19th November 1870
Last Will of Mary Donovan
Widow of Michael Fitzgerald
From records of Notary Paul Picard
Record No. 12
Quebec Archives Online

On this day, the nineteenth day of November in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred & seventy,

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

Personally came & appeared & was present Mary Donovan of the Parish of St. Catherine’s de Fossambault in the County of Portneuf, widow of the late Michael Fitzgerald in his life time of the said Parish of St. Catherine, farmer, deceased; who being of weak bodily health, but of sound mind, memory and understanding as to us appeared by her manner & conversation hath requested of us the said Notary to receive & reduce into writing this her 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 Mary Donovan word for word and as follows, that is to say:

I recommend my soul to God Almighty


him to give me the everlasting Beatitude by the mercies of Jesus Christ my Saviour.

I wish & direct that my interment & the manner thereof shall be according to the discretion of my 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 the sum of wight pounds, cy [currency] which I possess in the Quebec Provident & Savings Banks be paid to the Curé of the Parish of St. Catherine aforesaid to be by him employed for the saying of twenty two masses for the repose of my soul in the course of this year, with a grand mass on my body, the day of my funeral.

I do hereby give, devise & bequeath unto Mary, Catherine & Helen Clear, issued of the marriage of Denis Clear of the said Parish of St. Catherine, farmer, and the late Catherine Fitzgerald, his wife deceased, my grand-children, the sum of thirty three pounds & ten shillings, cy, that William Guilfoyle owes one and all & every the property real & personal, moveable and immoveable (without any exception or  reserve) which I may die possessed of hereafter instituting them my said grandchildren my universal legatees.

And for the execution of the present my Last Will & testament I do hereby nominate & appoint Denis Clear of the Parish of St. Catherine, farmer, in favor of whom I do in conformity of the law & custom of this Province, hereby deseize & 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.

I wish that the sum of six pounds, cy, that John Keily owes me, on a promissory note be equally divided between Mary, Catherine & Helen Clear, my grandchildren as aforesaid.

Thus done & dictated word for word & published & declared by the said Testatrix for & as her Last Will & Testament to & in the presence of the said Notary and James Pool & Michael Neville of the Parish of St. Catherine farmers, in the sitting room of the house & residence of the said Denis Clear at St. Catherine aforesaid, the day & year first above written and as the number fourteen, between the hours of six & seven in the afternoon.

In faith & testimony whereof the said Testatrix having declared not to know how to write or sign her name when requested so to do as to these presents set and made her ordinary mark or cross, first & twice duly read in the presence of us the said Notary & of the said witnesses who have hereunto set & subscribed their respective names & signatures.

Words erased are null/Marginal notes approved are good.

Mary Donovan, her mark; James Poole, his signature; Michael Neville, his signature: P. Picard, Notary, his signature.

Transcribed by Gerald Neville, April, 2011

Note by Patricia Balkcom:  Mary died four days later at the reported age of 76.  Her daughter, Catherine, who died in childbirth in 1853, had seven children – four boys and three girls.  Mary left her money to her three granddaughters.