What is the Texas Land Survey System?

The most complex land survey system in the United States is not the Public Land Survey System (PLSS), but is in fact the Texas Land Survey System. The Texas State Line has the most subdivided land properties while the Texas Railroad Districts, which encompasses all of Texas, comes in second in regards to subdivided land properties.

There are many types of surveys which form the Texas Land Survey System. They include:

  • Townships and Sections
  • Blocks
  • League and Labor

There are also stand-alone surveys which, as its name implies, are separate from the Texas Land Survey System.

Only found in the lower portion of Texas, Townships and Sections in the Texas Land Survey System do not include a Range like the PLSS. The choice of section numbers are between 1 and 9999 and can also include fractions, (65.5).

Groups of joined or non-joined subdivided surveyed land are known as Blocks. Found within Blocks are Tracts which are special category numbers. Unlike its name, Blocks for the most part are not restricted to squares or rectangles, but are based on the layout of each survey. This is mainly due to the fact that the original survey lines were drawn before any official boundary was established. This is why Tracts were added into the Block to avoid confusion.

Leagues and Labors:
4428 acres make up a League. A league is subdivided into 25, 177 acre Tracts. These acre Tracts are known as Labors. Leagues can be separate from Labors but there can be no Labors without a League. Like Blocks, Leagues can be conformed into any shape as long as it stays within the specifications described above. Public School Land Grants within the State of Texas use the League and Labor System. The Leagues and Labor System is an offshoot of the original Spanish Metes and Bounds system.