Land surveyors have the unique and important job of measuring and recording information related to a piece of property. When property owners and government agencies need the boundaries or topographical details of a piece of land, they call surveyors to handle the job.
Land surveying in Texas plays a significant part in the state’s history. Because the terrain located within the state of Texas has transferred ownership throughout time, surveying became a critical way of establishing constitutional rights and cultural norms.
Land surveying in Texas
Before Texas became an American state, it was colonized by the Spanish and inhabited by missionaries, native populations, Mexican citizens and – following the Revolutionary War – American citizens. In these early stages, surveying was used to define which territories were covered in Spanish grants, and how many citizens of other countries could inhabit Texas’ land. During this time, many surveying measurements were actually rough estimates, which included distances measured in footsteps, or the length of an object.
In the early 1800s Stephen F. Austin worked tirelessly to accurately survey the land of Texas and establish its boundaries. These early records were recorded in different units of measurement depending on which countries collaborated. Then, in 1835, Texas declared its independence and became its own nation, furthering the need for careful and correctly surveyed boundaries. Following pressure from both Mexico and the U.S., Texas aligned with America and became its 28th state. This change again gave rise to the need to define both interstate and international borders.
George Washington Smyth
Throughout Texas’ extensive history with land and boundary surveying, certain individuals played an important role in establishing key records for the state. George Washington Smyth was one of the first Texas boundary surveyors. Smyth recorded the details of numerous early Texas settlements and colonies, signed the Texas Declaration of Independence and served on the boundary commission that established Texas’ borders in the late 1830s.
Smyth later became the commissioner of the General Land Office in the 1840s, and was elected to the U.S. Congress. His work on the early land surveying records of Texas are considered great contributions to this day.
Defining boundaries today
In present day, land surveying in Texas is more important than ever. With countless different property owners, construction developments, pipeline projects and environmental changes, the need for accurate, reliable surveyors is always on the rise. Texans use land surveyors for jobs ranging from construction alignment to defining gas and oil well locations. Boundary surveying can help new property owners better understand and protect their land, or even settle disagreements between neighbors.
Today, the great-grandson of George Washington Smyth, D.G. Smyth continues to provide Texans with professional and official land surveying services. With over 90 years of experience, D.G. Smyth & Company is a family owned and operated business that takes pride in upholding the highest standards of land surveying excellence.
If you would like to learn more about how boundary surveying can benefit your property, please consult the skilled experts at D.G. Smyth & Company today.