Townships and Ranges
With the expansion of the country westward after the Louisiana Purchase, exploration began of the frontier to learn more about the recent land acquisition. As the federal government became more organized, it was decided to open these lands to the general population. The plan was two-fold. First, offer plots to soldiers for their military service and secondly, to sell off as much of the remaining land as possible to raise money for the young republic. To provide for the fairest distribution of the still mostly unmapped and very diverse two and a quarter million square miles, the government divided up the land into squares.
Read more about Ancestor Searching Newsletter, Volume 1, # 10