S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science




Murray, Mr Alfred Everitt (geology, surveying)

Born: 29 April 1832, London, United Kingdom.
Died: 9 April 1909, East London, South Africa.

Alfred Everitt Murray, land surveyor, was the son of Alfred Thurtell Murray and his wife Mary, born Caister. The family emigrated to the Eastern Cape in 1836. He was educated in Grahamstown and qualified as a government land surveyor in the Cape Colony in 1853. His business did not flourish, for he was declared insolvent in 1865. During 1868-1872 he was living in King William's Town, but five years later was stationed in East London. However, his survey work took him all over the Cape Colony and resulted in numerous survey maps and plans.

During 1875-1876, while engaged in survey work in the Eastern Cape, Murray corresponded with acting surveyor-general L. Marquard* about some errors and discrepancies in the geodetic survey carried out by Captain W. Bailey* along the Cape south coast in 1859-1863. During 1888-1889 he was temporarily employed on the geodetic survey of the Cape Colony and Natal, to select suitable points on which to erect beacons for a series of triangles between Port Elizabeth and Kimberley. By 1895 he was in charge of the survey of a large native location at Glen Grey, Transkei. In 1897 he was expropriation commissioner for the Graaff Reinet to Middelburg railway. He continued his survey work until about 1904, at which time he was still living in East London, producing many survey maps of portions of East London, Kuruman, and other places.

In 1898 Murray donated a valuable collection of geological specimens, the result of many years' patient collecting, to the Public Museum, King William's Town (later the Kaffrarian Museum).

Murray married Anna Christina Pears in 1855. They had 10 children.


List of sources:

Alfred Everitt Murray. Tatham family history. Retrieved from http://www.saxonlodge.net/getperson.php?personID=I5575&tree=Tatham on 2018-12-6.

Cape of Good Hope. Report of the Committee of the Public Museum, King William's Town, 1898.

Cape of Good Hope. Report of the Surveyor-General, 1877, 1879, 1895.

Cape of Good Hope almanac and annual register (title varies), 1857, 1865, 1886: Sworn land surveyors.

King William's Town directory for 1870. King William's Town: Josef Hundertmark.

Men of the times: Old colonists of the Cape Colony and Orange River Colony. Johannesburg: Transvaal Publishing Company, 1905.

National Automated Archival Information Retrieval System (NAAIRS). http://www.national.archives.gov.za/naairs.htm Documents relating to Alfred Murray / A.E. Murray.

Zakiewicz, T. The African arc of the 30th meridian. South African Journal of Surveying and Mapping, 1997, Vol. 24(2), pp. 65-82.


Compiled by: C. Plug


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