Surveyors were commissioned by the master of William and Mary College, which was founded 1693 under royal charter by King William III and Queen Mary II. The government confirmed only such surveys as had been made by surveyors so commissioned. Both surveyors and chain carriers were required to be sworn before the county court. Surveyors were required to see that every tract surveyed should be plainly bounded, either by natural bounds, marked trees or other artificial landmarks. These surveyors were to deliver plats of surveys to those for whom they were made within six months after the survey was made. They were not to deliver such plats to any other person till six months had elapsed. They were also required to enter every plat and survey in a book to be furnished him for that purpose within two months after the survey was made, The entries were to include all streams crossed in the course, and the boundaries and adjacent plantations. In June of each year, the surveyors were to return to the county clerk's office to be recorded there lists of all surveys, specifying for whom made, the quantities surveyed, and where situated.
A penalty was imposed on the surveyor for refusing to survey. It was provided that all entries should stand good till the surveyor gave notice that he was ready to survey. If the party [the one requesting the survey] failed to attend the surveyor within a month after such notice, his entry should be void. The county court might appoint inspectors of the surveyors' books to report on their condition and take care of them in case of the death or removal of the surveyor.