Thursday, 14 May 2015

The Will of Elizabeth Wright

When FindMyPast released New South Wales Will Books 1800 - 1952, I was over the moon! As my Australian side of the family are from New South Wales, I have used this collection to no end. Not all Wills are detailed, and not all of my ancestors left a Will, but it's always exciting when you find that an ancestor was very specific in their Will. For me, that Will belongs to my 4x Great Grandmother Elizabeth Wright nee Graham. I won't tell you much about her life before she died except for the following - she was born in 1815 in England, and arrived in Port Macquarie in 1833. She married William Wright in 1835, and died on the 24th of December, 1895 in Kempsey. I have a separate post in the works about Elizabeth and William, so be on the look out for that soon.

Before finding Elizabeth's Will, I had known that she and William lived in Kempsey, however I had not been able to find any record of where in Kempsey they lived. Elizabeth's Will changed all that. She gave exact street names! I have inserted maps where appropriate, added punctuation for an easier read (hopefully?), and everything underlined was underlined in the Will.

The Will of Elizabeth Wright

This is the last Will and Testament of me Elizabeth Wright of East Kempsey, Macleay River in the Colony of New South Wales, Widow, Revoking all former Wills and Testamentary documents hereinbefore made by me and I declare this to be my last Will.

After the payment of all my just debts funeral and testamentary expenses “are paid” I do hereby give devise and bequeath to my grand daughter Caroline Elizabeth Gill an allotment of land having frontage to Sullivan Street and William Street, East Kempsey, with cottage erected thereon and all outhouses. Also the whole of contents of such cottage consisting of furniture and personal effects with the exception of any legal documents.

Sullivan Street & William Street, East Kempsey, New South Wales
[Source: Google Maps]
     I also give and bequeath to the said Caroline Elizabeth Gill an allotment of land containing half an acre having frontage to Lord and Innes Street, East Kempsey, and I do hereby direct my Executors to have a cottage built on the said land, such cottage to cost and be of the value of two hundred pounds, the amount to be paid out of the sale of my freehold estate. I also give to the said Caroline Elizabeth Gill one milch cow now running on my selection at Inglewood also my chestnut mare Beauty and one Comus filly.

Lord Street & Innes Street, East Kempsey, New South Wales
[Source: Google Maps]
     I will and bequeath the above mentioned with all deeds relating thereto absolutely to Caroline Elizabeth Gill. I will and bequeath to Edwin James Wright an allotment of land at East Kempsey bounded on the North by the allotment bequeathed to Caroline Elizabeth Gill, on the South by C. L. Gabriel’s land, on the East by Inness Street, and on the West by Lord Street, to be held in trust by him as long as he may live. And at his decease to my grandson William Frederick Barker Wright absolutely.

    I further direct that the whole of my freehold property remaining after the above bequests are “made” to be sold as soon as my Executors can arrange for such sale, and the amount realized from such sale to be equally divided amongst my four daughters namely Alice Gill, Caroline Gill, and Matilda Walker and Charlotte Winslow share and share alike with the exception and reserving therefrom the Two hundred pounds as above stated for the erection of a Cottage. I also will that the estate bequeathed to me by my late husband William Wright as follows to Mrs Matilda Walker, wife of George Walker, about eight acres of land now occupied by William Parker and fronting Washington Street, to hold the same as long as she shall live and at her decease to her two sons Percy Walker and Augustus Walker.

Washington Street, East Kempsey, New South Wales
See Wrights Lane on the right? I wonder if it was named after the family.
[Source: Google Maps]
    To William Henry Wright I bequeath the sum of Fifty pounds to be paid to him out of the sale of my estate. I will and bequeath my selection at Inglewood containing forty acres to my daughter Alice Gill for the mutual benefit of herself and her son William Wright Gill. I further will and direct that the whole of the remaining portions of the estate whatsoever shall be equally divided among my children Charlotte Winslow, Caroline Gill, Alice Gill, Matilda Walker, Edwin James Wright, Christopher Wright, and Edgar Graham Wright share and share alike. And I hereby direct my Executors to see that a satisfactory division is made And I further direct my Executors to collect all monies due to me by my children, such monies to be paid before they participate in the property or any money they may be entitled to out of my estate, and upon such monies being paid it shall be divided among my children share and share alike.

    And I do hereby constitute and appoint James William Wilson of West Kempsey and William Thomas Daugar of West Kempsey to be Trustees and Executors to this my Will. In witness whereof I have set my hand hereunto this seventh day of December one thousand eight hundred and ninety five.

    Elizabeth Wright

    Signed by the testator Elizabeth Wright as and for her last Will and Testament in the presence of us who at her request and in her presence and in the presence of each other, all being present at the same time, have hereinto subscribed our hands as witnesses.

John Campbell, Auctioneer Kempsey.      
H.E. Palmer, Inspector of Stock, Kempsey. 

     20th Ferbruary 1896. By Act of Court Probate of the last Will and Testament of the said deceased granted to James William Wilson of Kempsey, Macleay River, Registrar of Births Deaths and Marriages for the Macleay District, and William Thomas Daugar of Kempsey, Saddler, the Executors in the Will named.

    Testator died 24 December 1895 at East Kempsey.  Estate sworn under $2499.

What a Will!

Which one of your ancestors has the most detailed Will you have found thus far?


  1. This is pure Geneagold and it was free to you from our NSW State Archives. I have found several wills like this, they contain so much rich genealogical data.

  2. Great find and excellent interpretation with the maps.