Rush Family History

The Story of the Rush Family

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Cecilia Rush, 1884-1973

This page lists the youngest child of John Henry Rush and Sarah Ruth Grennan.

The youngest child of John Henry and Sarah Rush, Cecilia was born in Palmerston North on 12 August 1884, and according to church records, was baptised in St Patrick’s Church on 7 September 1884.

Affectionately known as "Aunty Ceil" to her many nieces and nephews, Cecilia was "spoilt, being the youngest". Like her patron saint, she was musically inclined, with a very good singing voice, and apparently used to sing with Rosina Buckman, a famous singer of the day. She also sang in many concerts at St Patrick's Church. She also played the panio.

Cecilia once had a homemade cake shop in Main Street, Palmerston North, and was an exceptionally good cook.

Cecilia married her first husband, Thomas Gleeson, on 22 January 1908 in St Patrick's in Palmerston North. Thomas was a telegraph linesman, but the marriage ended when Thomas died five years later aged 33 years, on 21 June 1913 after an illness. Thomas is buried in Plot 46, Block 79 of the Roman Catholic section of Terrace End Cemetery, Palmerston North, with (it is assumed) his parents Margaret and James Gleeson.

Marriage Notice

At St. Patrick's Church, on Wednesday, 22nd January, Miss C. Rush, well known in musical circles, and youngest daughter of Mr John Rush, was married to Mr T. Gleeson, eldest son of Mr Gleeson, of Wanganui. The Rev. Father Costello performed the ceremony. The bride looked charming in a cream serge costume trimmed with silk braid, and wore a white picture hat; she also carried a shower bouquet. The bridesmaid was Miss Gleeson, sister to the bridegroom, and looked very nice white muslin trimmed with embroidery and hat to match. Mr Gleeson, brother of the bridegroom, acted as best man and Mr Good as groomsman. About 50 guests sat down to the wedding breakfast, which was held at the residence of her brother, Mr Joe Rush, North Street. The presents were numerous and costly. The happy couple left by the mid-day train for Napier, where the honeymoon is to be spent. [Manawatu Standard, Volume XLI, Issue 8498, 27 January 1908, Page 7]

Gleeson — January 22nd, 1908, at St. Patrick's Church, by the Rev. Father Costello, T. Gleeson, eldest son of Mr Gleeson, of Wanganui, to Miss C. Rush, youngest Mr John Rush. [Manawatu Standard, Volume XLI, Issue 8498, 27 January 1908, Page 4]

Bev Marsh, Cecilia's granddaughter, described her as "a very strong person ... of the old school ... children were seen and not heard and did what they were told instantly, so when she came to stay we were always on our best behaviour. She was a devout Catholic - what you would have called a good woman. In all the time we knew her, she lived with her younger daughter Dorothy, and her husband Jim. She helped look after the house and their boys." - (Peter and Brian Hutchinson).

Cecilia and Thomas had three children, Mary Ellen, Dorothy Cecilia, and son Thomas, who was only seven and a half months old when his father died.

Some years later, Cecilia married a Pat Dullah, and after renting Nam's house at 12 Colombo Street for a time, moved to Hamilton. She had throat cancer, died in her 90th year on 15 November 1973, and is buried in Hamilton's lawn cemetery at Newstead. Her headstone reads simply "Cecilia Duller, d. 15 November 1973".

The following photo shows the family group who attended the 1998 Rush Family Reunion.

Contact details

If you have any information or photos to add to this page, or any corrections, please contact Dale Hartle in Wellington, New Zealand, by phone +64 4 235 6659 or email .