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Will of William Pitts
In the name of God Amen I William Pitts of Lance Cove Belle Isle in Conception Bay Newfoundland but at present of St. John’s being now in a weak state of health but perfectly sound in mind memory and understanding do make this my last will and testament -
First- I give devise and bequeath to my wife Ann Pitts during her natural life my dwelling house kitchen garden and cellar and outhouses thereunto attached together with all the household furniture now in use in said dwelling house for her use also one fourth of whatever stock of cattle and sheep which may be on my said premises at the time of my decease also the sum of twenty pounds currency yearly out of the rents of the property at present occupied by Ebenezer Parsons after the mortgage thereon is fully liquidated and hereinafter more particularly described Also one mahogany easy chair and after her decease the said chair is to be the property of Elizabeth Stone.
Second I give devise and bequeath to my son John Pitts my fishing room store and lands belonging to me also the dwelling house cellar and outhouses aforesaid after my said wife’s decease also one fourth of whatever stock of cattle and sheep which may be on my premises at the time of my decease also one half dozen silver table spoons marked W.E.P and one large mirror now in my house also one half of my waterside premises south of Water Street in Harbor Grace at present in the occupancy of Messrs. Ridley and Sons Merchants consisting of dwelling house shop store and wharf during his natural life and after his decease to his children lawfully begotten but should he die without issue the said property lastly bequeathed shall revert to his surviving sisters Elizabeth and Fanny share and share alike- also to my said son John my boats seines nets and all other fishing materials which I may be possessed of at the time of my decease- also after the decease of my said wife Ann Pitts my son John is to have one centre mahogany table now in use in my house also my silver watch.
Third I give devise and bequeath to my daughter Elizabeth one feather bed three large silver table spoons also one fourth of stock of the cattle and sheep which may be on my premises at the time of my decease- also one half of my cottage house in Harbor Grace formerly occupied by Joseph Soper- also one half the garden in front of said house with free access in the rear to the said house also one half the cellar in the rear attached thereto subject to a yearly payment of five pounds to Elizabeth Cowan hereinafter mentioned.
Fourth. I give devise and bequeath to my daughter Fanny one half the aforesaid cottage and garden with all the privileges cellar and backledge thereto belonging the west part of said cottage to my daughter Fanny and the east part to Elizabeth before mentioned also one fourth part of whatever stock of cattle and sheep that may be on my premises at the time of my decease also one feather bed and bedding three silver table spoons marked W.E.P. the said cottage garden and premises to be subject to the yearly payment of five pounds as above mentioned- also two half round mahogany tables now in use in my dwelling house and one clock but should the said Fanny Pitts die without issue the house garden cellar and privileges I give to Julia Pitts my niece daughter of James and Fanny Pitts of St. John’s and to Elizabeth Cowan before mentioned the said Julia Pitts and Elizabeth Cowan to share and share alike-
Fifth- I give devise and bequeath to said Elizabeth Cowan the sum of five pounds currency to be paid to her yearly out of the rents arising from the property at Harbor Grace aforesaid hereinbefore bequeathed to Elizabeth and Fanny aforesaid my daughters.
Sixth. I give devise and bequeath to William Arthur Pitts son of William Pitts Junior of St. John’s on his attaining the age of twenty one years the remaining half of the waterside premises at Harbor Grace above described but should he die before he comes of age the property so bequeathed to him shall revert to the first male child of either of his brothers James or George Pitts. I further agree to give to the said John Pitts and William Arthur Pitts that house and property situate on the north side of water Street at present occupied by Ebenezer Parsons yielding an annual rent of twenty five pounds currency now under mortgage to Mr. Arthur Thoomey who received the whole rent of said house until the mortgage is paid up, after which should my said wife Ann Pitts be then living she is to receive twenty pounds out of the rent of said house during her lifetime twenty seven years being yet unexpired from the thirty first day of October of this present year-
Seventh My will and desire is that that piece of land situate on Belle Isle Beach one third of which belongs to me shall be equally divided between my surviving children should the same be let or sold- also that piece of land situate at Harbor Grace known as Feather Bed containing twenty acres and two furlongs which property if sold for over forty pounds the overplus of that sum to be equally divided between my three children hereinbefore named And I further will and desire is that the property hereinbefore willed and bequeathed to John and Arthur Pitts shall never be sold or mortgaged for a greater sum than fifty pounds at any time and that no second mortgage be had upon the property above mentioned until the first be fully paid up and that none of the said property be sold while any male child of the offspring of James or William Pitts Senior is living- and further that the property willed to Julia Pitts and Elizabeth Cowan after their decease is to become the property of the children of Elizabeth Stone which is never to be sold and no mortgage to be had thereon to exceed twenty pounds, and no second mortgage to be taken thereon until the first is paid off and it is further my will and desire that the said Elizabeth Cowan should have a comfortable bedroom on the second floor of the house in Harbor Grace hereinbefore bequeathed to Fanny Pitts and to enjoy the same as her own as long as she may require it without any hindrance whatsoever- Lastly- I hereby appoint William Pitts of St. John’s Merchant and Augustus O. Hayward of same place Barrister at law executors to this my last will and testament-
William his X mark Pitts (LS) Signed sealed published and declared by the said testator in the presence of us who in his presence at his request and in the presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses this third day of October A.D. one thousand eight hundred and sixty seven the same having first been read over and explained.
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 or typed 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)
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