Tag Archives: Wills

Where there’s a Will, there’s a way ~ Amanuensis Monday

When I finally received a copy of John Brosnahan’s Will1 in the post, I was very excited, hoping that it would reveal information about his family.

It did.

It gave the names of three sons, five daughters (and their married names), his wife, father, a sister, and a grandson. Eureka!

  • James Brosnahan
    • Ann Brosnahan
    • John Brosnahan, m. Honora
      • John Joseph
      • Thomas William, Levels Plains, Farmer
        • Thomas John
      • Matthew, Seadown, Farmer
      • Bridget, m. Thomson
      • Nellie, m. Moore
      • Mary, m. Hoare
      • Margaret, m. Adams
      • Catherine, m. O’Connell
John Brosnahan's signature, from Will dated July 9th, 1918

John Brosnahan's signature, from Will dated July 9th, 1918

I, John Brosnahan of Temuka in the Provincial District of Canterbury in New Zealand, Farmer, hereby revoke all former wills and codicils made by me and declare this to be my last Will.

1. I appoint my sons Thomas William Brosnahan of Levels Plains in the said Provincial District, Farmer, and Matthew Brosnahan of Seadown in the said Provincial District, Farmer, to be executors and Trustees of this my will.

2. I declare that in the interpretation of this my will the expression “my Trustees” shall (where the content permits) mean and include the trustee or trustees for the time being hereof whether original or substituted.

3. I bequeath the following legacies free of all duties:
a) To my Trustees the sum of One hundred pounds (£100) of which I direct my Trustees to spend the sum of Fifty pounds (£50) in having masses offered up for my soul in the Parish of Temuka each week until the said sum of fifty pounds (£50) shall have been so expended and as to the other sum of fifty pounds (£50) forming the balance of the said sum of One hundred pounds (£100) I direct my trustees to hold the same In trust till the death of my wife and then to expend the same in having masses offered up for her soul in the Parish of Temuka each week until the said sum of fifty pounds shall have been so expended.

b) To my daughter Bridget Thomson the sum of Two hundred pounds (£200) to be paid within six calendar months from the death of the survivor of myself and my wife and I declare the the said legacy shall be charged exclusively upon and raisable and payable out my farm at Seadown herein after devised to my son Matthew Brosnahan charged with the payment of the said legacy.

c) To my daughter Nellie Moore the sum of Two hundred pounds (£200) to be paid within six calendar months from the death of the survivor of myself and my wife and I declare the the said legacy shall be charged exclusively upon and raisable and payable out my far at Levels Plains herein after devised to my son Thomas William Brosnahan charged with the payment of the said legacy.

d)  To my daughter Mary Hoare the sum of Two hundred pounds (£200) to be paid within six calendar months from the death of the survivor of myself and my wife and I declare the the said legacy shall be charged exclusively upon and raisable and payable out my far at Levels Plains herein after devised to my son Thomas William Brosnahan charged with the payment of the said legacy.

e) To my son Thomas William Brosnahan my twenty one shares in the Timaru Milling Company Limited

f) To my daughter Margaret Adams the sum of Sixty pounds (£60) to be paid within six calendar months from the death of the survivor of myself and my wife and I declare the the said legacy shall be charged exclusively upon and raisable and payable out my farm at Seadown herein after devised to my son Matthew Brosnahan charged with the payment of the said legacy.

4. I devise and bequeath my messuage and premises situated at Wilkin Street, Temuka, whereon I now reside and my furniture and effects of household use or ornament therein or thereto belonging to my wife Honora Brosnahan during her life and after her death  to my daughter Catherine O’Connell absolutely and I direct that my wife shall during her lifetime at her own expense keep the said messuage and premises and effects in good repair and condition and insured against fire to the full insurable value thereof in some office of repute and to the satisfaction of my Trustees in all respects.

5. I give devise and bequeath all the residue of my real and personal estate to my Trustees Subject to the payment of my debts funeral and testamentary expenses and the aforesaid legacy of One hundred pounds (£100) mentioned in clause 9a0 of paragraph 3 hereof and any duties payable in respect of any legacy bequeathed free of all duties.  I direct that my Trustees shall stand possessed of my real and personal estate (thereinafter called “my residuary estate”) upon the trusts following:-

(a)  Upon trust to pay the net income thereof after payment of all rates, expenses of management and such outgoings as in the opinion of my Trustees are properly chargeable to income to my wife if she shall survive me during her life and after the death of the survivor of my said wife and myself,

(b)  Upon trust: -

i. As to my farm at Seadown for my son Matthew Brosnahan absolutely subject to and charged with the payment of the legacy of two hundred pounds to Bridget Thomson mentioned in clause (b) of paragraph 3 hereof and of the legacy of sixty pounds to Margaret Adams mentioned in clause (f) of paragraph 3 hereof.

ii. As to my farm at Levels Plains for my son Thomas William Brosnahan absolutely subject to and charged with the payment of the legacy of two hundred pounds to Nellie Moore mentioned in clause (c) of paragraph 3 hereof and of the legacy of Two hundred pounds to Mary Hoare mentioned in clause (d) of paragraph 3 hereof.

iii. As to the three shares which I hold in the Canterbury Farmers’ Co-operative Association Limited for my son Matthew Brosnahan absolutely.

iv. As to the lands and hereditaments held by the Trustees of the will of my late father James Brosnahan In trust for Ann Brosnahan daughter of said James Brosnahan during her life and after her death In trust for my son John Joseph Brosnahan grandson of the said James Brosnahan his heirs and assigns forever In trust for my grandson Thomas John Brosnahan, son of my son Thomas William Brosnahan absolutely.

v. As to the residue (if any) of my residuary estate for my daughters Nellie Moore, Mary Hoare, Bridget Thomson and Catherine O’Connell or the survivor or survivors of them if more than one as tenants in common in equal shares.

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand to this will this Ninth day of July One thousand nine hundred and eighteen.
[signature of John Brosnahan]

Signed by the Testator John Brosnahan as and for his last Will and Testament in the presence of us both being present at the same time who at his request in his presence and in the presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses.
[signature of Walter Raymond], Solicitor, Timaru
[signature of L. Gow] Clerk to Raymond, Raymond & Campbell, Solicitors, Timaru

Apart from the valuable family details, there are a few other things I noted:

  • why was daughter Margaret Adams only bequeathed £60, whereas her sisters received £200 (apart from Catherine, who was left the house in Wilkin St) and a share of the residuary estate?
  • are there any children missing from the will?
  • did John’s father James leave “land and hereditaments” to John Joseph because he was the oldest grandson?
  • what else was in James Brosnahan’s will?

A codicil to the Will was added on August 8th, 1922.

I, John Brosnahan of Temuka in the Provincial District of Canterbury, Farmer hereby declare this to be a first codicil to my last will and testament which said will bears date the 9th day of July 1918.

Whereas by my said will I gave devised and bequeathed all my residuary estate unto my Trustees therein named upon trust to pay the income thereof to my wife during her life and subject thereto after giving and devising certain farms and shares to certain of my children I directed that the residue of any of my residuary estate should be held upon trust for my daughters Nellie Moore, Mary Hoare, Bridget Thomson and Catherine O’Connell or the survivor or survivors of them if more than one as tenants in common in equal shares.

Now I hereby revoke the trust of the residue (if any) of my residuary estate in favour of my said daughters and direct that the Trustees shall hold the said residue (if any) of my residuary estate upon trust for my wife Honora Brosnahan absolutely. In all other respects I confirm my said Will.

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand this Eighth day of August One thousand nine hundred and twenty-two.
[signature of John Brosnahan]

Signed by the said John Brosnahan as and for a first codicil to this last will and testament which will bears date the 9th day of July 1918 in the presence of us both being present at the same time who at his request in his presence and in the presence of each other hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses

[signature of L. Gow], Law Clerk, Timaru
[signature of Walter Raymond], Solicitor, Timaru

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. (I have no idea how to pronounce Amanuensis, but it looks good, doesn’t it?)

  1. John Brosnahan Will, 1918-22; Probate file, 04 Oct 1926, Supreme Court, Timaru; photocopy, from original Ref [CH145, TU2645/1926] held at Archives New Zealand, Christchurch.

Percy Luxton, Merchant Seaman ~ Maritime Monday

Poor Percy, I have seriously neglected finishing his tale. Though to be honest, I know only a little of his life.

Last time we met Percy, he had worked his passage over to Bermuda and was living there with his parents and two sisters. From captions on some photos, I’ve deduced he was a merchant seaman. Since he’s the only one I’ve found in my family tree so far, I’m kind of excited! I need to get myself off to the National Archives and check out their Fourth Register of Merchant Seaman’s Service, which covers the years 1913 -1940.

So that’s my tenuous maritime link. What happened to Percy after Bermuda? Well, he must have turned up back in England, because he married Daphne Wills in 1934 and the marriage was registered at Dartford. I found a photograph of them, and I wonder if it is a wedding photo?

Percy and Daphne Luxton

Percy and Daphne Luxton

His mother Lavinia (bless her green pen!) wrote on the back of the photo, and obviously sent the photo to her brother Alex (my great grandfather) in New Zealand.

She also sent this photo of Daphne and her son “Terry John”

Daphne Luxton and son Terry John

Daphne Luxton and son Terry John

According to my cousin Lally, Percy and Daphne had three sons: Terry, Paddy and Sean, and Percy worked “on the railway”.

Percy and his wife Daphne came out to New Zealand for a visit, probably in the 1960s – it was after my mother had left home, and she was living in Auckland, as she didn’t meet them. My great grandfather Alex, Percy’s uncle, had died in 1956, but they visited family in Gisborne, and also stayed for a couple of weeks with Percy’s cousin George and his wife Jean in Taranaki, my grandparents. Apparently, they drove my grandmother a little “round the bend”, says Mum, as they didn’t want to go anywhere, just happy to sit around, chat and drink cups of tea!

Jean Wright and Daphne Luxton

Jean Wright and Daphne Luxton

Daphne looks like she’s enjoying herself nonetheless!

I don’t know what happened to Percy and Daphne – hopefully I can find out one day.