14th January 1862
Last Will of Ellen Donovan
Wife of Patrick Maher
From records of Notary Benjamin Lelievre, No. 1194
Quebec Archives Film #4MO1-4421, Images 120+
On this day the fourteenth of January in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty two, I the undersigned Notary Public duly commissioned and sworn for Lower Canada residing in the District of Quebec at the request of Ellen Donovan, wife of Patrick Maher, residing in the Parish of St. Catherine, Seigniory of Fossambault went to the residence of the said Ellen Donovan situate at and being in the parish of St. Catherine aforesaid.
Where being in the presence of John Sullivan, Esquire, Land Surveyor and James Buggy, farmer, both residing in the Parish of St. Catherine, County of Portneuf, farmers, witnesses called upon and present for the purposes hereof the said witnesses signing with me the Notary. I found the said Ellen Donovan sick in bed, nevertheless sound of mind, memory, judgment and understanding as appeared to me the said Notary and to the said above named and undersigned witnesses by her actions, words and discourse.
And the said Ellen Donovan considering the certainty of death and the uncertainty of the hour thereof, doth hereby make, publish, dictate, and declare to Benjamin Lelievre, the said undersigned Notary in the presence of the said above named witnesses, her last will and testament in manner following. That is to say, the said Ellen Donovan recommends her soul to God, her Creator, when it shall please Him to dissolve her mortal body hoping for a free remission and pardon of her sins through the intercession of his blessed Son and Savior.
The said Ellen Donovan doth hereby give and bequeath unto Michael Maher, her son, that is to say the east half of a lot of land situate, lying and being in the Parish of St. Catherine aforesaid in the said Seigniory of Fossambault in the fourth range thereof number seventy-nine containing one half-lot of one arpent and a half in front by fifty-five arpents more or less in depth, bounded in front by the river Jacques Cartier and in the rear by the Seigniory line between Guardaville and Fossambault, bounded on one side to the east by lot number eight, the property of Thomas Henderson and on the west side to the west half of said lot number seventy-nine, the property of the said Patrick Maher, and such as the said each half now stands without any reserve whatsoever.
This present bequest is thus made at the charge by the said Michael Maher here said son of paying unto Ellen Maher, Catherine Maher, and Ann Maher, three of his sisters the sum of forty dollars to each of them, which the said Michael Maher will be bound and obliged to pay to his said sisters six months after the decease of the said Ellen Donovan, his mother, without interest. Further, of the charge by the said Michael Maher of paying unto Mary Maher, another of his sisters, a minor, a like sum of forty dollars, as soon as she shall have attained the full age of twenty-one, without interest.
The said Ellen Donovan doth hereby given and bequeath unto the said, Patrick Maher, her husband, all her moveable property, debts and effects, sum and sums of money
whether due by notes of hand, obligations or otherwise, said moveable property consisting of household furniture, farming utensil and cattle and generally all moveable effects whatever. This present bequest is thus made at the charge by the said Patrick Maher of paying unto Ellen Maher, Catherine Maher, and Ann Maher his daughters to each of them the sum of twelve dollars, which the said Patrick Maher will be bound and obliged to pay to his said daughters six months after the decease of the said Ellen Donovan, his said wife without interest. Further at the charge b the said Patrick Maher of paying unto Mary Maher, his daughter, a minor, a like sum of twelve dollars, as soon as she shall have attained the full age of twenty-one, without interest.
The said Ellen Donovan desires that her body be buried at the discretion of her executor, hereinafter named.
The said Ellen Donovan directs that all her just and lawful debts be paid if any there be by her executor herein after named.
The said Ellen Donovan doth hereby nominate and appoint as Executor of this her last will and testament the person of Owen O’Sullivan, Esquire, of the Parish of St. Catherine, whom she doth hereby request to render this last act of kindness.
The said Ellen Donovan hereby annulling, cancelling, objurgating, and making void all former wills which may have been heretofore made and executed by the said Ellen Donovan.
Thus done, made and dictated word by word by the said Ellen Donovan to the said Benjamin Lelievre, the said undersigned Notary in the presence of the said above named and undersigned witnesses at the residence of the said Ellen Donovan, situated as before mentioned, on the day and year, first above written, under the number one thousand one hundred and ninety-four and after having been read and re-read to the said Ellen Donovan, which she declared well to understand, as being her last will and meaning and the said Ellen Donovan hath declared that she cannot write nor sign her name. Having the said John Sullivan, as witness signed with me the undersigned notary. The said James Buggy having declared that he could not write or sign his name made his ordinary mark by a cross.
Words struck out are null. Marginal notes approved are good.
James Buggy, his mark
John Sullivan, his signature
Benjamin Lelievre, his signature.
Transcribed by Patricia Balkcom, 25 October 2010
My Notes: Ellen died three days after she made this will. Although, she and Patrick had twelve children, five of them predeceased her. Five of the seven surviving children are mentioned in the will. I believe the other two daughters who were not mentioned were probably already married and that Ellen decided they were already cared for.