Rush Family History

The Story of the Rush Family


The Rush/Rodgers Family Reunion, Easter 2017

The Rush/Rodgers Family Reunion was held at Easter 2017 in Palmerston North. On this web page is all the information and links you will need to catch up on what happened, and what you need to do next.

Table of Contents

Who was this reunion for?

This reunion was for the over three thousand living descendants of Cecilia Eliza Herbert - Rodgers/Rush.

See Cecilia's webpage on this website.

This was the first combined reunion and allowed the descendants of Richard Rush, John George Rush and Thomas Rodgers - all of whom share the common ancestry of Cecilia Eliza Rodgers/Rush to meet and mingle, many for the first, and in some cases last, time. We have estimated there are about 3,000 living descendants of Cecilia Rodgers/Rush.

The reunion was reported by Karoline Tuckey on April 16 2017 in the "Manawatu Standard" article: Early-manawatu-and-rangitikei-settlers-families-gather-over-easter.

Reunion Programme

The reunion officially opened at noon on Saturday 15th April 2017 and closed at 4pm on Sunday 16th April.


The programme was as follows:

Friday 14 April 2017:

  • 4 pm - 10pm. Registration and social mingling. Displays of family trees, photos and historical information.

Registering at the reunion.

Finding yourself on the family tree.

Finding yourself on the family tree.

Saturday 15 April 2017:

  • 9am - noon. Registration and social mingling.
  • 1pm - 2pm. Formal welcome and official opening. Audio visual show tracing the history of our combined families in New Zealand (with a little 'pre history' thrown in). Displays of family trees, photos and historical information.
  • 2pm - 5 pm. "Historical sites tour". This took in a number of sites of historical significance for both sides of the family. Download the Historic Sites Tour Booklet and Terrace End Cemetery Map and Kelvin Grove Cemetery Map.
  • 7 - 10pm: "Formal" reunion dinner with live music and dancing from 8 pm until the last one left.

Crowd watching audio-visual show.

Checking out the family signboards.

Checking out the family signboards.

Serving up dinner.

During dinner.

Sunday 16 April 2017:

  • 9am - 11 am. Social mingling. Second showing of the family documentary. Visit to Terrace End and Kelvin Grove Cemeteries to view the many family graves for those who had not yet been there.
  • Noon. Family service of remembrance at St Patrick's Cathedral, including a brief presentation from each branch of the family, followed by formal and informal family group photographs.
  • 2pm - 4 pm. Bingo and Quiz draws.
  • 4 pm. Reunion closing and farewell. Symbolic passing of the reunion 'torch'.

Crowd at St Patrick's Cathedral for memorial Service.

Crowd at St Patrick's Cathedral for memorial Service.

Facebook page

Go to our Facebook group The Family of RUSH INc Group and apply to join the group and state who you are and your lineage. It is a closed family group so as long as an existing member recognises you as a member of the family, your application to join will be accepted. It's a great way to keep in touch with a wider section of the extended family, and we have posted Reunion updates there. You can also ask questions, upload photos, and connect with other family members.

Family group photos

For those who were present at the Memorial Service at St Patrick's Cathedral on Sunday and for the family group photos, copies of these are available on our Facebook site.

Audio Visual CD

Cover of CD with audio visual show.

Steve and Tony Rush put together a wonderful audio-visual show tracing our family from the earliest times. Copies of this track are possibly available electronically and on CD. Just ask Steve.

Family Tree Updates

View the latest version of the Rush Family Tree from 1790, updated in 2020, from the Family Tree webpage. Contact us with any updates.

Grave Restoration Project

For those of you who visited Terrace End Cemetery to view the family graves, you will have noticed that some are in very poor condition with broken pieces, black mould and moss. some of the inscription lettering is disappearing as well.

We have had a proposal from a PhD candidate who has a team of students who have offered to clean up selected graves for the family as part of her research and teaching. All she asks in return is covering of expenses. We would love for this project to happen, so if anyone wants to help with a donation it will be gratefully accepted. Please contact Steve Rush to organise payment. When enough funds have been collected, we'll arrange for the cleanup.

A Humble Beginning, 3rd edition

We have published the third edition of "A Humble Beginning" after we processed and typed up all the new information we collected at the reunion. If you have original copies of any photos or documents you think might be of interest, please scan and send them to Steve Rush for adding to our collection.

We have published the next edition as an e-book online, so you'll be able to print copies yourself. It's on our Facebook site and includes a Reunion 2017 update, as well as new photos and information, and a list of those who attended the reunion. Dale can also send you the word versions.

Reunion Contact Details

Our contact details: Steve and Ange Rush, Cellphone details are 029-653-3278 (or 029 old fart) (Me) or 022-024-2988 (Ange).


Website Contact details

If you have any information or photos to provide us, or any corrections, please contact Dale Hartle in Levin, New Zealand, by email at mjhartle at (please adjust email address) or phone 021 45 34 24.

Last updated: 21 October 2020