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Will of Coleman Raftus
In the name of God Amen. I Coleman Raftus of Saint John’s in the Island of Newfoundland Shopkeeper being well of body and of sound mind memory and understanding do make this my last will and testament in manner following:
First I direct that as soon after my decease as shall be practically convenient my executors hereinafter named shall pay out of my monies all lawful debts then due by me.
Secondly: I give and bequeath to the Right Reverend John Thomas Mullock Catholic Bishop of the diocese of Saint John’s in the said Island and to his successors therein the sum of twenty pounds (£20) currency to be taken and applied by him or any of them for Masses for the benefit of my soul and the souls of my wife Bridget Raftus and of my late father mother and sisters.
Thirdly: I give and bequeath to the Right Reverend John Thomas Mullock the sum of five pounds currency in trust to be applied by him towards aiding the erection and completion of Saint Patrick’s Church at River Head near Saint John’s-
Fourthly: I give and bequeath to John Curtis of Saint John’s my stepson a building lot of twenty feet square of land being part of my land and premises situate at River Head and held by me under Grant from the Crown said building lot being twenty feet fronting on the public River leading into the harbor of Saint John’s from Waterford Bridge and to be taken and held by the said John Curtis subject to a rent charge of six shillings currency a year to be paid by him to the said Right Reverend John Thomas Mullock and his said successors on the first day of October in every year and thereupon to be paid by him or them to the Treasurer or keeper of the funds of the Society of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Saint John’s for the uses and purposes of the said Society. Provided always that in case the said John Curtis should die without leaving at the time of his death any lawful child or children of him begotten and surviving then and in case of such failure of such issue him then surviving I give and bequeath said building lot of land twenty feet square unto the said Right Reverend John Thomas Mullock as such Bishop as aforesaid and to his successors in the said Diocese in all time to come to have and to hold the said lot of land and the rents and profits thereof in trust for the uses and purposes of the Roman Catholic Church now being erected at River Head in saint John’s aforesaid.
Fifthly I give and bequeath to Jane Breen of Saint John’s Spinster my former servant the sum of ten pounds (£10) currency free of the control of any husband she may have at any time
Sixthly: All the rest residue and remainder of my land, tenements, houses, goods, chattels, monies, assets and effects of what nature or kind soever not hereinbefore given or bequeathed I give and bequeath unto Michael Cooney Dealer and James Farrell of Saint John’s Grocer my Trustees to hold to them and the survivor of them their respective executors administrators and assigns upon the special trust and confidence, nevertheless, that is to say, that they my said Trustees or the survivor of them or the executors or administrators of such survivor do and shall as soon as convenient after my death call in take and receive all such debts and sums of money as shall be then due owing or belonging in any way to me, and invest and so continue the same at interest in good and valid Government or other securities in their own names or in the name of the survivor of them And also from time to time collect in and receive all the rents issues and profits that shall accrue and arise from or out of the land tenements and premises hereby bequeathed in trust to them as aforesaid And that my said trustees and the survivor of them his executors administrators or assigns shall take and hold all said interest arising from such investments and all such rents issues and profits as shall accrue of said land in trust and apply the said interest and rents for and towards the support and maintenance of my wife Bridget Raftus as long as she shall remain my widow and unmarried and for and towards the support of my daughters Mary Raftus and Anastasia Raftus and my sons Richard Raftus and Nicholas Raftus and the support of such other children as may or shall be begotten or born to me by my said wife Bridget Raftus until they my said children shall severally attain their said ages of twenty one years then in trust to pay over in equal proportions the one third part of all such principal sum or sums of money so to be invested at interest as aforesaid together with one third part of the balance of such interest arising therefrom and of the rent so accruing as aforesaid as shall not have been applied for or towards their respective maintenance support and education or the maintenance of the said Bridget Raftus as aforesaid equally into and amongst my said daughters and sons when and as they shall attain such majority then to be taken and held free of the control of any husband my said daughters or either of them may marry. And in case they or either of my said children shall happen to die before me or before attaining twenty one years the share of such one so dying shall go to and be paid over to such other of my children as shall survive and attain said age of twenty one years to be taken and held free of such control as aforesaid and in case my said children shall die before me or before attaining the age of twenty one years then in trust to pay over the said money so to be invested and the interest thereon (after providing thereout for such maintenance and support as aforesaid) unto the Right Reverend John Thomas Mullock or his successors in the said Diocese to be applied by him or them from time to time to and for the support and benefit of the Roman Catholic Church and Presentation Convent School now erected or hereafter to be erected at River Head aforesaid. And that my said Trustees and the survivor of them his executors administrators and assigns shall stand possessed of the said residue of my said land, household furniture not hereinbefore bequeathed in trust to take the rents issues and profits thereof from time to time and after my said children shall have respectively attained the full age of twenty-one years pay and apply such rents issues and profits to and for the support and maintenance of my said wife for and during her natural life and only as long as she shall remain my widow and unmarried and in case of her decease my said Trustees or the survivor of them shall stand possessed of the said residue of my said land and premises and the rents issues and profits thereof or the remaining portion thereof to and for the use and benefit of my said children and the survivor of them And in case they or the survivor of them shall die before attaining their said age of twenty-one years (and my said wife being dead or married again as aforesaid) then that my said Trustees or the survivor of them his or their executors or administrators shall hold and possess the said residue of the said land and premises any rents or profits monies or interest not applied for such support as aforesaid and shall pay over assign transfer and convey the same together with any other property, goods, chattels and effects not hereinbefore disposed of by me to the said Right Reverend John Thomas Mullock as such Bishop as aforesaid for the use and benefit of the Roman Catholic Church and Convent School at River Head aforesaid-
I further will and desire that no division partition or distribution of my real estate land or tenements shall be made or take place among my said children until the youngest of such children shall attain the age of twenty-one years and not otherwise and that such land tenements and premises shall not be mortgaged encumbered or disposed of by my said children or either of them their executors administrators or assigns but they are at liberty to sell their interest or shares in said estate one to the other and not otherwise. And I do hereby appoint the Reverend Mr. Vericar of Saint John’s Catholic Clergyman and my said wife guardians of my said children my said wife shall cease to be one of said guardians on getting married at any time after my decease. It is further my will and desire that my said daughters shall be educated at the Convent School at River Head and at no other place unless the said guardians shall deem it expedient to have them educated in any other Convent School in the said Island. And it is my will and desire that my said Trustees shall not be held liable for any loss or damage in the execution of the trusts aforesaid unless the same shall happen by or through their wilful neglect or default and each shall only be liable for his separate act or deed and not one for the act or deed of the other And lastly I do hereby nominate and appoint my said Trustees Michael Cooney and James Farrell executors of this my last will and testament and I do hereby revoke and make void all former and other wills by me at any time hitherto made and do declare this to be my last will and testament In witness whereof I have hereunto subscribed my hand and affixed my seal at Saint John’s in the said Island this fourth day of January Anno Domini one thousand eight hundred and sixty-five-
Colm. Raftus (LS) Sealed published and declared by the said testator on the day and year last aforesaid as and for his last will and testament the cancellations on the 16 line from the top on page 6 hereof being first made and approved of by said testator and also the interlineation on said page Joseph I. Little. William Cullen.
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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