History of the Texas Land Survey System

Before Texas became part of the United States the land was inhabited by the Native Americans. During the Age of Exploration in 1519 Spain soon colonized this area. After the Mexican revolution from Spain in 1810, the future state of Texas became Mexican territory. It was not until after the Mexican/American War of 1845 that Texas became a part of the United States.  Due to the eclectic demographics of the Texas region, land grants were passed out amongst all the previous proprietors. The primary distribution came from the Spanish Colonists who distributed land grants to the various previous inhabitants. The original Spanish land grants were surveyed using the irregular Block style of surveying called the “Metes and Bounds” system. Obliviously these original boundaries Blocks cover several modern day counties because the counties did not exist at the time they were surveyed. In fact, these Blocks are not systematic numbers or letters, but instead are named after the individuals who originally performed the surveys. As described in “What is the Texas Land Survey System,” on the previous page the Leagues and Labor System is an offshoot of the Metes and Bounds system. This surveying system assisted Texas in its struggle for independence. The final result allowed Texas to become the 28th U.S. state.