Error factor of 100
Found a deed from about 1875 with a major error. Links were used where chains were intended. You start off two links north of the south section line then run east 14.87 links, then north................(and so forth)...................being four acres. Said tract to be known as Lot 2.
All later deeds call it Lot 2.
The tract to the south starts at the south section line and runs north 8 rods. The tract to the north begins at a distance of 8 rods plus the true width of Lot 2.
Excellent question. This was what was called a wood lot or tree lot in the river bottom. Trees were fairly uncommon in those days except near watercourses. In this quarter section there were eventually four such lots with all being of differing areas and dimensions. In the next quarter section to the west there were six such lots with all being of identical dimensions. The idea was that these lots would provide hard working people the opportunity to harvest the trees to sell to city dwellers in need of firewood.
Because of one measurement being 14.87 units it would appear a surveyor may have been involved. The unknown part is why anyone knowledgeable with measurements could write "links" when they clearly meant "chains. I don't believe I could tell 14.87 links from 14.88 links as the standard link was not marked in one-hundredths.
That was kind of my idea. It seems like someone initially had some "good" info and then ran with it in the wrong direction.
I'm thinking you've probably found evidence of the first time a legal secretary screwed up a description. Whoever wrote the description apparently had no concept of chains or links.
“God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.”
François-Marie Arouet (nom de plume: Voltaire) 1694 - 1778 - French writer and social critic