West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture & History

Land surveyor, published author to offer tips on using maps, deeds, court records to trace family roots during Feb. 9 Archives and History lecture


A professional surveyor, author and historic-character actor will offer tips on using land deeds and other records to help trace family roots during a Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012, lecture in the Archives and History Library at the Culture Center in Charleston.

Donald L. Teter will provide an introduction to research sources and analysis methods that boundary surveyors use as well as tips on how to apply them to genealogical and historical research. His presentation, “Property Research for Genealogy and History,” will address land grants, books, and deeds; wills; circuit court records; tax, historic, and topographic maps; plotting property descriptions to create maps; online record resources; and errors and ambiguities in records.

The program begins at 6 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

Teter, a graduate of Davis and Elkins College, began surveying as a chainman and brushcutter in 1974. Since receiving his West Virginia surveying license in 1982, he has surveyed some town and suburban areas but has worked primarily with rural properties, involving research in 26 of the state’s 55 counties. Teter presents continuing education seminars for licensed surveyors, is a director and past president of the West Virginia Society of Professional Surveyors and edited West Virginia Surveyor for 10 years. He has served for almost a decade on the national board of directors of the Surveyors Historical Society, an organization dedicated to preserving historic surveying instruments and records, and educating the public about the history of surveying.

Teter also is a consultant for the Rich Mountain Battlefield Foundation and Historic Beverly Preservation, and is a published author on Randolph County history, including Goin’ Up Gandy, A History of the Dry Fork Region of Randolph and Tucker Counties, West Virginia (2nd ed., 2011). As part of the West Virginia Humanities Council’s History Alive! Program, Teter portrays Porte Crayon, the pen name of artist and magazine writer David Hunter Strother, who served the Union as a topographic mapper during the Civil War.

For planning purposes, participants are encouraged to register for the program, but advance registration is not required to attend. To register in advance, contact Robert Taylor, library manager, at ,a href=”mailto:bobby.l.taylor@wv.gov”>bobby.l.taylor@wv.gov or at (304) 558-0230, ext. 163. Participants interested in registering by e-mail should send their name, telephone number and the name and date of the session. For additional information, contact the Archives and History Library at (304) 558-0230.

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is an agency within the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts with Kay Goodwin, Cabinet Secretary. The Division, led by Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith, brings together the past, present and future through programs and services focusing on archives and history, arts, historic preservation and museums. For more information about the Division’s programs, events and sites, visit www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.



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