The Climo's of Taranaki, NZ - Landing in New Plymouth
James & Jane landed on Ngamotu Beach on the morning of 31 March 1841. They found it odd that they had become so accustomed to life on board a ship when they had found the inital start to their voyage so upsetting. Many of their fellow passengers felt the same way and it meant that the William Bryan's crew had a hard time disembarking their passengers! When they landed on shore, the new settlers found that tents and raupo 'whares' (houses) had been erected. The houses had been built for ex-whaler Richard "Dickey" Barrett and his family but this was where the settlers were to be housed. Mr. Barrett was a notable Taranaki character - he was a powerful, frank man - and he became an unoffical overseer to the new arrivals. However, there was a severe lack of privacy which upset the women-folk and they would go to bed at night, still dressed in their day clothes, never thinking to undress. Matters were soon sorted of course, but it was still a very rough start to a new life in a foreign land.
The new settlers were mostly agricultural workers who were attracted by cheap, fertile land. Sections had been put on the market in 1840-41 and when all land shares had been purchased, the numbers were allocated to owners drawn at random. This lottery determined the order in which the buyer could choose their land from from the map of the new settlement, drawn up by NZ Company surveyors. There were complaints of a lack of a harbour and the NZ Company's administration over New Plymouth. They were angry that the Company had reneged on its promise to provide employment all year round with good wages. It seemed the Company never intended to provide more than the bare minimum wage for those who needed it most. Men were expected to find their own jobs but too few capitalists had been appointed to the area to provide employment. James was willing to try anything though and he soon found work on a surveyor's chain gang. These gangs would have up to twelve men and they would walk miles upon miles through the untracked Taranaki bush slashing their way through undergrowth, constructing footbridges across creeks and gullies and making tracks for packhorses. When an area had been mapped, the gang would move on to a new part of the country, making a settled life almost impossible for a family man and this is what James was about to become.
on 2010-05-14 22:25:00
I have been researching my family tree for over a year now & have a lot of information regarding the Climo's. So I am hoping to connect with any descendants of James and Jane as well as descendants of my 3rd-great-grandfather's family, the Popes. His name was George Whiting Pope. And lastly, I am trying to find information on my 2nd-great-grandmother's family, the Cotton's, who lived in Nelson. I have found some information which I am happy to share here and am ever hopeful that I may connect with descendants of this family also.