I downloaded the will of my great great grandmother, Alice Morgan, several years ago.
It was fairly straightforward.
"This is the Last Will and Testament of me Alice Morgan of the Cross Keys Hotel Firebrace street North Essendon in the Colony of Victoria Widow.
I revoke all Wills heretofore made by me. I appoint my son John Morgan sole Executor and Trustee hereof.
I give devise and bequeath my freehold estate at Firebrace Street North Essendon aforesaid together with the said Hotel and premises erected thereon and the goodwill and license thereof and all the household furniture plate linen utensils and effects therein (excepting my piano which I hereby bequeath unto my daughter Mary Adams) and all other my real estate whatsoever and wheresoever situate unto my said son John Morgan his heirs and assigns absolutely
I bequeath the sum of ten pounds unto Mary Daly at present residing with me. The rest residue and remainder of my personal estate I bequeath unto my said son John Morgan his heirs and assigns upon trust to convert the same into money and to hold the proceeds in trust for my sons Alexander Morgan the said John Morgan and my said daughter Mary Adams in equal shares and proportions. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-first day of August One thousand nine hundred .....
Signed by the said Alice Morgan as and for her last Will and Testament in the presence of us present at the same time who at her request in her presence and in the presence of each other have hereunto set our hands as witnesses
D M Burns
David Michael Burns of Firebrace St. Nth Melbourne in the said State. Railway employee.
Michael Mornane of 125 Queen St. Melbourne in the said State. Solicitor.
Recently I received letters that were in the possession of Alice Morgan's son, Alexander, who had moved to New Zealand. Alexander was an accountant for the New Zealand Treasury Department.
These letters revealed disputes over Alice Morgan's Will.
1. Mary Daly was a lifelong friend of Margaret (Maggie) Morgan, nee O'meara. Maggie was the wife of the executor of the will, John Morgan. Mary Daly seems to have been a carer for Alice Morgan.
Mary was not happy with her bequest of ten pounds.
I received your letter and we were glad to hear that you are all well. Mary has been up three times since mothers death, they are all well. Maggie wrote to Aunt Kelly in answer to her letter after our trouble when she invited her over but I do not know if she will be able to go yet. I know the change would do her the world of good as she has been quite run down.
Dear Alick you will see by the enclosed copy of a claim by Molly Daly against the estate of mothers that she is not at all satisfied with the small amount mother left her namely £10.
Dear Alick Mary & I have decided to give her £10 each along with the £10 which mother has mentioned to be given to her in the will. If you are agreeable to her the same amount - £10 will you cable to me at once so as affairs can be fixed up at once as they cannot be whilst this claim is unsettled
Molly has consented on consideration of our proposal to accept £30 with the £10 of mothers making £40 & to sign to that affect having no further claims on the estate. She is still here but is thinking of going to West Australia when her clain is satisfied.
Her solicitor is J. FitzGerald Collins Street City as Jack was not too well Dear Alick I penned these few lines at his dictation.
I will now conclude with love to all from all as Mary & Jack is most anxious to get this claim settled so as each can get their own. Trusting you will not delay in replying your decision to me.
I remain your affectionate sister
2. Mary Adams nee Morgan, my great grandmother and the eldest daughter of Alice, disputed which piano she was to receive. The letters revealed that there were two pianos, an old one and a newer one.
John Morgan wrote again to his brother in New Zealand:
Jan 28 1906
Enclosed you will find an approximate statement of how the estate stands and of what it consisted of but I must point out to you that this statement does not include Mary Dalys' claim to which you have had a copy. There is also another matter namely the piano - Mary Adams does not agree as to which piano was left to her and it will probably be settled by the court unless she takes the one which I think was intended for her and if she takes the matter to court the expenses will have to be borne by the Estate and that will decrease the amount accordingly.
My dear brother I am very sorry you did not accede to my wishes in letter date 5th of November 1904 at first and settle Mary Dalys' claim for the forty pounds and save this trouble and extra expense as she intends to sue for the full amount.
As you must know she can get many of the neighbours as witnesses as to her services and nursing of Mother for many years I have already advance Mary Adams the sum of £39-17/6 out of the Estate which is all I am going to give her pending the decision of the Court re the claims namely M. Dalys' & the piano.
I have had the advice of three solicitors as to Mary Dalys' claim and they all say that they think she would get the full amount claimed.
your affectionate brother
Addition that I am fairly certain goes with this letter.
I forgot to mention to you that I wrote finally to Mary re the piano over a week ago & she promised to let me have her decision the following night But I have not seen or heard since
Yours affect Brother
I don't know what the final outcome over the piano was but it seems that Mary Daly eventually settled on an agreed amount.