Last Will and Testament of Patrick Galligan

Patrick Galligan was born about 1807 in the townland of Loughaconnick, parish of Kilmore, Co. Cavan, Ireland, the eldest known child of Denis Galligan (c. 1782-1846) and Anne Kelly (c. 1785-1866).

Three generations of Galligans emigrated to Fitzroy Township, Carleton County, Ontario in the 1830s and 1840s. The first to arrive in Canada was probably Patrick’s brother Michael Galligan (c.1812-1891), who married an Elizabeth Jordan of County Longford, Ireland at Notre Dame, Montreal on 30 July 1839, at which point he was identified as “Michael Galligan, resident dans la paroisse de Richmond Haut Canada, fils majeur de Dennis Gallighan et de Anne Kelly du Comté de Cavan en Irlande” (Michael Galligan, resident of the parish of Richmond, Upper Canada, son of age of Denis Gallighan and of Anne Kelly of the County of Cavan, Ireland). Patrick and Michael’s parents, Denis Galligan and Anne Kelly, arrived in Canada about 1841; and by 1851, four more of their siblings could also be found in Canada, most of them in Fitzroy Township, Carleton County.

Patrick Galligan probably emigrated to Canada, along with his wife and children, in the summer or fall of 1843. His wife Mary Cullen died at Fitzroy Township on 18 December 1843, leaving Patrick a widower with five children, all of whom were enumerated in the 1851 Canadian census as natives of Cavan, Ireland.

‘My bed and bedding’ and ‘her choice cow’…

Patrick Galligan’s will is dated 26 March 1870, a month before his death on 25 April 1870. At the time of his death, Patrick had three surviving adult children:1 daughter Anne, single (she would marry John McFarland/McParland in July 1870 ); daughter Mary, married; and son Denis, single (he would marry Catherine Doolan in July 1870). His daughter Mary is not named in the will at all; presumably he had already given her something as some sort of dowry when she married Benjamin Finner in November 1868.

Not surprisingly, Patrick left the bulk of his estate (75 acres of land in Fitzroy Township) to his only surviving son, Denis. But he was also concerned to provide something for the support of his unmarried daughter Anne. First, Patrick’s son Denis was to give his sister Anne “three barrels of Flax per year for her support and the house that I now live in until she gets married.” Second, Patrick left to his daughter his “bed and bedding,” along with “her choice cow,” which was to “be wintered and fed as usual.” And third, Patrick ordered his son Denis to pay his sister Anne the sum of 60 pounds Canadian, with a schedule of payments outlined in the will.

Last Will and Testament of Patrick Galligan

Fitzroy March 26 1870  In the name of God Amen I Patrick Galligan of the Township of Fitzroy in the County of Carleton Yeoman being sick in body but sound in mind and judgment do make devise and Publish this my last will and testament revoking all the wills made by me on the day and year above mentioned that is to say first of all I resign my soul to Almighty God who gave it and my body to the earth from whence it came and as to such worldly property and estate as it hath pleased God to intrust me with I dispose of the same as follows  First I direct that my debts and funeral expenses to be paid as soon after my decease as possible out of the just moneys that will come into the hands of my executors from any portion of my estate real or personal

first I leave and bequeath to my son Denis Galligan the rear quarter of the first or So west half 50 acres of Lot 8 in the fourth Concession of said Township of Fitzroy and I also order that my son Denis Galligan pay Mr Brown of Pakenham the sum of thirty five pounds Cn out of said estate and I also leave and bequeath to my son Denis Galligan twenty-five acres of the front half of Lot no. 9 in the 4th Concession of the same township of Fitzroy and if my son Denis and my daughter Ann do not agree as usual I order my son Denis to give my daughter Ann three barrels of Flax per year for her support and the house that I now live in untill she gets married and I also leave my daughter Ann my bed and bedding and I also leave to my daughter Ann her choice cow and to be wintered and fed as usual and I also order my son Denis Galligan to pay my daughter Ann the sum of sixty pounds Cn out of said estate in manner as follows that is to say in six yearly payments of Ten pounds each the first payment to become due the first day of March 1872 and the ballance yearly till paid and I also leave and bequeath to my son Denis Galligan all my personal property real and estate and I also do here make and ordain my beloved neighbours Andrew Devine and Michael Smith my executors to this my last will and testament in witness thereof I Patrick Galligan the testator have to this last will set my hand and seal this twenty-sixth day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy – Patrick Galligan X his mark signed sealed and delivered in presence of us who have signed in the presence of each other and also in presence of the testator

Reference: Land Records of the townships of Carleton County, 1819-1977, Fitzroy Township (v. A3, 27993-28474, 1-459), 1868-1872; No. 211, registered 7 June 1870.

  1. His eldest daughter Bridget, wife of Patrick Killeen, had died in childbirth in 1861. His youngest son John had presumably died before the 1861 census enumeration.
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