Amalia Retschlag (1871-1903)





(Parents of Peter Byrnes):



Line of Descent to Peter Byrnes:


Amalia Retschlag


Amelia 'Lily' Dance

Peter Byrnes

Father Christian RETCHSLAG (b. 1836 in East Prussia)
Mother Emilie Christina LEIDER (b.1836, Germany)
Birth Oct 5 1871 in Walloon (now Haigslea)[1], Qld


Sep 15 1903 (age 31)[2]
Marriage Wlliam Henry DANCE (Jun 6 1888 in Lutheran church, Walloon, near Marburg, Queensland)

Mary Amelie DANCE (Dec 21 1888-Apr 2, 1889)

William Frederich DANCE (Feb 2 1890-Feb 11 1965)

Amelia (“Lily”) DANCE (Jul 17 1891-Jul 30, 1959), married Thomas Byrnes, 1913 , Ipswich

Bessie Emilie DANCE (Jan 4 1893-1967)

Archie George DANCE (Feb 14 1895-1959)

Charles Henry DANCE (May 3 1896-Sep 8 1954)

Edwin Evan DANCE (Aug 23 1897-Jan 19 1969)

Elsie Violet DANCE (Aug 19 1898-Sep 25 1997)

Francis Herbert DANCE (Oct 5 1899-Oc5 25, 1962)

Leslie Clarence DANCE (Jan 12 1901-Mar 12 1943)

Ronald Blandford DANCE (Mar 2 1902-Mar 20 1953)

Robert Roy DANCE (Aug 13 1903-Jun 16 1904)

Amalia,[3] (or Amelia, as it was often spelt) was born 1871 in the Haigslea area, near Marburg, in southern Queensland.  As the eldest daughter of German immigrants, Christian and Emilie Retschlag, her life would have been the typical one of a farmer's daughter at the time.

In 1888, when she was 16, Amalia married a 21-year-old Englishman, William Dance in a ceremony in the Walloon Lutheran church.[4]  William had arrived in Queensland with his brother in 1885, and was working in the abattoir on the Retschlag property at Kirchheim (now Haigslea, just east of Marburg), when he met the teenage Amalia. 

Amalia on her wedding day in 1888

(Photo courtesy: Neville Eveans)


The young couple set up a dairy farm on 100 acres on Retschlag Road alongside Amalia’s parents, where she gave birth to 12 children (in 15 years!). Two of their children, Mary and Robert, died in infancy

Her daughter Lily said her mother had a very hard life[5], dying at the young age of 31, one month after the birth of her son Robert.  Her death left William with 10 children to raise, the eldest only 13.

Amalia’s grave on a hilltop in the Anglican cemetery at Marburg.  Robert, her 10 month old infant son, who died some months after his mother, is buried with her .


[1] Amalia's birth certificate

[2] Neville Eveans, Retschlag Descendants in Australia; cemetery records of Marburg C of E cemetery, Row 6, grave 1

[3] also spelt Amelia

[4] This church no longer exists, having been demolished in the early years of the 20th century.

[5] Recollections of Emily's grandson, Peter Byrnes.