Sound Mind and Memory: 19th Century Newfoundland Wills

Sound Mind and Memory: 19th Century Newfoundland Wills


Wills tell stories. Looking at the will of an individual tell us something about that person. Looking at the wills of a group of people in a community tells us plenty about their society.

This book explores will that were probated on the island of Newfoundland during the 19th century. Wills were made in context of a traveling legal systems, restricted rights for women, and geographic isolation.

Hilarious home-made edicts that threaten to disinherit unruly children, charitable gifts, widows being cut off for disgracing themselves with a companion outside of marriage, fathers handing down business to sons, and heartfelt thanks for kindness shown - these wills tell us what was important to 19th century Newfoundlanders.

This book contains excerpts from about 200 wills. It also contains a detailed listing and analysis of the 17 wills-related laws that were passed by the Newfoundland legislature during 19th century.

Author: Lynne Butler BB LLB TEP

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