Explorers, hunters, trappers, and traders traversed and prospected this land that was to become Kentucky. Prior to 1770, there was no permanent settlement, or surveys, either private or official made of this land. It was under the direction of Col. George Washington that the first survey was made along the Big Sandy River. Col. Joshua Fry was credited with 2,084 acres and 1,525 acres along the boarder of what is now Kentucky and West Virginia in 1770. However, this was not to be since Virginia took control, forming Fincastle County in 1772. Thus the "authentic" records of the settlement of Kentucky began.
The College of William and Mary had control of this process. First, to become a surveyor, you had to obtain a "commission" from the Master of William and Mary. Next, you had to qualify as a deputy surveyor under the watchful eye of the "Chief Surveyor". Then you would receive an "order" or "mandate" from the chief surveyor to go to work.
Of course this did not stop private, "unofficial" surveys from occurring. All sorts of folks from other colonies want to get their hands in the pie. Who was this Virginia anyway, who want to take control of this unsettled land...first come...first served...and the table is large...dive right in.