The Climo's of Taranaki - Halcombe & Inglewood
By 1882, James and Jane were in Halcombe, helping Richard , who was now a well-established contractor in the township, with his now mother-less family. However, the decision was made to return to Taranaki, taking with them Richard's daughter, Alice Maude. Why they decided to return to Taranaki, no one knows but there are many possible reasons: Jane was quite unwell by now with severe chest trouble, so perhaps she was in search of her former good health. Or, James may have had a a nostalgic desire to see the old farm at Tataraimaka and meet with old neighbours and friends. Another reason may have been that Jane wished to see her mother, Ann Phillips, who had since remarried to Mr Arthur Dawe and see the family of her sister Anne James, who had died in 1867. Or it is possible that James wanted to be back in Taranaki to defend yet another claim for compensation for the loss of his Tataraimaka farm – claims which went on until 1902.
Upon their return to Taranaki, James and Jane settled in Inglewood, where they met Amelia Russell, a widow who also lived in the township. Amelia had arrived in New Plymouth with her sister in 1877. She was the daughter of Josiah Kingcombe, of Devon and she had been widowed two years earlier. James, Jane and Alice Maude settled into their new home with James working at a local mill – probably as a manager. Seeing as there was a well-established school in Inglewood, Jane saw to it that Alice Maude received a good education. She would walk Alice Maude as far as the bridge over the stream and then meet her there, at that same bridge, in the afternoon. James and Jane now had fewer family commitments so they had more time to enjoy 'Maudie' as they affectionately called their granddaughter. Years later, Maudie recalled the life and scene as she knew it:
“Granny was always dressed in black, she had a constant wheeze and the cottage had an earth floor in the kitchen. Grandfather was known as an 'herbalist' – sometimes called “Dr. Climo” by those who knocked on his door on Sunday, seeking help and first-aid. At night he would take me on his knee and sing old songs of Cornwall and tell me tales before a roaring Rata fire. A lot of Maori people came to see him and Grandfather spoke Maori like a native; also others who came spoke 'gibberish.'” (there was a large influx of newly-arrived Poles in Inglewood at this time). The songs that Maudie passed on to her children were “Little Brown Jug” and “When I First Saw Sweet Molly (The Low-backed Car)” - which James sang with a customary wink and nudge at Jane. It was very much a happy, good-humoured home but in the winter of 1884 Maudie, by then 8 years old, was sent to Palmerston North to a private school.
Shortly after Maudie's departure, the family were again rocked by a great sadness. After a lengthy battle with chronic bronchitis, Jane Climo died on 01 July 1884 and was buried in Inglewood cemetery.
Amelia Russell, whom James and Jane had met and befriended upon their arrival in Inglewood, helped James look after Jane during her final illness and was there to help after her death. One year later, James returned to Halcombe with Amelia at his side and they were married at the Town Board Office on 24 June 1885.
on 2010-05-15 20:36:32
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.