Sections, Quarter Sections, and More

If your ancestors lived in public land states and owned real property, are you familiar with sections, quarter sections, townships, etc.? If not, you could be interpreting a property description incorrectly or missing out on a crucial detail. Theoretically, a:

  • a township is a square six miles on a side;
  • section is a mile on a side and contains 640 acres;
  • a quarter section is a half of a mile on a side and contains 160 acres.

There are exceptions to these dimensions and acreages that usually result from geography and political boundaries. For more about these methods of description and units of measure, refer to this reference guide.