25th August 1859
Last Will of Nicholas Murphy
Husband of Ellen O’Brien
From records of Notary Peter Arnold Shaw, No. 647
Quebec Archives Online
On the twenty fifth day of August in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty nine, before us the undersigned Notaries Public duly commissioned & sworn residing at the City of Quebec in the Province of Canada personally came & appeared Mr. Nicholas Murphy the Elder of the Township of Stoneham in the District of Quebec, Yeoman, who being in good bodily health and of sound mind, memory and understanding as appeared to us the said Notaries did declare that considering the certitude of death & the uncertainty of the hour thereof he was desirous of making his last Will and Testament which he requested of Peter Arnold Shaw one of us his colleagues present to receive and reduce into writing & which we have accordingly taken down as dictated to us word for word as follows, that is to say,
I will and direct that all my just and lawful debts be paid & satisfied out of my estate by my Executors hereinafter named as soon as the same can be done after my decease.
1st I give, devise & bequeath unto Nicholas Murphy the [Agent & Engineer] of Batiscan, my son the sum of twenty five pounds currency.
2. I give, devise and bequeath unto Owen Murphy and Matthew Murphy both of Quebec my sons the sum of twenty five pounds each.
3. I give, devise and bequeath unto Maria Murphy of Quebec, my daughter, the sum of twenty five pounds currency the same to be paid to her together with the bequests herein before mentioned & specified out of monies due me by my son Michael Murphy of Stoneham, Farmer, under a certain deed of Sale passed before us the undersigned Notaries at Quebec the eighteenth day of June last.
I give, devise and bequeath unto my dearly beloved wife, Ellen O'Brien, the whole of my household furniture, books & wearing apparel to be used, enjoyed & disposed of by her as she may see fit & proper.
I further give, devise & bequeath unto my dearly beloved wife Ellen O'Brien all & singular my other property real & personal, moveable & immoveable of what nature or kind whatsoever & wherever situate, being or to be found to be enjoyed by her during her natural life and after her decease I give, devise & bequeath the same in property unto the said Michael Murphy of Stoneham aforesaid, Farmer, my son, subject to the following conditions, viz. that is to say,
1st That he shall pay unto my daughter Judith Murphy, wife of Bartholomew Mooney of Stoneham aforesaid, Farmer, the sum of thirty pounds currency.
That he shall keep my grandson John Murphy at school in Stoneham aforesaid up to the first of May next and after that date give him twelve months schooling in Quebec and afterwise pay unto him the sum of twenty pounds currency on his attaining twenty one years of age, also that he the said Michael Murphy shall pay unto my daughter Julia the sum of thirty pounds, and shall further pay all debts and liabilities due by me at the time of my decease, for which purpose the request to the said Michael Murphy shall remain charged & subject to the payments of such debts & liabilities besides the special charges aforesaid to have and to hold the said several bequests unto the said legatees respectively their heirs & assigns for ever.
And for the execution of this my last Will & Testament I hereby name & appoint the said Nicholas Murphy of Batiscan aforesaid & the said Owen Murphy of Quebec aforesaid Merchant into whose hands I divest myself of all my property pursuant to the Law of this Province by whose powers under this my last will shall remain in force and not cease after the expiration of a year and a day as by Law provided but shall continue until the final execution of these presents.
Thus done, dictated & named word for word by the said Nicholas Murphy the Elder unto us the said Notaries on the day & year first above written in the Office of Peter Arnold Shaw one of us in presence of Louis Prevost, his colleague, called for the purpose under the number six hundred & forty seven and then & after these presents had been read over to the said Nicholas Murphy the Elder who declared that he understood the same perfectly & that the whole was conformable to his Last Will & intention and hath signed in faith & testimony of the premises together with us the said Notaries these presents having been read over again a second time according to Law.
Two marginal notes are good. Eleven words erased are null.
Nicholas Murphy, his signature;
L. Prevost, N.P., his signature;
P.A. Shaw, N.P., his signature
Transcribed by Gerald Neville, April, 2011
Notes by Patricia Balkcom: I have found records of nine children of Nicholas and Ellen – five sons and one daughter. One daughter pre-deceased Nicholas. Two children, James and Ellen, are not mentioned in the will. It is apparent from the will that education was important to Nicholas. Records show that several of his children were highly successful – including Owen, who went on to be the mayor of Quebec City in the 1870s. Nicholas died, reportedly at the age of seventy-four, four and a half years after he wrote this will.