22nd June 1871
Last Will of Reverend David Shanks

From the records of Notary John Childs
Record # 5746
Quebec Archives Microfilm #4M01-1605

In the year of Our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy one, on the twenty second day of June at two o’clock in the afternoon, before us the undersigned Notaries Public duly admitted, commissioned and sworn residing in the City of Quebec in the Province of Quebec in the Dominion of Canada, personally came and appeared the Reverend David Shanks, Minister of the Presbyterian Church of Canada in connection with the Church of Scotland residing at Valcartier, St. Gabriel East, in the County and District of Quebec in the said Province, who being bodily in failing health, but having the full and perfect enjoyment of his intellectual and mental faculties, as appeared to us the said Notaries by his discourse and proposals, declared unto us the said Notaries that, considering the certainty of death and the uncertainty of the hour thereof, he deemed it expedient to make his present Last Will and Testament in order to arrange his temporal affairs and to save trouble after his decease, which he required us the said Notaries to receive and write down, and which he dictated and named unto us, the said Notaries, word by word, in manner and form following, viz.:

Firstly and principally, I recommend my soul to Almighty God.

Secondly, I do will and ordain that, as soon as possible after my decease all my lawful debts, if any, be paid by my testamentary executors hereinafter named in the discretion and prudence of whom I depend and rely for my burial and funeral ceremonials it being my intention, will and desire that no extra expense be incurred at my funeral but merely what is decent and I do will and ordain that a headstone be provided containing the names of my late spouse, as also that of my late son James and my own cut thereon.

Thirdly, I do hereby give and bequeath unto my son William Shanks the sum of four hundred dollars currency in addition to the farm and buildings thereon erected, situated at St. Gabriel, Valcartier aforesaid, which have already been given to him and the eight hundred dollars by him already received from his late mother’s estate and on account of mine.

Fourthly, I do hereby give and bequeath unto David Shanks, my son, the sum of one hundred dollars currency aforesaid.

Fifthly, I do hereby give and bequeath unto Sarah Shanks and Jessie Shanks, my two youngest daughters, unto each of them, the sum of six hundred dollars currency aforesaid.

Sixthly, and as to the remainder and residue of the property belonging to my estate and succession of which I may die possessed of whatever nature or value the same may be, and wheresoever the same may be situated, I do hereby give and bequeath the same unto Mary Shanks, spouse of Francis Ireland, David Shanks, one of my said sons, Sarah Shanks and Jessie Shanks, my said two youngest daughters, to be equally divided between them the said Mary Shanks, David Shanks, Sarah Shanks, and Jessie Shanks, share and share alike, for and by them to own and possess the same, from the day of my decease, and do enjoy and dispose thereof as they may think proper, hereby instituting them my said last above named four children, my residuary universal legatees in property. And I do hereby declare that it is my intention, will and desire and I do hereby ordain that the present husband or any subsequent husband of my said daughter Mary Shanks, as also any future husband or husbands of my two above-named daughters shall not have or pretend any control whatever thereon, it being my intention that the same shall be governed and managed by themselves, my said daughters, alone respectively. I do hereby declare that I have a Government Debenture of two thousand dollars, which will be due and payable in the month of March, now next ensuing out of which amount I do will and ordain that my said daughter Sarah shall be paid one thousand and fifty three dollars with interest, and I do further will and ordain that such amount as my said daughter Jessie Shanks my be entitled to receive as well on behalf of her said mother’s estate as on my behalf shall be put into the Government Post Office Savings Bank to be paid unto her when she attains her age of majority; and the above legacies I have made in favor of my said daughter Jessie under the express condition that so soon as she attains her age of majority and may be required so to do, she shall confirm and ratify the Deed of Sale by me and her brother and sisters made and granted unto her brother William Shanks, passed before John Childs, one of the undersigned Notaries at Quebec, on the fifteenth day of February now last past, whereby I promised to cause her to rectify the same.

Sixthly (sic – two paragraphs, stated as sixthly), I do hereby will and ordain that in case any of the Legatees, herein before named, should for any motive or cause whatsoever be dissatisfied with the share they have received or may hereafter receive from their said late mother’s estate or should attempt or try to attach and set aside my present will and testament and use any means or take any steps in law or otherwise to impute the said will or any part thereof, such Legatee or Legatees shall from thenceforth be excluded from the benefit and interest arising to him, her or them under such legacy or legacies, and the said legacy or legacies from thenceforth shall become and be cancelled and void to all intents and purposes as if the same had never made part of my present will and testament. And, in such case, the said legacy or legacies shall accrue and appertain to those who are and will be satisfied with the terms of my present will and testament.

Seventhly, I do hereby appoint and nominate as the joint Executors of my present will and testament the persons of my said daughter Sarah Shanks and Mr. Thomas Jack of the said St. Gabriel of Valcartier, Farmer, into the hands of whom I do hereby divest and dissieze myself of all my said property according to the law of the land; and I do hereby ordain that, notwithstanding the lapse of one year and a day from the time of my decease, they shall remain clothed and invested with all and every the necessary seizing powers to execute my present will and testament in all things, for as long a time and as full and complete a manner as they may require for the entire discharge and due and proper execution of the several duties imposed upon them by these presents.

Eighthly, I do hereby cancel and revoke all other wills and codicils by me made before this present will and testament which lone I consider contains my true intention and last will and desire.

It was thus dictated and named by the said Testator unto us, the said Notaries and these presents having been duly read unto him by John Childs, one of the said Notaries, in the presence of André Elphrid Tessier, his colleague Notary, he the said Testator declared that he well understood the same and persisted in the contents hereof.

For thus done and passed, at Quebec, in the office of the said John Childs, one of the said undersigned Notaries on the day, month and year first above written, under the number five thousand seven hundred and forty six, and the said Testator hath signed these presents, together with us the said Notaries, in faith and testimony of the premises, first duly read according to the law.

David Shanks, Minister, his signature;

A.E. Tessier, N.P., his signature;

J. Childs, N.P., his signature 

Transcribed from the original at the Quebec Archives

“Register of Holographic Wills, Testaments, and Codicils.”

Codicil – 12th September 1871 – Rev. David Shanks

Whatever in my Will is inconsistent or contrary to this Codicil I declare to be null & void & the statements herein made to be my true will and intention.

The third hundred dollars mentioned in section three of my will to be given to will over & above the two hundred & the farm to which he has received is to be paid out of my share of the property. The hundred dollars to be given to David & the six hundred to be given to Sarah & Jessie each are also to be taken out of my share of the estate.

The moneys I have (besides the $2000 reserved to be given to Sarah & Jessie to pay them their share of their mother’s part of the estate) are: Montreal Corporation Debentures – $2000; Thos. Mason’s Mortgage – $2000; Aylmer Jail Debentures – $1200 = $5200. Out of this sum there are to be paid: William $400; David $100; Sarah $600 & Jessie $600 amounting in all to $1700 which being deducted will leave $3500 to be equally divided between, Mary, David, Sarah & Jessie, by which said viz., Mary, David, Sarah and Jessie is to receive $1700 in the manner stated above and if any moneys be all realized there will remain for each $875. The $1700 is to be paid each his portion from the first moneys collected so that all moneys arising from interest or principal or sale of goods afterwards not one getting more and another less. The Quebec Harbour Debenture, whatever it may realize, when disposed of to be divided equally between Mary, David, Sarah & Jessie.

Out of the $2000 Government Debenture which becomes due in March next Sarah is to be paid my note of $1050 with interest that is $163 more or $1116 in all. This will leave of the $2000 debenture $884 for Jessie & then the balance due to Jessie viz. $232 is to be paid her out of what moneys may be in Sarah’s hand at my death making $1116 also. This money Sarah is to manage in trust during Jessie’s minority but when she, Jessie, becomes of age it is to be paid over to her. Sarah may put it in the Post Office Savings Bank or elsewhere as she deems during her sister’s minority.

As to any other property I may die possessed than what is already stated such as household effects, books, etc., etc., Sarah & Jessie are to have what things they choose of these as a free gift from me & the rest (except what I may give freely to any of the rest of my family before my decease) to be sold in the way my executors may deem best, the proceeds of such sale or sales to de divided equally among my children.

Wrote the above this twelfth day of September one thousand eight hundred and seventy one.

Second Codicil – 16th September 1871 – Rev. David Shanks

Since writing the above Codicil I deem it better to give Sarah & Jessie the Montreal Corporation Debenture together with the $232 in Sarah’s hand to make up Sarah & Jessie’s portion of their mother’s estate viz., the $1116 to each of them in March next then take the Government Debenture (the cash for which will be got in March next) & divide the amount of the $2000 cash among them thus to William $400 to David $100 to Sarah & Jessie $600 each amounting in all to $1700. This will leave a balance of Debenture of $300 to be divided equally between Mary, David, Sarah & Jessie, viz., $75 each. It is therefore my will & intention that this change be adopted by my Executors & that anything in the first Codicil or the Will to the contrary is hereby declared null & void. This settled, all other moneys, as they shall be afterward realized shall de divided equally or share & share alike among the four Mary, David, Sarah & Jessie.

Wrote the above this sixteenth day of September one thousand eight hundred & seventy One.

David Shanks, his signature

 Translated and transcribed by Gerry Neville

Notes by Patricia Balkcom:  David died in November, a few months after writing this will.