Sunday, February 21, 2010

Estate Records - More than just wills (part 2)

In several of  the wills that I have been examining for my presentation, the person (the testator) gives only one dollar to some individuals. The question is why?

From a parent to a child or amongst siblings: The child may have already received land as a gift or money to help them out. The person has already received a share of the estate. Check to see if there was a transfer of land with a notation of "for love and affection" and perhaps showing $1.00 as the amount.

Perhaps, the family members are not close or had a falling out but by giving only $1.00 they are not left out of the will and not forgotten. It is generally included to avoid law suits.

One will that I found very interesting was the will of David Walden of Kincardine, Ontario. He left the bulk of his estate to his house keeper. He gave each of his children $1.00 except his daughter Kate Donnely and son David Walden who were each to receive $50. The children of his two deceased children were to receive a $1.00 each.

There were stipulations made in the will.
  • After the decease of the house keeper, all his goods to be sold and the value split equally amongst all the heirs named in his will
  • The housekeeper had to continue to take good care of him up to the time of his death.
  • If she was to die before he did, the housekeeper's child was to receive $130 for the next four years to help with his clothing and education.

Because of the interesting wording of the following clause, I quote it.

I will and direct that if the said Elizabeth Ann Findley holds any communication with or allows any of the Barrett family now living on the beach to visit her or if she keeps company with any of them either in public or in private or in any way recognizes any of them then this will is to be null and Void. Use to remain in full free virtue and effect.

David’s will dated 11 May 1882
He died  15 November 1882
1881 census David Walden  living with him are Elizabeth and William Findley

Question: Why is Elizabeth Ann Findley not allowed to have anything to do with the Barrett family? Who is to police this?
© 2010 Janet Iles

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