Francis F. Healy, 74, District of Columbia surveyor from 1940 to 1964, died Wednesday at Retreat Hospital in Richmond. He had suffered from a heart ailment.

Mr. Healy retired as surveyor in 1964, and had lived in Mount Holly, Va., since then.

Born in Westmoreland County, Va., he came to Washington when he was 18 to take a job in the surveyor's office.That was in 1921, and the nation's capital was in the midst of a residential building boom that started with the close of World War I.

When he retired, Mr. Healy recalled that the upper northwest section of the city was largely open land. Southeast Washington across the Anacostia River was a "bunch of woods," he noted.

Mr. Healy worked as a chainman in the field and then was assistant surveyor until 1940, when he became the surveyor. In later years, after Washington no longer had land that had not been divided into lots, the main job of the surveyor's offices has been to survey property lines when plans for major office buildings are submitted.

While he was surveyor, Mr. Healy also served at one time as chairman of the D.C. Real Estate Committee. He was a director of the Redevelopment Land Agency from 1951 until 1964.

He is survived by his wife, Desma, of the home; a sister, Mary R., of Montross, Va., and two brothers, Stuart L., of Santa Fe, N.M., and George B., of Dixon, III.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy may be in the form of contributions to the Nomini Baptist Church in Templeman, Va.