The Climo's of Taranaki - Tataraimaka
In true pioneer fashion, James and Jane went to work establishing their farm with the help of neighbours whom they helped in return. It seemed the perfect spot with magnificent Mt.Egmont towering behind and the Tasman Sea before them. James‘s work experience was put to great use as he felled great Totaras for timber and fencing material and Rata for Jane’s home-fires. Even though they were struggling like most families, no one ever went cold or hungry. James and Jane welcomed their sixth child, Emily, in 1852, followed by Samuel (Samson) in 1854, Jane in 1855, Robert in 1857 and Ellen in 1859. By the time of Ellen's birth, James and Jane’s lease reached its second stage – their rent rose from 4/- to 7/- per acre per annum, as was agreed. Maori unrest was growing over illegal land sales and by 1858, James was being drilled and trained for military jury. This did not stop him from having built the framework of a new two-storey house (as described by their friend and neighbour, Robert Brookes).
Meanwhile, romance was blossoming – Elizabeth Catherine was now a young woman of 16 years and on 30 April 1857 she married George Pope at Tataraimaka. After the wedding, the young couple continued to live on at the family farm. The Pope family had arrived in New Plymouth on the ship Timandra, in 1842 when George was nine years old. In 1859, George and Elizabeth Catherine welcomed their son, William. James and Jane’s first grandson was said to have been born at Bell Block and it was an event of great joy to both families.
In 1860 there was a sudden turn of events – the call to arms, the building of redoubts,the arrival of a gunboat with British forces and the evacuations of outlying homes and farms. James’ farm cart, which would more than likely have been used to transport women and children, was abandoned near Omata Redoubt as people flocked to New Plymouth for safety. During this turmoil, James and Jane’s daughter Ellen tragically died from water on the brain, aged only 14 months. She was buried on 22 March 1860 in Henui Cemetery, four days before the first battle at Waireka, where James was subsequently wounded in the leg. In April 1860, proclomations by the Military Authority were published in New Plymouth, which was then thought to be endangered. People were being urged to take necessary precautions and to be ready for evacuation to Port Cooper in Lyttleton, in case of attacks on New Plymouth by rebels. It is not known when James was discharged from hospital. Luckilu this did not happen but Jane, Elizabeth Catherine and their families were taken to Nelson for safety along with many other non-combatants. It is not known when James was disharged from hospital but he joined them in Nelson when he was fit enough to travel - it was here that he made his recovery from his wounds. James sent to his good friend, Robert Brookes, an inventory of possessions he left behind at Tataraimaka. James also asked Mr. Brookes to make out his claim for compensation and this is what Mr. Brooks wrote back:
"The house was burnt. It had been built about six years previously. It was built of posts fixed in the ground on which weatherboard was nailed, 32 ft by 12 ft, thatched roof, cob chimney. (James had intended to use it as a barn when the new house was completed). The frame of a new house was up and complete. The house was to be 20 ft by 20 ft and two storeys high. (Its value was estimated to be between 45-50 pounds and was put up by carpenter, James Corbett).
Three cows, which were good dairy cows, were in milk when James left New Plymouth. The young cattle were aged from 9-12 months old. James had ninety-six sheep brought to Omata from time to time from Tataraimaka. No one had heard or seen any stock with James’ brand however Robert Brookes saw some of James’ stock being caught by soldiers at Kaikiki. There were also three pigs – two were large barrow pigs, fit for fattening for the winter, while one was a stip. The plough was an iron plough in good condition with a new skim cutter and cockscomb spare. The harrows were near new. The saws Robert Brookes valued at 5/- per foot. The saws were 19 ft, 17 ft, 16 ft, 16.5 ft – a total of 28.5 ft:
28.5 ft @ 5/.7.2.6
Crosscut saws 1.0.0
Wedges and Butte 17.6
Climo’s cart was left by Mr J. Northcote on the flat above Weston’s Iron Store and was taken away. The turnips were a light crop, estimated by Brookes at 10 ton per acre. Potatoes were in about 2 acres, a moderate crop. Barley was in the stock, coming off 3 acres, a light crop. Oats came off 3 acres, it was in the stack. Brookes helped cart the oats and barley. The grass was English rye grass which Climo had been saving for his own use. It had been weighed. The fencing was new fencing lying in a heap. It was enough for fifteen chain. Brookes was told by Mr J. Pearce that it was burnt.
Fern would eventually spring up in consequence of the stock being … and thistles would also eventually spread over the land. There was 100 chain of fencing damaged by cattle and the Maoris, estimated at 2/6 per chain. Mr Pearce saw the farm and stated the fencing was broken down in places.
The lease of about 200 acres from Mr. Cutfield was set at 4/- per acre for the first seven years, 7/- for the second period and 13/- for the third period. The rent due for the second period was probably not paid up since the war broke. About 145 acres was in grass and would be worth about 1 pound per acre."
Even though she had lost her home and her infant daughter Ellen, Jane was once again pregnant. It is thought that the new baby, Louisa Ellen, was born in Nelson but New Plymouth and the year 1860 have always been looked upon as her birthplace and year of birth (though it has never been officially registered).
James and Jane meanwhile had a decision to make - do they go home to Taranaki or stay in Marlborough? That they chose to move forward and not look back shows the courage and hardihood of those affected during those troubled times, which continued throughout the North Island for another four years. James must be given credit for deciding that the South Island was a safer place for his wife and family. He was given a medal for his part in the battle of Waireka.
on 2010-05-15 08:28:26
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.