A Quick Guide to Spanish Units of Measurement of Length and Area

When doing my research into South Texas Land Grants and Land titles the terms “leguas” and “varas” would show up very often in most documents. Since till this day the Porciones are still mentioned on land titles as they have been mentioned in such documents since they were granted by the king of Spain. In a nut shell I found the following chart on wikipidia.com that will help us bring into context all those Spanish Measurement terms. I noted the Castillian system since it is the most important one.

Castilian system of units

Spanish

English

Length in pie

Length in SI Units

U.S. Units

punto

11728

0.1613 mm

0.00635 in

línea

1144

1.935 mm

.0762 in

pulgada

inch

112

23.22 mm

.9142 in

pie

1

27.86 cm

10.969 in

vara

yard

3

0.8359 m

32.909 in

paso

5

1.3932 m

54.850 in

legua

15,000

4.1795 km

2.597 mi

Vara Measurements differ by locality:

1 Vara (Texas-Spanish) = 33 1/3 inches (as decided by the first Texas Land Commissioner)
1 Vara (Southern Colorado) 32.993 inches
1 Vara (Florida) 33.372 inches

I put an emphasis on “varas” because they are the type of measurement that is widely used in these documents as you all will see once I start transcribing some of them.

Sources:

About Moises Garza

This blog is an attempt to document my family and make you aware of resources that I find. I also hope that with this blog I can network with other researchers interested in this region and connect with long lost relatives. To keep up to date with this blog follow us with RSS feed, Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. Contact me at moisesgarza@gmail.com

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