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A Collection of Newfoundland Wills
Michael Burke


Will of Michael Burke
from Newfoundland will books volume 2 pages 240 to 243 probate year 1857

In re
     Michael Burke      deceased.

In the name of God Amen, I Michael Burke of Joe Bats Arm in the Northern District of Newfoundland Dealer, being sick of body but of perfect mind and memory do make and ordain this my last will and testament cancelling, annulling and revoking any other will or testament hitherto made by me.     And I hereby nominate, constitute and appoint my friends James Fitzgerald of Fogo, Dealer, and Thomas Burke of Saint John's, Gentleman, to be my executors, trustees and guardians for my two beloved children Emily Burke and Ernest Burke, Minors, with full power and authority to appoint successors to fill their places, in the event of their demise or removal from Newfoundland during the minority of my aforesaid beloved children Emily Burke and Ernest Burke.     First, I give and bequeath my soul into the hands of Almighty God who gave it and my body to the earth to be buried after a decent Christian manner in the Roman Catholic burial ground at Joe Bats Arm by the side of my deceased children and that a tomb shall be placed over our grave bearing a suitable inscription and that five pounds currency be given to the Revd. Patrick Ward for religious purposes to be explained to him by my executors.     Second, I give and bequeath unto my beloved wife Caroline Burke, the sum of one hundred and fifteen pounds currency one feather bed and bedding, her wearing apparel and books, this legacy to be paid by my executors within the period of one year after my demise.     Third, I give and bequeath unto the aforesaid James Fitzgerald and Thomas Burke, the remainder of my property on trust consisting of money in the Saint John's Saving Bank, money in the hands or firm of the late John Barron of Saint John's, money in the hands of Bowring Brothers of St. John's, and money in my own possession, amounting in all to about six hundred and fifty pounds currency, my silver watch and gold guard together with whatever may be realised from the sale of my house stores and all other property at Joe Bats Arm, also from the sale of the stock of goods on hand at the time of my demise and from the collection of all my outstanding debts.     The sale of my premises and other property I wish my executors to effect as soon as convenient after my demise, also the collection of my debts and the money arising therefrom to be deposited with my other monies in such safe place or places at interest as may seem to them convenient and secure that is to say upon trust as aforesaid for the sole use and benefit of my two beloved children Emily Burke and Ernest Burke in the following proportions that is to say, my beloved son Ernest Burke is to receive my silver watch and gold guard when he attains a suitable age to appreciate their value, and one hundred pounds more of the amount arising from all my money and effects than my daughter Emily Burke, the remaining sum to be divided between them in equal proportions, And in the event of the demise of Ernest, Emily is to have his share in addition to her own, and in case of the demise of Emily, Ernest is to have her share in addition to his own, and in the event of the demise of both their united shares is to be divided between all my surviving brothers and sisters in equal proportions, and half the amount of one of such proportions is to be given to my niece Honora Greene.     Fourth, I will and bequeath unto the aforesaid James Fitzgerald and Thomas Burke full power and authority to use their own discretion in the selection of a suitable person to take charge of my beloved children Emily Burke and Ernest Burke after my demise, and to give the preference to my wife Caroline Burke, provided she bring them up in the Roman Catholic faith (my executors to have free access to them at all times to see that they are brought up in conformity to these my last wishes) and remain in any part of Newfoundland that may appear convenient to my executors for their education And in the event of my wife neglecting or refusing to comply with my request my executors in such case to remove my dear children from her care, and place them under the guidance of some other person.     My executors to make a suitable allowance out of their respective portions for their cloathing, maintenance and education, and in the event of their being conveyed out of Newfoundland without the sanction of my executors, the legacies I have left each of them shall not be paid for their support, unless my executors may think fit to do so, and in the event of their remaining out of Newfoundland of their own accord after they arrive at the years of discretion, my executors in such case may in their discretion withhold the payment of their respective legacies until they attain the age of twenty one years each.     Fifth, I will and ordain that my aforesaid beloved children may be placed at a respectable school and after their receiving an education befitting their station they are to be placed out at the discretion of my executors to learn respectable trades, provided the funds in the hands of my executors enable them to do so, after paying the expence of their previous education and support, and provided further that if any balance remain in the hands of my executors after defraying all such former expences, such balance is to be divided between them in the proportions specified as aforesaid.     Sixth, I will and bequeath full power and authority to my executors to pay out of whatever money may remain after my demise, the funeral and all other contingent expences incident to the fulfilment of this my last will and testament.
In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal at Fogo, Newfoundland, this sixteenth day of March, one thousand eight hundred and fifty five (1855) Michael Burke (LS)
Signed, sealed and acknowledged by the testator to be his last will and testament the day and year aforesaid in presence of, Joseph M. Fitzgerald, Richard Power, Peter Pickett.

Certified correct,
D. M. Browning



Note: The wills in those will books are NOT actual wills. They are either hand-written copies or in later years typed copies of a, "last will and testament," written by the court clerk, after the death of the testator, when the executor presented them to the court for probate. The court clerk didn't list the signatures at the bottom, he (or she) just put them in the book in whatever order they were in, on the original document, no spacing most of the time, no punctuation. The originals were kept by the executor.

We who have typed these wills, have made every effort to include all the errors that were on the microfilm, in order to avoid destroying the integrity of the originals, where ever they may be.

Page Contributed by Judy Benson & Ivy F. Benoit

Page Revised by Ivy F. Benoit (Wednesday February 20, 2013 AST)

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