This section is from the book "Popular Law Library Vol7 Equity Jurisprudence, Trusts, Equity Pleading", by Albert H. Putney. Also available from Amazon: Popular Law-Dictionary.
"Each case must be governed by its own peculiar circumstances, and in that in hand we think appellant either had actual knowledge, or actual notice of such facts and circumstances, as by the exercise of due diligence would have led it to knowledge of complainant's rights, and that if this were not so, then its ignorance was the result of such gross and culpable negligence that it would be equally bound.
"The deed of George W. Belcher to N. L. Reynolds conveyed the undivided five-eighths of seventy-five acres by a description reading as follows: 'Beginning at two birches on the bank of Simmons Creek in a line of a survey of twenty-five hundred acres conveyed by James Hector to Obediah Belcher, and a corner to the William H. Witten land, and with a line of the said Witten land N. 50° 40' W. 85, 40 chains up Simmons Creek, topping a bridge at 23 chains and crossing hollows and points of said ridge, to six dead chestnuts on said ridge, a corner to A. G. Belcher's land.' The deed of George W. Belcher to P. H. Rorer purported to convey 'three-eights (3-8) of a certain tract or parcel of land lying on Simmons Creek, a branch of Bluestone River, in the County of Mercer, the State of West Virginia, it being the same tract, five-eights (5-8), undivided, of which has heretofore been conveyed by the said parties of the first part to N. L. Reynolds, and containing, by recent survey, by horizontal measurement, one hundred and seventy and five-tenths acres, and bounded as follows: Beginning at two birches on the bank of Simmons Creek, N. 50° 26' W., 8033 chains up Simmons Creek, crossing ridges and spurs, to six dead chestnuts on ridge, corner to A. G. Belcher.' The other conveyances refer to these descriptions.
"When Obediah and Robert D. Belcher bought the four thousand acres of James Hector they agreed to a division whereby Robert D. Belcher took fifteen hundred and Obediah twenty-five hundred acres. The deed of Hector to Robert D. Belcher for the fifteen hundred acres is in the record. The north line of this tract ran from the Wilson Cary Nicholas line N. 60° E. to the mouth of the Spruce Pine Branch on Flipping Creek, and Obediah Belcher's twenty-five hundred acres lay immediately north of that line and extended across from the Nicholas line to Flipping Creek. The two birches spoken of in George W. Belcher's deed to Reynolds as being in a line of a survey of twenty-five hundred acres conveyed by Hector to Belcher were not corner trees in that line, but were corner trees to the Witten tract of two hundred acres. As the description in the deed to Reynolds puts the two birches as a corner to the William H. Witten land, it is plain that resort must have been actually had to R. D. Belcher's deed to Witten of the two hundred acres, and that deed described Witten's line as running from the two birches up Simmons Creek 'with Miller's line.' That deed could not be read without discovering that something had been omitted therefrom. And this is the more apparent since it is shown by the evidence that the distance by a straight line from the two birches to the six chestnuts was 328 poles, while it is also clear that a line running S. 55 W. from the two birches would not reach the six chestnuts, but would run away from them, so that both by distance and by course it was evident that an error had been committed, and what that error was seems to us to be obvious to any candid mind. Having actual notice to this extent, appellant was put upon inquiry, and inquiry would have conducted at once to the unrecorded deed.
' 'Again, actual and unequivocal possession is notice, because it is incumbent on one who is about to purchase real estate to ascertain by whom and in what right it is held or occupied; and the neglect of this duty is one of the defaults which, unexplained, is equivalent to notice. 2 L. C. in Eq., 180; Landes vs. Brant, 51 U. S., 10; How. 348 (13, 449); McLean vs. Clapp, 141 U. S., 429, 436 (35, 802); French vs. Royal Co., 5 Leigh, 641; Western Min. & Mfg. Co. vs. Peytona Coal Co., 8 W. Va., 406, 441; Core vs. Fraupel, 24 W. Va., 238; Morrison vs. Kelly, 22 I11., 610. 'Possession/ said Walker, J., in the case last cited, 'may be actual or constructive; actual, when there is an occupancy, such as the property is capable of, according to its adaptation to use; constructive, as when a person has the paramount title, which, in contemplation of law, draws to and connects it with the possession. But to be adverse it must be a pedis possessio, or an actual possession.' In Ewing vs. Burnet, 36 U. S., 11; Pet. 53 (9, 629), it was held that neither actual occupancy nor cultivation nor residence was necessary to constitute actual possession; that where the property is so situated as not to admit of any permanent useful improvements, and the continued claim of the party has been evidenced by public acts of ownership, such as he would exercise over property which he claimed in his own right, and would not exercise over property he did not claim, such possession would create a bar under the statute of limitations; that what acts may or may not constitute a possession are necessarily varied, and depend to some extent upon the nature, locality, and use to which the property may be applied, the situation of the parties, and a variety of circumstances which have necessarily to be taken into consideration in determining the question. And so possession of an improved portion of a tract of land, under a conveyance in fee of the whole, is construed to be coextensive with the grant. And where a party purchases land adjoining a tract of which he is already in the occupancy, he will be considered as at once, in point of law, in the possession of the newly acquired tract, when the latter is vacant, or at least not held under an adverse possession."