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SHIPP V. MILLER'S HEIRS, 15 U. S. 316 (1817)

U.S. Supreme Court

Shipp v. Miller's Heirs, 15 U.S. 316 (1817)

Shipp v. Miller's Heirs

15 U.S. 316


An error in description is not fatal in an entry if it does not mislead a subsequent locator. The following entry,

"H.M. enters one thousand six hundred and eighty-seven acres of land on a Treasury warrant, No. 6168, adjoining Chapman Aston on the west side, and Israel Christian on the north, beginning at Christian's northwest corner, running thence west two hundred poles; thence north parallel with Aston's line until an east course to Aston's line will include the quantity,"

was held valid although no such entry as that referred to could be found in the name of Aston, but the particular description clearly pointed out an entry in the name of Chapman Austin as the one intended, and this, together with Christian's entry, satisfied the calls of H.M.'s entry.

It is a general rule that when all the calls of an entry cannot be complied with because some are vague or repugnant, the latter may be rejected or controlled by other material calls which are consistent and certain. Course and distance yield to known visible and definite objects, but they do not yield unless to calls more material and equally certain. Chapman Austin's entry calling to lie "on the dividing ridge between Hinkston's Fork and the south fork of Licking, beginning two miles north of Harrod's Lick at a large buffalo road, and running about north for quantity," and there being no buffalo road two miles north of Harrod's Lick (a place of general notoriety), it was determined that a call for a large buffalo road might be rejected and the entry supported by the definite call for course and distance.

It is a settled rule that where no other figure is called for in an entry, it is to be surveyed in a square coincident with the cardinal points and large enough to contain that the point of beginning is deemed to be the center of the baseline of such square. Chapman Austin's entry calling to run about a north course for quantity, the word "about" is to be rejected, and the land is to run a due north course, having on each side of a due north line, drawn through the center of the base, an equal moiety.

The act of Kentucky of 1797, taken in connection with preceding acts declaring that entries for land shall become void if not surveyed before the 1st day of October, 1798, with a proviso allowing to infants and femes covert three years after their several disabilities are removed to complete surveys on their entries, it was held that if any one or more of the joint owners be under the disabilities of infancy or coverture, it brings the entry within the saving of the proviso as to all the other owners. Distinction between this statute and a statute of limitations of personal actions.

A call for a spring branch generally or for a spring branch to include a marked tree at the head of such spring is not a sufficiently specific locative call, and where further certainty is attempted to be given by a call for course and distance, and the course is not exact, and the distance called for is a mile and a half from the place where the object is to be found, the entry is void for uncertainty.

Page 15 U. S. 317

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