After reading John Brosnahan’s will, I was curious to know what was in his father James’s will. I hadn’t found it on Archway when I initially looked, as I was searching under the name ‘Brosnahan’. Remembering that John’s parents were buried under the name of Brosnan, I searched again and found the reference to James’s probate file, held at Archives New Zealand’s Christchurch office. The office now offer to email you a PDF of the document(s) you are wanting, or you can wait for a photocopy by post (NZD20.00 charge which includes postage and up to 80 pages). Service was speedy and friendly!
I, James Brosnan of the Levels Plain in the Provincial District of Canterbury in the Colony of New Zealand Farmer do hereby revoke all former Wills and Testamentary dispositions heretofore made by me and declare this to be my last Will and Testament I appoint George McSheehy Gentleman of Temuka in the Provincial District aforesaid Saddler and John Fitzgerald of Arowhenua in Provincial District aforesaid Farmer (hereinafter called “my Trustees”) to be the Executors and Trustees of this my Will. I devise my freehold sections numbered 8037 7763 and 15176 situated in the District of Timaru and section numbered 1207 on the plan of the Town of Arowhenua and all other lands and hereditaments of which I shall die possessed to my Trustees To the use and intent that my wife Ann Brosnan may receive out of the rents and profits thereof during her life a yearly rent charge of ten pounds sterling to be paid by equal half yearly payments the first of such payments to be made six months after my decease and to the further use and intent that if and as often as the said rent charge or any part thereof shall be in arrears for twenty one days my said wife shall have the same remedy by distress upon the said hereditaments ann premises for recovering such rent charges as lessors have by law for the recovering of rent in arrears And subject to such rent charge and the said remedy for the recovery thereof In trust as to the said section 1207 for my daughter Ann Brosnan her heirs and assigns forever and as to all other lands and hereditaments of which I shall die possessed in trust for my said daughter Ann Brosnan during her life and after her decease in trust for my grandson John Joseph Brosnan the son of my son John Brosnan his heirs and assigns forever I bequeath all the residue of my property to my trustees in trust to convert the same into money and to pay thereout my debts and funeral and testamentary expenses including the costs of erecting a gravestone over my grave and out of the residue to pay to my said wife the sum of twenty pounds to my daughter Kate Gaffaney the sum of forty pounds and to my daughter Margaret Gaffaney the sum of twenty pounds and to divide the residue equally among all my children who shall be living at my death And I declare that the power of appointing new trustees conferred by the Trustee Act 1883 may be exercised without the consent of any beneficiaries under this my will who shall at the time of such appointment be infants for under any disability In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand this seventh day of August one thousand eight hundred and ninety.
Signed by the said James Brosnan as his last Will and Testament in the presence of us both present at the same time who in his presence and in the presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses
J Beri Cabinetmaker[?] Temuka
John W Salmond
There is no specific bequest to his daughter Ellen or son John – perhaps they were well set up anyway? And maybe he left his farming land to John Joseph as he was the youngest grandson, and without any land of his own? As for his trustees, I know John Fitzgerald was a close family friend but I have no idea who George McSheehy Gentleman was. I’d also love to get my hands on some contemporary maps that show the land sections.
James’s will is dated 7th August 1890, and he died just over a month later, on 23rd September.
Amanuensis Monday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers. An Amanuensis is a person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.