C.L.H. Max Jurisch, surveyor, was the son of Carl Friedrich Wilhelm Jurisch and his wife Iva von Essen. He entered the Prussian army in 1860 and rose to Captain in the artillery in 1871. During these years he fought in the wars between Prussia and Denmark (1864), Austria (1866) and France (1870-1871) and was awarded the Iron Cross.
Jurisch came to the Cape Colony in 1872, passed the examinations for the Certificate of proficiency in the theory of land surveying of the University of the Cape of Good Hope in 1877 and was admitted to practice as a land surveyor in the Cape Colony in 1878. From February to September that year he worked as a (human) computer in the examining branch of the surveyor-general's department, Cape Town. He returned in April 1879 to become acting examiner of diagrams in the same department. Over the next fifteen years he progressed to assistant examiner of diagrams (May 1880), examiner of diagrams (July 1882), second assistant surveyor-general (July 1892), first assistant surveyor-general (July 1897), acting surveyor-general (1901) and surveyor-general of the Cape Colony (August 1902). He applied for naturalization (as a British subject) in 1897.
In 1884 Jurisch's first book, Tables containing the natural sines and cosines to seven decimal figures of all angles between 0 degrees and 90 degrees to every ten seconds, with proportional parts for single seconds..., was published in Cape Town. An appendix contained various constants, conversion factors for British, foreign and Cape land measures, tables pertaining to the spheroidal figure of the earth, a short account of the origin of the Cape land measure, and notes on the practical work of land surveyors. These tables remained in use for many years, as a fourth edition appeared in 1915. His second book, A treatise on map-projections (Cape Town, 1890, 88 pp), was written mainly for students preparing for the professional examinations for land surveyors at the Cape. His only other known publication is a short (4 pp.) "Memorandum on the map of the Colony of the Cape of Good Hope and neighbouring territories, exhibited at the International Geographical Congress" (Cape Town, 1895).
Jurisch was an examiner in mathematics for BA, survey, and mining students of the University of the Cape of Good Hope in 1892 and 1898-1902. In the latter year he became a foundation member of the South African Association for the Advancement of Science, and was elected a member of the committee for Section C (which included surveying) for the year 1902/3. Around this time he participated in discussions that resulted in the founding of the Institute of Land Surveyors of the Cape of Good Hope in 1904. As surveyor-general of the Cape Colony he attended the geodetic congress held in March 1904 in Cape Town, at which the further geodetic survey of southern Africa was planned. However, he died later that same year.
Jurisch married Maria Antonia von Marillac de St Julien in 1872 and they had two sons and four daughters.