Attala County, Mississippi


Where the heck is my great-great grandfather's property?

The description in the land patent record states:

"East half of the South East quarter of section 19 in Township fourteen North of Range Five East in the District of Lands subject to sale at Columbus, Mississippi containing seventy five acres and forty five hundreths of an acre."

or stated another way:

E ½ SE ¼, Sec 19, T 14N, R 5E


Townships (36 square miles)  are numbered north and south of the baseline and Ranges are numbered east and west of the Principal Meridian and are six miles in width (six sections).

As an example: T2N-R2W would be read as

Township 2 North (of the baseline),  Range 2 West (of the Principal Meridian) and is the shaded area in the map to the right.


A township consists of 36 sections and measures 6 miles by 6 miles. The sections of a township are shown in the example to the right. Each section of a township is numbered as in this example and each section is one mile on each side or one mile square. The numbering system always starts in the upper right-hand corner of the township and reads right to left (1-6),  then drops down and reads left to right (7-12)  and so-on-and-so-forth until all 36 sections are represented.


To the right is one section from the township T1S-R2E above . Within each section, land may be referred to as half sections, quarter sections, or quarter of a quarter section. (A one-sixteenth division is called a quarter of a quarter as in the NW¼ of the NW¼ in the example to the right and would consist of 40 acres.)

1 section = 640 acres
½ section = 320 acres
¼ section = 160 acres


So, where the heck is my great-great grandfather's property?

The description of his property in the Land Patent is E ½ SE ¼, Section 19, Township 14N, Range 5E.

Township 14 North and Range 5 East is in southwestern Attala County. (It can be located by counting north 14 townships from the Base Line and counting 5 ranges east from the Principal meridian). An arrow points to the location of section 19 on the map.

The East ½ of the southeast quarter is the most easterly one-half of the lower right quarter (1/8th of a section) of section 19 consisting of 75 acres plus forty-five hundreds of an acre. (See the E ½ of the SE ¼ in the previous exhibit.

That's it!

The Mississippi Department of Transportation has posted an excellent map for all counties of Mississippi on the State web site. The link below will take you to a listing of the counties from which you select the county you wish to explore. The map will load in a Adobe *.PDF format (a PDF reader can be downloaded from the map page if you don't already have one). Townships and ranges are shown. The beauty of the map is that you can magnify the area in which you are interested, time and time again, until you can practically see your ancestors backyard. You really do want to check this out.

Mississippi DOT County Maps

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copyright © 2001 by Everette Carr. All rights reserved.

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Attala County