29th March 1871
Last Will of John Donovan
Husband of Mary O’Neil
From records of Paul Picard
No. 23
Quebec Archives Online

On this day the twenty ninth of March in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy one,

Before us the undersigned Notary Public residing in the Parish of St. Ambroise of de  la Jeune Lorette accompanied by the witnesses hereinafter named & subscribed,

I the said Notary Paul Picard, personally went to the residence of 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 Executor hereinafter named.

I wish that after all my just & lawful debts shall have been paid & satisfied with which I hereby charge my said Executor that a um of money be paid to the Curé of the Parish of St. Catherine aforesaid to be by him employed for the saying of two high masses one the day of my decease and the other twelve months after my decease.

I do hereby give & bequeath unto my wife Mary O’Neil the sum of forty pounds, cy [currency], that John Donovan, my son, owes me by a deed obligation passed before Mtre. Philippe Huot, Notary at Quebec.

I do give & bequeath & devise unto my said wife Mary O’Neil & James Donovan, my son,  the sum of one hundred & sixty five pounds, cy, that Michael Henchey owes me by deed of sale granted to the said Michael Henchey by John Donovan, and passed by Lelievre Notary, between them the division shall be the manner following, that is to say:  sixty five pounds, cy, to my said wife & one hundred pounds, cy, to  James Donovan, my son, aforesaid, to be paid to him by executors when he shall have attained full age of majority without interest.

I give & bequeath unto my two daughters, Johanna and Elizabeth Donovan, the sum of one hundred pounds, cy, each which said sum I possess in the Quebec Provident Banks to be paid to them once paid & satisfied with all the interest from the day of my death. I give & bequeath unto James Donovan, my son, two lots of land situated & being in the Fifth Range of St. Catherine’s of Fossambault named & distinguished as lots Number seventy one & seventy two (71 & 72) adjoining each other and bounded No. seventy one (71) towards the North by the Sixth Range, on the South side by the River Jacques Cartier and on the East side by lot seventy and on the West by lot Number seventy two and Number seventy two bounded towards the North by the Sixth Range, on the South side by the River Jacques Cartier, on the East side by Patrick Kennedy, and on the West side by Lot Number seventy one, with all the buildings thereon erected and countenances & dependencies.

I give & bequeath unto my said son James Donovan all & every the property real & personal moveable and immoveable, which I may be possessed of hereafter, instituting him the said James Donovan my son my universal legatee with the exception of the different legatees above & hereafter named & mentioned with the exception of a cow which my said wife shall take for herself at her choice, said cow shall be grazed on the premises in the summer time, properly fed & stabled in the winter months. My said wife shall have no control over my said son & my said son James Donovan whom I have appointed my universal and residuary shall have no control over her.

I give & bequeath unto my son Michael Donovan a lot of land being & situated in the Fifth Range of St. Catherine of Fossambault named & distinguished as lot Number seventy (70) bounded towards the North by the Sixth Range, on the South by the River Jacques Cartier, on the West by Lot sixty nine, and on the East by seventy one. And what wood that is is on the rear of lot No. seventy (70) from the little Brook back to the rear in a straight line is to belong to lot seventy one (71) and who ever lives on lots No. seventy one & seventy two shall have the right & privilege of passing & repassing both summer & winter through lot seventy down to the main road. My said son Michael Donovan shall take on two premises twenty bushels of potatoes & twenty bushels of oats at any time he likes for seed.

And for the execution of the present, my said Will & Testament I do hereby nominate & appoint Thomas Crotty & Patrick Farrell of the Parish of St. Catherine’s, farmers, in favor of whom I do in conformity to the law & custom of the Province deseize & divest myself of all my property for the ends hereof, herby 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 instructions & last will.

Thus done & dictated word for word & published & declared by the said Testator for & as his Last Will & Testament to & in the presence of the said Notary and Patrick Kennedy & James Barry of the Parish of St. Catherine, aforesaid, farmers, in the bed room of the said John Donovan at St. Catherine’s aforesaid, on the day & year first above written under the number twenty three between the hours of two o’clock or three o’clock 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 of 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;

Patrick Kennedy, his signature;

James Barry, his signature;

P. Picard, Notary, his signature

Transcribed by Gerald Neville, May 2011

Notes by Patricia Balkcom:  John died one week later, on April 8th, at the reported age of 62.  He had written another will a couple of months earlier, this will had some small changes it – mainly the amount of cash that was to be distributed.