Making surveys were a major part of land settlement in the early colonial period. The methods used were standardized so that 1,000 acres would be reasonably close to 1,000 acres. By 1624 this was helped by the introduction of Gunter's Chain, which became the instrument of choice for use in Virginia, and as far as I know in every other English settlement. Its description is given in a post:
The rest of the story is presented in a series of post that deal with the development of measurements. This all started with land use and a kernel of corn! For the rest of the story see:
under : "Leaps and Bounds", July 22, 2011
"The Legal Acre", July 27, 2011
"Paramount", August 1, 2011
Amazing what a kernel of corn can do!