25th January 1860
Last Will of William Bethel
From records of Notary Fisher Langlois
Record No. 1472
Transcribed from the Original Will – Quebec Archives
On the twenty fifth day of January in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty, at the request of Mr. William Bethel of the City of Quebec, boot and shoemaker, the undersigned Notaries Public duly commissioned and sworn residing at the City of Quebec in the Province of Canada went to the residence of the said William Bethel, situate in St. John Street in the Upper Town of Quebec and then and there being we found the said William Bethel lying on a bed sick of body but of sound mind, memory, judgment, and understanding as appeared unto us the said Notaries from his manner and conversation who declared unto us that considering the certainty of death and the uncertainty of the hour thereof he was desirous of making his last will and testament which he accordingly requested Fisher Langlois one of us in the presence of Notary Henry Charles Austin, his colleague, to receive and reduce into writing word for word as follows, that is to say:
Firstly, I will and direct that all my just and lawful debts be paid and satisfied as soon as possible after my decease.
Secondly, I give, devise and bequeath unto my mother Bridget Kernerny, widow of the late William Bethel, the annual life rent of thirty five pounds to be paid her half yearly out of my estate during her natural life.
Thirdly, I give, devise and bequeath the whole of my property estate and effects whatsoever, real and personal, moveable and immoveable in whatever the same may consist and wherever situate being or to be found, to my brother Edward Bethel now residing in Syracuse in the United States of America in full and absolute property subject however to the payment by him of the aforesaid life rent to my mother, but should my estate not shew sufficient asset to represent a capital sufficient to meet the said rent in such the said life rent shall be reduced to an amount equal to the interest at the active of my said estate at the rate of six percent per annum. To have and to hold the said several legacies to the several parties above named in manner aforesaid.
Fourthly, I hereby revoke all other wills and codicils by me at any time heretofore made declaring these presents alone to contain my last will and intentions. And for the due execution of my present will I hereby name and appoint Joseph Johnston of the said City of Quebec, Collector of Accounts, into whose hands I hereby disseize and divest myself of all my property in conformity with the law of the Province.
Thus done, dictated, published and declared by the said Testator to the said Notaries at the hour of twelve o'clock pm of the day day and year first above written and after these presents had been read over twice by the said Fisher Langlois in the presence of his said colleague to the said Testator he declared that he understood the same perfectly and found the whole conformable to this last will and intentions and in testimony of the premises hath signed these presents in the presence of us the said notaries also hereunto subscribing in his presence and in the presence of each other and the same remain recorded in the office of the said Fisher Langlois under the number one thousand four hundred and seventy two.
Wiords expunged are null, marginal notes good.
William Bethel, his signature;
Henry C. Austin, N.P., his signature;
F. Langlois, N.P., his signature
Transcribed by Gerald Neville, June, 2011
Note by Patricia Balkcom: William died two years later in December, 1861 at the age of 33. He was a master shoemaker. He had married Emma Thompson six months after this will was written, so it is possible that a later will may be found. It also appears that he may have had a chronic illness. William had at least seven siblings, of which at least four predeceased him at very young ages.