Jane was the youngest of the four children of Thomas and Mary Rutherford and she he was born in Felton, Northumberland . Thomas is listed in the census as an agricultural labourer and as the children were all born in different places it suggests he went where he could find work until finally settling in Chatton. I've written about Jane's early life in these posts.
Jane Rutherford - Toll Collector
Following the unexpected and early death of Thomas , Jane had little choice but to battle on by herself. A world away from her family and with 6 children to raise it must have very difficult for her. I have great admiration for Jane and her fighting spirit. She remains , not only on the farm but as the hotel
licensee and, fortunately for us, she has left behind quite a
newspaper trail as she seemed to be forever taking someone to the Magistrates Court in Geraldine. If there were those who thought a widow was vulnerable and easy to put one across Jane wasn't about to let them get away with it.
Monday Dec 6th 1886 - Jane Tindall v F Ellery - Claim, $20, for wrongful detention of mare and foal and $5 damages sustained.
This is a rather drawn out proceeding which came about from an incident the previous April during a sale Jane had to sell off 'her husband's effects". From it comes the impression Jane is really struggling financially while adding to her grief is the necessity of the sale and particularly of a favourite horse.
Monday Jan 17th 1887 - Jane Tindall sought to recover possession of a smithy at Hilton because the rent hadn't been paid. This smithy was a part of the hotel.
On the same day small cases heard - W Davy v Jane Tindall - claim $9.9s.
Jane Tindall v W Davy claim $11.1.6d.
And - Jane Tindall of the Hilton Hotel was charged with keeping her licensed house open on Sunday January 2nd, also for allowing liquors to be sold on that day. Case was dismissed.
I have a feeling the magistrate must have wanted to run a mile whenever he saw Jane coming.
Wednesday 28th November, 1888 - Jane Tindall v G R Meredith - Claim $3 for the value of a pig gored and killed by the defendant's bull.
7th June, 1889 - Jane applies to the Raukapuka Licensing Committee to renew her license for the Hilton Hotel. They 'adjourn till Saturday week to consider Mrs Tindall's application'.
Jane's application was denied and a man named Henry Septimus Decimus Homes was appointed as licensee. A decision I'm sure the committee deeply regretted as on the 9th November, 1891 Mr Homes burned the hotel down in order to claim the insurance.
He was tried and convicted for arson.
Jane continues to appear through the !890's but most of the time as a witness in some small disputes for her eldest son, John William.
I've never been able to find a death record for Jane and when she died has been a mystery which I've spent many hours trying to solve. She appears on the 1901 electoral roll but then disappears. But this week I had a major find - I was browsing South Canterbury records when I discovered the province had an online cemetery database which is doing a marvellous job along the lines of findagrave - whole cemeteries with their headstones being photographed. It's proved to be a goldmine of Toomey and Tindall information.
Jane died aged 60 in July 1902 - there is still no date of death but she was buried alongside Thomas in the Geraldine Cemetery on 18 July 1902.