Generations of Genes Phyllis Jeans 18 ISBN 0 473 03868 4

Generations of Genes Copyright © Phyllis Jeans 2000
All rights reserved ISBN 0 473 03868 4
PEMM Publishing Cambridge, New Zealand

[p18] [The Jeans Line]

In 1855 the Caesar was in the Baltic during the Crimean war to support Turkey in a conflict with Russia. The war ended in 1856. In 1857 Charles appeared on the Victory muster ‘for victuals only’. He was transferred to the Charlotte from where he was discharged in May of that year ‘to shore by request’. It would seem the Navy was reducing personnel as a number of men were making the same request. The conduct of Charles and one other man was noted as ‘very good’, four others earned ‘good’ and one ‘fair’. After this, Charles’ movements are again unknown until the end of 1863. Family tradition tells the story of him jumping ship from a man-of-war somewhere off the coast of Australia. The story goes that conditions aboard the ship caused alarm and discontent and he is reputed to have swum some distance to the shore. The exact ship has not been identified; a number were in the Pacific during the Maori Wars.

On 3 December 1863 the ship Choice arrived in New Zealand with military settlers from Melbourne. Charles Jeans was among them. On 6 December he enlisted in the Otago Contingent of the Taranaki Military Settlers. These men were to ‘combine the profession of arms and agriculture’. For this, they were to be paid (two-and-sixpence per day for privates) and supplied with rations until they had ‘subdued the enemy around themselves and firmly established themselves’. Three years after enrollment, having fulfilled the various conditions laid down (gazetted in 1863) each armed settler was to be rewarded with a Crown Grant of a town section and a country allotment. From then they would be liable only to the same militia services as other colonists. After the armed settler took over his land, rations were to be available free of cost for twelve months and he could retain his arms and accoutrements, and would be supplied with ammunition. In this enlistment Charles measured half-an-inch taller than when he had joined the Navy, was still unmarried, and gave his occupation as sailor. By this time he was twenty-eight years old. On 30 December, the Choice, with Charles and other volunteers, arrived in New Plymouth[.]

Not much is known of Charles’ first few years in Taranaki. However, general information regarding the military settlers has been found in the Taranaki Museum. Among documents looked at were memos and orders of March and April 1864. These give an idea of some of the daily routines. ‘The whole of the men of the Melbourne Volunteers (sick and those on duty excepted) will parade for divine service at 8 a.m. with Belt and Sidearms’. Another noted ‘Men are not allowed to change duties with each other without permission of an officer’. Their house-keeping arrangements were commented on.

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