The items of interest dealt with here were several lists that catalogued the material by "GLO Contract", "Deputy Surveyor", "Date", and "Section, Township, and Range." Steve gave me a copy of the lists, and I set out to organize it. First, however, I dove in and found out where the Deputy Surveyors I had been following had surveyed. I used that information to contact other land surveyors and compare notes.
This was before databases or PC word programs. We copied the lists hundreds of times and then collated the two-foot-tall pile of copies. A private stenographer was hired to type up the draft list and Land Surveyors Association of Washington (LSAW) chapter members helped me edit the results. Even in the final result, there were many errors and much illegible information. The association paid for the printing, hoping to get reimbursed out of the sale of the product. My wife, Patti, did the cover illustrations.
After the development of the "Surveyors Database" in the mid-'90s, I took on the task of redoing the First Land Surveyors of Washington. The new information in the database helped get the names right, clear up mixed data and sort out brothers and fathers in surveying families. Also, many Contracts were under the Oregon Surveyor General, which had caused confusion. I created the information in Microsoft Word, using "Tables". Denny DeMeyer and Wes Schlenker helped review the new product.
The Department of Interior information is mostly from the original source and hand-written lists. It is my hope that new computerized data will emerge from an agency having higher technical capabilities. I have viewed many township plats online to correct data.
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First Land Surveyors of Washington | Washington State Surveyors Database
Early Maps & Photos | Olson Engineering Inc.