William Nevin Tatlow Hurst
William Nevin Tatlow Hurst
|Born||11 April 1868|
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
|Died||24 December 1946 (aged 78 years)|
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
|Occupation||Secretary for Lands, Tasmania, Australia|
William Nevin Tatlow Hurst, ISO (11 April 1868 – 24 December 1946) was a senior Tasmanian civil servant. In 1925 he succeeded the Tasmanian Surveyor-General, E A Counsel, as the head of the Tasmanian Department of Lands and Surveys, although with the title of Secretary for Lands.
The Companionship of the Imperial Service Order (ISO) was bestowed upon him in June 1932.
At his retirement in 1938 he had been continuously employed in the department for fifty three years, having joined as a trainee draftsman on 1 July 1885.
Tasmania's capital city, Hobart, was where he spent his life, with the suburb of New Town being his home at his birth in 1868, his marriage in 1899 and at his death in 1946.
- 1 Family background
- 2 Education
- 3 Community
- 4 Employment
- 5 Legacy
- 6 Appendix A
- 7 See also
- 8 References
As his full name suggests, Hurst's ancestors were from the families of the Tatlows, the Nevins and the Hursts.
Maternal ancestors – Tatlow and Moore
Their first child, Anthony Tatlow (junior) (1832-1885), made his mark in Stanley, Tasmania. Since 1982 (150 years after his baptism in the Church of Ireland Parish Church in Drung, County Cavan, Ireland) he has been commemorated by a nature reserve in Stanley, known as the Tatlow's Beach Conservation Area.
Their fourth and youngest child was Louisa Maria Tatlow, born on 27 May 1841 in Launceston. She married John Hurst on 27 November 1862, in the River Forth district (77 kilometres west of Launceston). John Hurst was recorded on their marriage certificate as a surveyor, although Walch's Tasmanian Almanac has no official record of his being qualified or registered as a licensed surveyor, so he would have been employed as a temporary contractor. John Hurst is sometimes mistaken for John Robert Hurst who was officially recorded as a District Surveyor working in and around Launceston, from 1863 to 1884.
Louisa and John Hurst's first child was a son, William Nevin Tatlow Hurst, who was born in Hobart, 11 April 1868.
Paternal ancestors – Nevin and Hurst
Although previously a member of the Church of Ireland, Eliza was married to a Presbyterian man, James Hurst (d. 1850), so the marriage was conducted 17 July 1837 by the local Presbyterian Minister David Jeffrey. In Ireland, marriages were not officially registered before 1845, but Minister Jeffrey later confirmed the Nevin-Hurst marriage it in a letter written 19 October 1854, in support of the widowed Eliza's application to migrate to Tasmania with her two children, John and Mary Jane Hurst. Her other children had perished with her husband, late in 1850, in one of the many epidemics that swept Ireland after the Famine.
Eliza's brother was John Nevin (1808–1887), often mentioned in the memoir written by Mrs Elinor Pitman, nee Hurst, the daughter of John Nevin's nephew (William Nevin Tatlow Hurst). She wrote:
Elizabeth Nevin married James Hurst 17th July 1837, Grey Abbey near Belfast. Her husband and four of her six children died between Dec 23 1850 and Jan 6 1851. She came to Australia to join her only surviving male relative John Nevin who had settled in Tasmania on the expiration of his military service. She brought with her, her two surviving children Mary Jane Hurst born 27 day May 1840 & John Hurst born 25 July 1838. 
On 11 July 1854 John Nevin submitted an official Tasmanian application (Hobart number 450) for three relatives to be allowed to migrate to Tasmania. 
Intending travellers’ names were never recorded in the original application forms. However, John Nevin's application was assigned the ticket number 610, and the later arrival records show that, on ticket number 610, Eliza Hurst and her two children sailed on the Flora McDonald, arriving in Launceston on 3 February 1855.  
So it was that William Nevin Tatlow Hurst's father, John Hurst, arrived from Northern Ireland at the age of sixteen, with his sister, Mary Jane Hurst, and his mother, Eliza Hurst (nee Nevin).
His sister Edith would go on to gain three university degrees, but Hurst did not pursue a university education. As a school-leaver aged 17, he chose to start work in the government Department of Lands and Surveys, as a junior draftsman. His qualifications did not include the certification needed to become a licensed surveyor and he was never registered as such. Instead, his career advanced via senior technical and clerical roles and then management roles within the department.
An obituary for Hurst in a local newspaper recalls his keen interest in playing sport and helping to develop and manage various sporting clubs in Hobart, as well as his close involvement with his local church:
He formerly was a keen cricketer and played with New Town until district cricket was abandoned during the First World War. He was a foundation member of the Buckingham Rowing Club and supported rowing activities always. He became a member of the Hobart Regatta Committee in 1923, and was made a life member in 1943. ... He was a life-long member of St John's Anglican Church, New Town, and for many years was churchwarden and Synod representative. (Mercury, 26 December 1946).
The Department of Lands and Surveys employed professional surveyors on a permanent basis. In busy times it hired unlicensed contract surveyors to support the professionals. The surveyor's role is described by Fryer:
Surveyors of the later 19th century period were concerned mainly with the fair distribution of land. Their main work was in the marking and recording of details of the country being developed. In performing this task, the positions of all creek and river systems, vegetation types, soil types, geological features, the potential of the land for agriculture, etc., were faithfully recorded and the land was evaluated prior to distribution. (Fryer, p.72).
The Department of Lands and Surveys also employed highly skilled technical draftsmen. They prepared official government cadastral maps representing the physical features of the territory and showing the boundaries and ownership of parcels of land, as these details were brought back from field trips by the surveyors.
Hurst spent the first 22 years of his career occupied as a draftsman. His long career progressed as follows:
- 1885–1887: Junior Draftsman 
- 1887–1901: Draftsman 
- 1901–1907: Draftsman-in-Charge 
- 1907–1911: Chief Clerk 
- 1911 (for 5 months, May to September): Acting Surveyor-General 
- 1912–1925: Assistant Secretary for Lands 
- 1925–1938: Secretary for Lands 
E A Counsel was Surveyor-General from 1894 to 1924. The holder of that title traditionally also held responsibility as the Secretary for Lands, reporting to the Minister for Lands and Works. At the time of Counsel's retirement many Tasmanian departments were being re-organized, to reduce costs. The position of Surveyor-General was abolished (not for the first time). and not restored until 1943.
Thus Hurst inherited only the title of Secretary for Lands, but held full responsibility for the department which became known as the Department of Lands and Surveys and Closer Settlement. The Scenery Preservation Office also came under his management.
An official photograph of the members of the Lyons Tasmanian state government in 1926, entitled "Labor members of Parliament – M O'Keefe, J Cleary, P Kelly, A Lawson, C Culley, W Shoobridge, JA Guy, J Belton, JA Lyons, AG Ogilvie, J Hurst and G Becker"  has been mistakenly thought (anecdotally) to depict William Nevin Tatlow Hurst. However, as the photograph title indicates, it is James Abraham Hurst (1880–1964) who appears in this photograph of ministers of the Lyons government, because at the time he was the Labor member for Darwin, Tasmania. There are similarities between the J. Hurst depicted with Lyons and the younger WNT Hurst who is shown in his grandson's autobiography; but WNT Hurst was nearing sixty years of age and had lost his hair by the time of the 1926 photograph.
Hurst was appreciated in many walks of life: his profession, his sports clubs, and his church and charitable works. One of his obituaries attests to his being well-loved:
An exceptionally large number of people attended the funeral of Mr. William Nevin Tatlow Hurst, former Tasmanian Secretary of Lands, at Cornelian Bay today. Services at the home and at St. John's Church, New Town, and at the graveside were conducted by the Rector of St. John's, (Rev. C. Cuthbertson) and the former Rector (Canon C.H. Corvan). (The Advocate, December 1946).
Hurst attracted this high level of popularity from early in his career. The Surveyor recorded that his colleagues presented him with good wishes and a gold watch on the eve of his marriage in April 1899:
A very pleasing ceremony took place on the afternoon of the 10th instant in the Department of Lands and Surveys, when Mr. W. N. T. Hurst, a prominent officer of that Department, and one of the Auditors of our Institution, was, on the eve of his marriage, presented with an illuminated address and a very handsome gold watch from the officers and surveyors employed by the Department. The Surveyor-General (Mr. E. A. Counsel) made the presentation, and in doing so referred, in eulogistic terms, to Mr. Hurst’s career, which commenced when he entered the office as a boy in 1885. Since that time, the Surveyor-General said, Mr. Hurst had, by consistent industry and attention to duty, worked himself from the bottom of the ladder, into his present honourable position, and not only attained that position, but with it the goodwill and respect of everybody with whom he had been brought in contact. (The Surveyor, p. 274) 
Tasmanian place names
One of Hurst's intellectual passions was nomenclature, the naming of Tasmania's places (towns, streets etc.) and physical features (lakes, mountains, rivers etc.). The Tasmanian Nomenclature Board was not established until 1953; before that there were no procedures, and no official collection of records.
He presented a scholarly paper on the subject in 1898, to a meeting of the Institute of Surveyors, Tasmania.
In 1911, he returned to the topic, endeavouring to tap into the knowledge of the general population. Each Saturday from 15 July to 30 September he published an article in the pages of the Mercury newspaper. In each article he set out what was currently known about the origins of Tasmania's place names and he asked the public to send any new information to the Mercury. In consecutive articles he published the updated information and asked for further input. In article 12 a consolidated list of all names was promised, but no trace of it has come to light so far.
The articles can be accessed online as follows:
The Hurst Papers
After his death Hurst's wife, Lucie Evelyn Elizabeth, née Foster, (1868–1948), presented the Royal Society of Tasmania with his collection of documents and ephemera about the history of Tasmania.
These are not personal papers but maps, pamphlets, and scrapbooks of newspaper clippings and other items of historical interest about life and government at that time. They are collectively known as The Hurst Papers, and are available in the Morris Miller Library of the University of Tasmania.
A Short History of the Settlement of Tasmania
In retirement Hurst published a twenty-eight page booklet: A Short History of the Settlement of Tasmania.
Verifiable source documents in the Tasmanian Archives in Hobart
The Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office (TAHO), in Hobart, holds a record of John Nevin's application form, and the two official lists of incoming passengers that link Eliza's arrival to John Nevin's application form. The relevant details from these documents can be seen online via the LINC web site, and include the following data -
TAHO Descriptive lists of immigrants, with details of name, marital state, age, children, religion, literacy, native place, trade and applicant (sponsor) 1854–1855.
- Family Ticket Number: 610
- Names of Immigrants: Hurst, Eliza, John, Mary Jane
- Ages: Hurst, Eliza 40, John 16, and Mary Jane 14
- Religion: C of E [all three people]
- Education: Read and write [all three people]
- Native Place: Ireland [all three people]
- Trade: Eliza, needlewoman; John, designer, Mary Jane, house servant
- Name of the Person by whom Introduced: John Nevin [all three people]
- Date of Certificate: February 12
- Transport Money to Whom Payable: illegible
- Remarks: 66 pounds [total for all three people]
- Amount of Payment Money: 22 pounds [each]
TAHO (c) Alphabetical descriptive list of immigrants arriving under the indenture system – details of name, ship, marital state, age, religion, native place, trade & bounty paid, January 1854 to December 1856.
- Column 1, No. of Book: 9
- Columns 2 to 8 are the same as TAHO (b)
- Column 9, Ship and Date of Arrival: Flora McDonald, Launceston, February 3, 1855
Verifiable source documents in the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) in Belfast
PRONI holds copies of some of the original baptism, confirmation and burial records for the Hurst family in Greyabbey in the 1800s. The records were transcribed in 2002 from the Registers of the Church of Ireland (i.e. Protestant) Parish church in Greyabbey, County Down, by members of the North of Ireland Family History Society, which hold indexes for the records and they will readily share them if requested.
The PRONI records are on microfilm. Researchers are not permitted to reproduce the records apart from printing a copy of individual microfilm records.
As at October 2017, the following records for William Nevin Tatlow Hurst's ancestors have been identified at PRONI
BURIALS: Hurst, James, aged 80- ? [should be c. 40]; Hurst, Eliza, aged 4; Hurst, David, aged 16 months; Hurst, William, aged 4
The above –mentioned records are to be found on PRONI's microfilm reel MIC 1/48/1.
PRONI's reel MIC 1/300/2 also holds records from the Church of Ireland – for the Parish of Drung, County Cavan. The Register of Baptisms for the year 1832 has a record for Anthony Tatlow (Junior), who was the brother of WNT Hurst's mother, Louisa Maria Tatlow, both being the children of Anthony Tatlow and Mary Moore of Drung. As with the Nevin and Hurst records, this record is not available electronically.
- Nevin-Hurst family tree in Ancestry.com (membership required)
- Tasmanian Family History Society journal
- North of Ireland Family History Society journal
- Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office, TA931 Marine Department, MB2-39-1-1 Reports of ships arrivals with lists of passengers 24 March 1829 – 25 December 1833, Image 194, part 2, url=http://stors.tas.gov.au/MB2-39-1-1, retrieved 13 March 2017.
- Jones, E 2015, Along the terrace: the owners and occupiers of Stanley 1843–1922, Stanley Discovery Museum, Stanley, Tasmania, p. 158
- Tasmanian Government 2015, Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment, ‘’Placenames Tasmania’’, Land Tasmania, url=https://www.placenames.tas.gov.au/#p1, retrieved 15 February 2017,
- Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office, Tasmanian Names Index,Births (1803–1933), Image 49, url=https://stors.tas.gov.au/RGD33-1-23-p671j2k retrieved 13 March 2017.
- Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office, Tasmanian Names Index, "Marriages", Image 308, https://stors.tas.gov.au/RGD37-1-21p308j2k, Retrieved 18 March 2017.
- Mather, K 2017, "Nevin Hurst, Secretary for Lands: a quiet achiever", Traverse, April 2017, Institute of Surveyors Victoria, pp.4-5, url= http://www.surveying.org.au/docs/traverse/TRAV312.pdf, retrieved 2 May 2017.
- Jones, A 1989, Backsight: a history of surveying in colonial Tasmania, Institution of Surveyors Australia Inc., Tasmanian Division, Hobart, p. 180.
- "Road Trusts 1863-1907 and Surveyors 1863-1979/80", Index to Walch's Tasmanian Almanacs, Compiled by the Launceston Branch Tasmanian Family History Society Inc, September 2011, p. 9.
- Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office, Tasmanian Names Index, Births (1803–1933), Image 349, url=https://stors.tas.gov.au/007368108_00023j2k retrieved 14 March 2017.
- New Zealand Government, Department of Internal Affairs, Births, Deaths and Marriages Historical records, Registration Number 1871019764, Wanganui, 28 October 1871.
- Public Records Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI), Church of Ireland Greyabbey, parish registers, County Down, Diocese of Down, 1807-1843, baptisms, marriages, burials, Microfiche MIC1/48/1.
- Hurst, J 2016. Unpublished private family history report, Letter by Minister David Jeffrey 19 October 1854.
- Pitman, EJ 1981, Unpublished memoir, held in a private collection of the Pitman family.
- Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office, TA212 Immigration Board, CB7/30/1/1, Register for Applications for Immigrants from Europe 1858–1866, image 27, url=http://stors.tas.gov.au/CB7-30-1-1, retrieved 16 March 2017.
- Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office, TA211 Immigration Agents Department, CB7/12/1/3-6, Descriptive lists of immigrants, with details of name, marital state, age, children, religion, literacy, native place, trade and applicant (sponsor) 1854–1855, Book 9, page 25-26. url=http://stors.tas.gov.au/CB7-12-1-4, retrieved 16 March 2017.
- Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office, TA211 Immigration Agents Department, CB7/17/1/1 Alphabetical descriptive list of immigrants arriving under the indenture system – details of name, ship, marital state, age, religion, native place, trade & bounty paid, January 1854 to December 1856, Page 24, book no. 9, url=http://stors.tas.gov.au/CB7-17-1-1, retrieved 16 March 2017.
- "Mr William Nevin Hurst". The Tasmanian Cyclopedia. 1931: 49.
- "Noted sportsman dies", Mercury (Hobart), Thursday 26 December 1946, p 9, url=http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article26375723, accessed 17 August 2017.
- Fryer, J (ed.) 1980, Surveying the Hunter: a story of surveyors and their work in exploring and developing New South Wales in particular the Hunter Region, Hunter-Manning Group of Institute of Surveyors Australia and Institution of Surveyors, N.S.W, Newcastle NSW, p.72.
- Mather, K 2016, "Lake Flannigan: honouring King Island’s first district surveyor", Traverse, 308, August, Institute of Surveyors Victoria, pp.3–4, url=http://www.surveying.org.au/docs/traverse/TRAV308.pdf ,retrieved 1 September 2016.
- Mather, K 2016, "Have theodolite – will travel", Azimuth, No 55, Issue 9, October, Institute of Surveyors NSW, pp.14–16.
- "Departments under the control of the Minister of Lands and Works", Walch's Tasmanian Almanac 1901, p. 129.
- Government of Tasmania, Office of the Government Statistician, 1902, "Departments under the control of the Minister of Lands and Works", Statistics for the State of Tasmania for the year 1901, p. 51.
- Government of Tasmania, Office of the Government Statistician, 1910, "Departments under the control of the Minister of Lands and Works", Statistics for the State of Tasmania, 1909–1910, p. 57.
- "About people", The Examiner, 8 September 1911, p.5.
- Government of Tasmania, Office of the Government Statistician, 1913, "Statistics of the State of Tasmania for the year 1912–1913", Hobart, Tasmania, pp. 55–56.
- "Trusted public servants: Messrs Counsel and Farmer to retire", The Mercury, 21 June 1924, p. 6.
- "Secretary for Lands retires", The Advocate, 12 April 1938, p. 2.
- "Amended Crown Lands Act", The Daily Telegraph, Friday 26 September 1924, page 6.
- Tasmanian Government 1925, The Public Service Commissioner’s report for 1924-25, Parliamentary paper 32 of 1925, Hobart, Tasmania.
- Wettenhall, RL 1968, A guide to Tasmanian government administration, Hobart, Tasmania, p. 129.
- Wettenhall, RL 1968, A guide to Tasmanian government administration, Hobart, Tasmania, p. 132-133.
- Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office, Miscellaneous Collection of Photographs. 1860 – 1992 (PH30), "Labor members of Parliament – M O'Keefe, J Cleary, P Kelly, A Lawson, C Culley, W Shoobridge, JA Guy, J Belton, JA Lyons, AG Ogilvie, J Hurst and G Becker", 1926, url=http://trove.nla.gov.au/version/47391501 retrieved 14 March 2017.
- Hurst, N 2007, From rabbit traps to Rembrandt: a memoir, Masterpiece@IXL, Hobart, p. 27,
- Tasmanian Government no date, Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment, ‘’Surveyors General of Tasmania 1882 to 2003 : Honour Board’’, p. 2, url= http://dpipwe.tas.gov.au/Documents/Honour-Board.pdf, retrieved 20 March 2017.
- "Obituary Mr. W.N. Hurst". The Advocate. 28 December 1946. p. 2.
- "Marriages", The Mercury, 29 April 1899, p. 2.
- "Presentation to Mr W N Hurst", The Surveyor: the Journal of the Institute of Surveyors, Tasmania, 24 November 1899, vol. 2 no. 12, p. 274.
- Wettenhall, RL 1968, A guide to Tasmanian government administration, Hobart, Tasmania, p. 130.
- Hurst, W N T 1898, "Tasmanian nomenclature", The Surveyor: the Journal of the Institute of Surveyors, Tasmania, 19 May, Vol. II, 6, pp. 227–231.
- "Tasmanian Nomenclature: the place-names of the island: a record of origins and dates: No. 1", The Mercury, 15 July 1911, p. 7.
- "Tasmanian Nomenclature: the place-names of the island: a record of origins and dates: No. 2", The Mercury, 22 July 1911, p. 10.
- "Tasmanian Nomenclature: the place-names of the island: a record of origins and dates: No. 3", The Mercury, 29 July 1911, p. 7.
- "Tasmanian Nomenclature: the place-names of the island: a record of origins and dates: No. 4", The Mercury, 5 August 1911, p. 10.
- "Tasmanian Nomenclature: the place-names of the island: a record of origins and dates: No. 5", The Mercury, 12 August 1911, p. 10.
- "Tasmanian Nomenclature: the place-names of the island: a record of origins and dates: No. 6",The Mercury, 19 August 1911, p.10.
- "Tasmanian Nomenclature: the place-names of the island: a record of origins and dates: No. 7", The Mercury, 26 August 1911, p. 10.
- "Tasmanian Nomenclature: the place-names of the island: a record of origins and dates: No. 8", The Mercury, 2 September 1911, p. 10.
- "Tasmanian Nomenclature: the place-names of the island: a record of origins and dates: No. 9", The Mercury, 9 September 1911, p. 10.
- "Tasmanian Nomenclature: the place-names of the island: a record of origins and dates: No. 10", The Mercury, 16 September 1911, p. 10.
- "Tasmanian Nomenclature: the place-names of the island: a record of origins and dates: No. 11", The Mercury, 23 September 1911, p. 10.
- "Tasmanian Nomenclature: the place-names of the island: a record of origins and dates: No. 12", The Mercury, 30 September 1911, p. 10.
- Hurst, William Nevin (2011), "Papers of William Nevin Hurst I.S.O (1868–1947) Index: Royal Society Collection". Royal Society of Tasmania, University of Tasmania Library Special and Rare Materials Collection, Australia. (Unpublished).
- Hurst, W N 1938, A short history of land settlement in Tasmania, url=http://eprints.utas.edu.au/22625/ retrieved 15 March 2017.