Old Airley area Excursion planned

The RDHS Local & Family Group, also now known as the History Hunters, met at the BVI yesterday. There was talk of arranging an outing to the old Airley area. A guide with local knowledge is prepared to show us some of the area’s highlights. Hopefully this will be discussed more fully at the next meeting on 4th March.

Rylstone Autograph Quilt and Rylstone Shire Minutes

This is a long overdue post. I’m afraid life got in the way.


Last year I updated my laptop. The new laptop came with Windows 8 and a number of problems. It has taken me many months to sort it all out. One program I use on a regular basis still needs to be installed onto the new laptop. These problems have seriously hampered my wiki work.


Adding to this were the many issues the hosting service for RDHSWiki.com had during that time. The hosting service changed hands last year and now appears to be more stable, although I would like them to reinstate the weekly digests which provided wiki members with a condensed version of the new additions for the week. The digests prevented members from forgetting about the wiki which is easy to do in this busy world we live in.


Despite all this, membership for the wiki continues to grow. Some of the recent members are interested in the Gettens and Farrar families, both of which have a long and interesting history in the district.


The Society is currently trying to locate information about the people whose signatures appear on the Rylstone Autograph Quilt. This quilt is held by the Australian War Memorial and features embroidered signatures of many local identities around the time of the First World War. The Society hopes to have an exhibition relating to the quilt some time in the near future. If you are interested in obtaining more information about this or have information to add please contact the Society’s secretary who can be emailed at rylstonehistory@westnet.com.au


I have been able to digitise some of the early Rylstone Shire minutes but unfortunately do not have the time to transcribe them. If anyone has a few hours a week they could dedicate to this please let me know. I can be contacted on rdhswiki@gmail.com




I have also been digitising and reorganising the Society’s family history collection. This takes up a lot of my time and is a very slow process.


I will endeavour to post to this blog on a more regular basis in the future. Don’t forget to check out the wiki at RDHSWiki.com

July 2011

It has been some time since I updated the rdhs wiki blog. My apologies.

The wiki continues to grow, both in members and in information, although today all Wetpaint wikis appear to be having ‘site maintenance’ which makes it impossible to add to or edit any information on the wiki. As annoying as this is it has given me time to write up this blog.

Some interesting additions to the wiki include George Drew’s page where much detail has been added. This includes the information when his 18 month old son who was run over and killed by a government carriage. The inquest into the death found the toddler died from a ‘visitation by God’.

Details for most of the 2,200 electors on the 1903 electoral roll for the area have been transcribed and added to the wiki. This information has been added in a number of different ways. These being: individual polling booths electors, e.g., Cudgegong, Wollar, Bylong, Glen Alice, Lue, etc., all electors by surname, all electors by place of residence and all electors by occupation. The Rylstone polling booth, which had 527 electors, has yet to be transcribed.

The photograph section of the wiki continues to grow. Member KenTurvey has added a number of interesting photographs featuring the area and relating to people who are connected with the area. Photographs of signatures for both A McDonald and his son George McDonald have been added as has a copy of the shipping indent for the Ascendant with details of the Freestone family’s arrival to Australia. William George Boyce’s headstone in Esbjerg Fourfelt Cemetery has been uploaded by member LindaMilly. Check out more recent additions to the photo gallery.

Some interesting discussions are also being conducted via the wiki. Member stickybeak is seeking photographs featuring John and Christy Ann McDonald. The Bayliss and Gately families also appear in recent discussions.

Enquiries relating to people and places in the area continue to be received. An enquiry concerning the Rogers and Miskle family arrived this week. The Miskle family appears to have lived at Blind Creek, near the present day village of Lue, and the Rogers family may have settled around Cudgegong and Ilford. Both families look as though they will be interesting to research.

Volunteers are needed to type up the ever growing mountain of information to be added to the wiki. I have managed to obtain copies of a number of electoral rolls, return of stock and other lists which have only been partially transcribed and added to the wiki. I have two volunteers working on this type of project, but could use many more. I also have boxes of handwritten material which needs to be transcribed and added to the wiki as well. If you are interested in assisting with this please email me at rdhswiki@gmail.com and I can forward you the information which needs to be transcribed in pdf format.

Please tell anyone who may be interested about the wiki.

May 2011 RDHS Wiki update

New Members

A number of new members have joined the wiki over recent weeks. Some of the research interests of these members include: Blomfield, Glew, Pickett, Steinhauer, Becker, Riley, Fischer, and Wilson.

New Pages

Pages are slowly being added for people who were born last century, and are buried in the area’s cemeteries. Links to these pages can be found under District Pioneers and their Families

Wiki Solves Mystery of Headstone

The wiki has enabled a long standing mystery to be solved. A broken headstone with only HAUER 1880 legible has been lying under a tree in the Lue area for many years. It has always been believed it belonged to someone named Eisenhower.

Elsewhere descendants of Amelia Becker have been searching for her burial place. All her death certificate states she died at Dungaree and was buried there.

By using the power of the wiki, and the input of a number of people, it has been established the headstone belongs to Amelia Steinhauer, nee Becker, who died 1880. The headstone lies on land which was originally taken up by Christlieb Fischer. Christlieb was married to Amelia’s sister.

Pieces of other headstones lie nearby and it is hoped these can be identified as well. Perhaps they belong to the Fischer family.

Please pass the word about the wiki to anyone who may be interested.

Recent Servicemen additions to the wiki

As we approach ANZAC Day it is interesting to see the many recent additions to the Rylstone area history wiki which have been made which relate to servicemen.

Elfin550 has made a number of additions. One which was particularly interesting related to Willoughby Vincent Dowling. In 1900 Rylstone celebrated his return from the Boer War in great style. If anyone had relations in the area in June 1900 it would be reasonable to assume they attended the event. To find out more about this event please go to Willoughby Vincent Dowling

Mick Boller has also provided interesting details relating to Herbert Miles Powell. Herbert, who lived with his family at Rock Valley, Lue, was killed in action at Polygon Wood on 30 September, 1917, aged 25 years and six months. To learn more about Herbert Myles Powell please go to Herbert Myles Powell

Another interesting page has been created this week which relates to Arthur Russell. Arthur’s parents were married at Rylstone in 1891 and Arthur was born 1895. He was killed 19-20 July 1916 at Fromelles, France. His remains have just been identified among those recovered from a mass grave at Pheasant Wood last year. The Australian War Memorial is seeking information about his family. To see more about Arthur Russell please go to Arthur Russell

Please join the wiki and become a writer for it. By adding information to the wiki you would be helping to create an extremely resource for future researchers and you would also be preserving the past. Remember it is free to join the wiki.

RDHS Blog Welcome

This blog has been set up to provide an overview of the recent updates to the Rylstone district history wiki and also provide some tutorials on how to use the wiki.

The wiki can be found at


If you are new to the wiki first go to the index to all pages which can be found at


This page provides a list of all the pages on the wiki. If you wish to search the content of the pages use Google with the following syntax

site:rdhsrwgroup.wetpaint.com your search term


site:rdhsrwgroup.wetpaint.com John Davis

If you are interested in preserving the history of the area please consider joining the wiki, which is free to do. To do this you will need to click Sign Up which appears on the upper right hand side of all pages on the wiki. You will then be required to provide password details etc to become a member. Once a member you will need to click Apply to Be a Writer, which appears on the mid left hand side, and provide the reason why you want to become a writer, e.g., wish to preserve the history of the area by recording it on the wiki. It takes approximately 24 hours for you to receive notification you have been made a writer. Once this is done you can add to or edit pages as you see fit.

I would ask that members do not change the name of any page. Instead could they please email me via the wiki with the current name of the page and the new name it is to be given? This will allow me to update all the links as it is changed. My contact details can be found in the Inbox section of the wiki. The link to the inbox appears in the upper right hand side after you have signed in as a member.

I am currently working seven days a week, so this blog will take some time to put together. The only advice I would like to give at this stage is for everyone interested in the history of the area to join the wiki and start adding information.