We have moved many times over the years and with the paper work of each new place was a survey of the property... the lot, placement of buildings on the lot, etc. If there are disputes over lot boundaries a surveyor is called to remeasure and make a report.
The land surveyors played a very important part in history. Before a town was settled it was surveyed and mapped, its boundaries decided, then it was divided into lots.
This is an excerpt from the website "A Life Without Limits" on the history of Surveying:
"Land Surveying is one of the oldest professions in the world. The first land surveys date back to nearly 3,000 years ago, when Egyptian Surveyors subdivided the fertile land around the Nile River and worked on re-marking the land after the annual flooding of the Nile River.
The early settlement of Australia [and North America] also required help from Land Surveyors. The majority of famous early explorers including Burke and Wills had a Surveying background and their work allowed the land to be settled, by defining property boundaries in the city and the country. Back then Surveyors used primitive technology including chains and steel bands, which made their measurements difficult to record and often required the use of logarithmic tables and slide rulers."
Search Surveyor General reports for your state or province, some list names of surveyors. Some give the going price of land like this report from Pennsylvania. Some Surveyor General Reports also list land grants or owners of land.
Perhaps your land surveyor ancestor is mentioned in these publications and lists?
Surveyor;s Book 1863, Glasgow KY
Dominion Land Surveyors - annual report of Department of Interior pg 374
Historical Roll of New Brunswick Surveyors since 1875
Historical Roll of Nova Scotia Land Surveyors
History of Newfoundland Land Surveyors
List of provincial land surveyors for the Province of Quebec 1878
Upper Canada list of provincial land surveyors, to 31 Dec 1857
List of land surveyors for the Province of Saskatchewan
List of Land Surveyors for the Province of Alberta 1911-2013
Nominal Roll of BC Land Surveyors
Provincial Land Surveyors of British Columbia 1891
Tribute to Surveyors, Australia
Roster, professional engineers, land surveyors, engineers in training; Montana
California Land Surveyors licenses issued 1891-2000
Proceedings, constitution, by-laws, list of members etc of the surveyors association of west New Jersey - 1867
Notable Surveyors, USA
Surveyors list from Surveyor General Report Pennsylvania 1866
Canada Land Survey Search
Related Posts: Location, Location, Location and Lay of the Land