The transcription on the previous page is from a pdf copy of pages in the Sussex County book of deeds. It's not a pdf of the original deed, which would have been returned to the buyer after being recorded, i.e. copied into the deed book. So those aren't Nicholas' and Japie's real signatures. I wasn't sure when I first put the page together. I've decided to keep them anyway because they make the page look better!
Step 1. Make a digital sketch
"The Gimp" is a free image editing program. It and a calculator provide all the tools you need to make an exact sketch of the boundaries of the property, as described in the "butted and bounded" part of the deed. There's a box on the Gimp GUI that continuously displays the cursor position. (0, 0) is at the top left corner of the image. Positive numbers correspond to going east (+X) and south (+Y). Click to place a dot, shift-click to draw a line from the location of the previous click.
We need to to convert from the angles and lengths in the deed to the Gimp dot coordinates of the corners. Here's how: For each boundary line, compute the X and Y distances using the sine and cosine of the given angle, multiplied by the stated length. That's where the calculator comes in. Then it's +X for east, -X for west; +Y for south, -Y for north. Below are the lines as described in the deed, with the calculated X and Y distances, measured in chains, in parentheses at the end of each line. Note: a chain is a unit of length measuring 66'. There are 100 links in a chain. 10 chains make up a furlong, and 8 furlongs make a mile. An acre is 10 square chains, or 1 chain by 1 furlong. There are 60 minutes in a degree, so 45 minutes in the deed is .75 degree. We can thank our British heritage for all of this.
Beginning at a heap of stone ... being a corner to lines of Cornelius Albertson, thence
1. N82E (face 82 degrees east of north) 45.75 (go 45 chains and 75 links) => (+45.30 -6.37), thence
2. S25.75W 33.78 => (-14.68 +30.43), thence
3. N63.75W 32.10 => (-28.79 -14.20), thence
4. N3W 14 => (-0.73 -13.98)
I plotted at 10 pixels per chain, so multiply the calculated X and Y distances by 10, and add the results to the previous corner's X and Y taking the sign into account. I started at (100 100). Here are the corners: (100 100) (553 36) (406 341) (118 199) (111 59). So click at (100 100), shift-click at the next four corners, and here's what you get:
Hey, the beginning and end don't line up, what kind of a lame survey did Nicholas and Henry get? Typical for its time, actually. Most of this property is on a plateau, but the NW corner is a good distance down a steep slope (above the Delawanna Creek glen, for those who know the area). If the surveyors simply measured distance by laying 66' long chains along the ground, the first and last lines would be longer than they would be on a map, due to the change in elevation, and the real northwest corner of the property as seen on a map would be where the lines cross. Taking this into account, let's see if we can put this down on a map