In the name of God Amen,
I Joseph Benson of Grates Cove, Trinity Bay, Newfoundland, Planter, being weak in body but of perfect mind and memory and knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die, do make and ordain this my last Will and Testament, that is to say, principally and first of all I recommend my soul unto the hand of Almighty God that gave it, and my body I commend to the Earth to be buried in decent Christian burial, nothing doubting but at the General Resurrection I shall receive the same again by the Mighty power of God and as touching such worldly estate wherewith it hath pleased God to bless me in this life, I give, devise and dispose of the same in the following manner and form.
First, I give to my son George Benson that part of my cultivated land he is now in possession of with one fish flake at present and occupied by my son Benjamin – the said flake never to become the property of my son George until such time he commences a fishing voyage on the said Fishing Room in person.
Second, I give to my son Joseph Benson all which he is now in possession of.
Third, I give to my son John Benson that part of my Fishing property now in his possession, that is to say, one half the ground on which a store is now standing in the name of John and Benjamin Benson. I further give to my son John Benson all that part of my cultivated land he now has possession of, but in case my son John dying without issue, the whole of this bequeath to return immediately to my son Benjamin.
Fourth, I give to my son Benjamin Benson all that part of my Fishing property which he now occupies, the fishing stage only excepted, which becomes the property of my two younger sons Elijah and Eli Benson, and in lue of which I give to my son Benjamin another cite where to build a stage. I further give to my son Benjamin all that part of my cultivated land he at present occupieth.
Fifth, I give to my two younger sons Elijah and Eli Benson the whole of my Fishing property viz stage, flakes with all land whereon flakes may be built, exclusive of what is above bequeathed to my other sons. I further give my two younger sons all my skiffs, out houses and all other effects to be equally divided between them. In addition to the above, I give to my son Elijah one garden situated between Joseph and Benjamin Benson's house. In addition, I give to my son Eli a garden known by the name of Rodgers Garden, bounded west by Peter Noel's land, bounded south by a running brook, also my dwelling house and kitchen garden. I further give to my younger son Eli all my land property situate in Carbonear in Conception Bay and at present under rent lease as may be seen by reference to written documents between me and the persons paying annual rent, which property was bequeathed to me by my late father Thomas Benson, which property shall never be sold or mortgaged, but remain in the name of Benson forevermore, after the decease of my son Eli to my surviving sons from younger upward.
And, I hereby appoint John Snelgrove and George Lewis Executors to this my last Will and Testament. I most solemnly adjure to my above executors that the whole of my property both in Grates Cove and Carbonear be under rent to my wife Mary Benson during her natural life for her support, a rent of not less than twenty shillings from each of four eldest sons and forty shillings each from my two younger sons.
I hereby constitute and appoint my son Elijah Benson to receive all rents due to my estate in Carbonear for the further support of my wife Mary Benson during her natural life, and for the support of my younger son Eli Benson until my son Eli arrives at the age of twenty-one years, at which age he shall have the full control of all my property bequeathed to him in Carbonear and Grates Cove.
Ratifying and confirming this and no other to be my last Will and Testament—In witness whereof I have set my hand and seal at Grates Cove this twenty-second day December and in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty-five (1845).
Joseph Benson x his mark
In the presence of us
John Thomson, MD
Joseph Barrett [x] his mark
I hereby certify that the execution of the Will of which the foregoing is a true and correct copy by Joseph Benson, the Testator was proved before myself on the twenty-seventh day of January AD one thousand eight hundred and forty-eight (1848) by the affidavit endorsed thereon of John Thomson, one of the subscribing witnesses thereto, and the same is hereby registered by me this day it having been deposited in my office on the said twenty-seventh day of January.
Given under my hand this third day of February AD, one thousand eight hundred and forty-eight (1848).