discernible and precise. And Boyd feels he has devised a map-size and scale that perfectly presents original Texas land-ownership to interested researchers.
His Texas maps are the result of cutting each Texas county up into individual maps that are six miles high (north and south) by 4 miles wide. Unlike Boyd’s public-land maps series, where all the features are presented in three maps per township, the Texas series has “everything in each 4-by-6 mile map.” The result is a really clean, highly readable map where land-owners, creeks, roads, railroads, and other features, are all very easy to distinguish.”
Anyone who has seen Arphax’s Family Maps series knows that Boyd presents no lack of indexes. And the new Texas series is no exception. These books contain an all-name index that even allows redundancy between two different sources, the Texas Railroad Commission and the Texas General Land Office. “There are differences in their data, and on top of the fact that the Railroad Commission’s data has no given-names of survey-holders. We have cross-referenced data from both sources and present both. The result is an easily located single-entry in an Abstract Listing where you learn what both of the two chief authorities on Texas land have to say about original ownership of a given parcel of land. Very cool,” Boyd concludes.
According to the company, the decision to release the Texas series today came at such a late date, that it may be a few days for its web-site to reflect the addition.