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Will of William Stapleton
In the name of God Amen, the twenty eighth of April in the year one thousand eight hundred and sixty five. I William Stapleton of the parish of Portugal Cove Newfoundland, farmer, and planter, being very sick and weak of body but perfect in mind and memory thanks be given unto God; therefore calling unto mind the mortality of the body knowing that it is appointed unto all men once to die, do make and ordain this my last will and testament, that is to say principally and first of all I give and recommend my soul into the hands of Almighty God that gave it and my body I recommend to the earth to be buried in decent Christian burial at the discretion of my executors and as touching worldly goods and estate which it hath pleased Almighty God to bless me with in this life, I give demise and dispose of the same in the following manner. First I give and bequeath to Michael my eldest son house and all things appertaining to it, namely the house that he lives in and the eastern half of the land cleared and uncleared lying to the western end of John & Edward’s cellars, Secondly I give and bequeath to Thomas my second eldest son the western end of the land lying to west end of John & Edward’s cellar, Thirdly I give and bequeath to Edward my fourth eldest son half of the eastern land including that on which the house and cellar stands, Fourthly, I give and bequeath to John my youngest son the other half of the eastern land including that on which the house stands and that which is over and above to be equally divided amongst the four brothers on the eastern land. Likewise the house that I do live in I give and bequeath to my youngest son John and whatsoever furniture is therein. The stables both of them to Edward and John. Michael & Thomas to have their fishing room on the western land and Edward & John their fishing room on the eastern land. Lastly I give and bequeath to Michael, of living stock the youngest heifer. I give and bequeath to Thomas the cow, I give and bequeath to Edward, a cow, I give and bequeath to John a cow, To the offspring namely the two orphans Emma and Mary Stapleton the sum of four pounds ten shillings cy to be paid two pounds five shillings a year to be cut off from all right & title of property And I do hereby utterly disallow revoke and disannul over other former wills, testament, legacies, bequests, and executors by me in any way before named. I do hereby appoint Benjamin Squires & James Whelan as lawful executors. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand the day and year above named. Wm. Stapleton his X mark. Signed sealed and published & pronounced delivered in the presence of us subscribers by Wm. Stapleton as his last will and testament. Witness Benjamin his X mark Squires, witness James his X mark Whelan.
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 and also no paragraphs. 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. However, in some of the very long wills, we have tried to insert paragraphs to make it easier for the researcher to read the document.
Page Contributed by Judy Benson & Ivy F. Benoit
Page Revised by Ivy F. Benoit (Wednesday February 20, 2013)
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