30th January 1871
Last Will of John Donovan
Husband of Mary O’Neill
From records of Notary Paul Picard
Quebec Archives Online
On this day the thirtieth day of January in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred & seventy one,
Before us the undersigned Notary Public residing in the Parish of St. Ambroise de la Jeune Lorette and the witnesses hereinafter named & subscribed,
Personally came & was present John Donovan of the Parish of St. Catherine’s of Fossambault in the County of Portneuf, who being in weak bodily health, but of sound mind, memory and understanding as to us appeared by his manner & conversation hath requested of us the said Notary to receive & reduce into writing this his Last Will & Testament which we the said Notary in the presence of the said witnesses have taken down as dictated to us by the said John Donovan word for word and as follows, that is to say:
I recommend my soul to God asking him to give me the everlasting Beatitude by the merits of Jesus Christ my Savior.
I wish & direct that my interment & the manner thereof shall be according to the direction of Executors hereinafter named.
I wish that after all my just & lawful debts shall have been paid & satisfied with which I hereby charge my said Executors that a sufficient sum of money be paid to the Curé of the Parish of St. Catherine aforesaid to be by him employed for the saying of four grand masses for the repose of my soul in the course of the year of my decease with a grand mass on my body the day of my funeral.
I do hereby give & bequeath unto Mary O'Neil my wife the sum forty pounds, cy [currency], that my son John Donovan owes me.
I give & bequeath and devise unto my said wife Mary O'Neil and my son James Donovan the sum of one hundred & sixty five pounds, cy, that Michael Henchey owes me, in the manner following, that is to say: sixty five pounds, cy, to my said wife & one hundred pounds, cy, to the said James Donovan, my son.
I give & bequeath unto my said son James Donovan the further sum of one hundred pounds, cy, that is in the Bank to be paid to him by my Executors when and so soon as he shall have obtained the age of majority.
I also give & bequeath unto my said son James Donovan the sum of six pounds, cy, that Joseph Goodwin owes me.
I hereby give & bequeath unto my said son James Donovan two lots of land adjoining each other, known and distinguished as lots Nos. seventy one and seventy two situated & being in the Fifth Range of St. Catherine’s of Fossambault bounded on the one side towards the South by lot No. seventy, on the other side towards the East by River Jacques Cartier on the other side towards the North by Patrick Kennedy and towards the West side by the Sixth Range.
I do hereby give & bequeath unto my said son James Donovan all my property moveable & immoveable of whatever description it may consist of which I may die seized & possessed of at the time of my decease with the exception of a cow, which I do hereby give to my said wife, which said cow shall be grazed during the summer time by my said son James Donovan and to properly house & feed the said cow during the winter months; & also I do hereby order & direct that my said son James Donovan shall & will find & provide for my said wife a room in the house that I now occupy if she wishes, and also to maintain, clothe & support my said wife Mary O'Neil during her natural life in sickness as well as in health; she will take care of the milk & butter if she wishes & will dispose of it between the children for the benefit of the house until such times as the children can better themselves by marriage or otherwise; my said wife shall have no control over the said James Donovan my son whatsoever & the said James Donovan shall have no control over my wife in alike manner.
I do hereby give & bequeath unto Michael Donovan my son a lot of land known & distinguished as No. seventy (70) situated & being also in the Fifth Range aforesaid of St. Catherine’s of Fossambault bounded on one side towards the North by No. seventy one, on the other side towards the South by John Donovan, Jr., on the other side towards the East by the River Jacques Cartier and towards the West side by the Sixth Range, and as for the wood that is on the rear of the lot No. seventy above mentioned (from the brook back to the rear on a straight line) is to belong to lot No. seventy one (71) and who ever lives on lot seventy one (71) & seventy two (72) will have the privilege of passing and repassing both summer & winter through lot No. seventy (70) to the main road. My said son Michael Donovan shall never have the right to sell, mortgage or hypothecate the said No. seventy (70) herein above described. My said son Michael Donovan binds & obliges himself to pay to his brother James Donovan my son a sum of fifty founds, cy (£50.00) in ten yearly payments of five pounds, cy, each the first payment becoming due in two years after my decease & then to continue from year to year until the said sum of fifty pounds , cy, shall have been fully paid & satisfied without interest.
I hereby give & bequeath unto Johanna & Elizabeth Donovan my two daughters the sum of fifty pounds, cy, each to be to them once paid & satisfied by my Executors hereinafter named.
And for the execution of the present my Last Will & Testament I do hereby nominate & appoint (as my Executors) Thomas Crotty & Patrick Farrell, farmers of the Parish of St. Catherine's of Fossambault in favor of whom I do in conformity to the Law & Custom of this Province hereby disseize & divest myself of all my property for the ends hereof, hereby revoking all other wills & testaments & codicils that I may have made prior to the present to which alone I do adhere as containing my true intentions & last will.
Thus done & dictated word for word & published & declared by the said Testator John Donovan for & as his Last Will & Testament to & in the presence of the said Notary & James Barry & Patrick Kennedy of the parish of St. Catherine’s, farmers, in the sitting room of the house of the said John Donovan at St. Catherine’s aforesaid the day & year first above written under the number sixteen between the hours four & five in the afternoon.
In faith & testimony whereof the said Testator having declared not to know how to write or sign his name when requested so to do at these presents first twice duly read set & made his ordinary mark or cross in the presence of the said Notary & of the said witnesses who have hereunto set & subscribed their respective names & signatures.
Words erased are null. Marginal note approved is good.
John Donovan, his mark;
James Barry, his signature;
Patrick Kennedy, his signature;
P. Picard, Notary, his signature
Transcribed by Gerald Neville, June 2011
Notes by Patricia Balkcom: John and his wife, Mary, had 8 daughters and 3 sons. The oldest son, John, is not mentioned in the will, however, it may have been that he was already well-established in his own right by this time. The two youngest daughters, Johanna and Elizabeth, were the only ones who were unmarried at the time of the will.