I thought it would be appropriate to begin this journey with the will of Adam Bangle. If you have read the introduction, you already know that there is no marriage record or contract for our couple, William Bangle and Marie Tourville. So let’s see what story this document tells us and how we can find more information about William:
December 1, 1799
Will of Adam Bangle
In the presence of the Notary Public, in the Province of Lower Canada, resident of the village of Terrebonne and in the presence of the undersigned:
Were present Adam Bangle, master shoemaker, native of Germany, resident of the village of Terrebonne, who has requested Me Laforce, the undersigned Notary and Witnesses to come to his home, a house consisting of only one room, located in the said village of Terrebonne, where the Notary and Witnesses found the said Adam Bangle in the back of that room, lying on a bed, physically ill, but sound in mind, memory, judgement and understanding, as it appeared to the said Notary and Witnesses, saying that being ill and wanting to put his things in order before dying, considering that his death is certain but the moment uncertain, has requested the Notary to take note of his last wishes:
He has first commended his soul to God, imploring his Divine Majesty to forgive him.
The legator wants to be buried modestly and depending on his status, that his debts, if any, be repaid as soon as possible. His goods, moveables and non-moveables, which would be belonging to the legator on the day of his death, no matter how much they are worth, where they are located and what they consist of, be given and bequeathed *** and by these presents gives and bequests *** to Marie Davis, his beloved wife and legatee, as a mark of his friendship and expression of his thanks for her sorrow and the care that she has been giving him, and in return, he only demands to be remembered in her prayers, goods for her to enjoy her whole life, as a good mother, and to repair them if need be.*** Should the said Marie Davis die, he wants that all his moveables and non-moveables, no matter what they consist of, be legated to his heirs, i.e. William Bangle and Catherine Bangle, wife of Jacob Smith, master miller, children born from his marriage with the said Marie Davis. The legator declares that there is another son born from his marriage with the said Marie Davis named Jean Bangle, absent from this province, having reasons from him known to exclude the latter from his succession and, consequently excludes him from it. *** For the execution of his will, the legator has named his executor to be Jacob Smith, master miller, resident of the said village of Terrebonne, son-in-law of the said legator. He asks him to accept this nomination as a mark of their friendship, giving him all his belongings, as it is the custom in such a case. Done and signed in the above-mentioned village of Terrebonne, in the home of the said legator in the afternoon of the first day of December, in the year one thousand seven hundred and ninety-nine, in presence of Messieurs Julius Thimmer, master baker and Noel Roussille, miller, both of the village of Terrebonne.
After the reading of the act, the legator has been requested to sign. He mentioned knowing how to sign but because of his illness cannot. The witnesses have signed along with the Notary. Four corrections were made.
(signed) J. Timme
(signed) Noel Roussille
(signed) P. Laforce, Ntre
Text between *** were in margin.
Translation by Diane Tourville
Original with the Archives nationales du Québec à Montréal
Notary Pierre Laforce
CN 606, SS27, folio no. 158
From this reading, we now have this:
We can probably assume that they were only three children from this couple still living in 1799 because Adam specifically excluded his son Jean from his will, mentionning he’s out of the province. In my opinion, if he would have had other children still living, he surely would have included or excluded them. And it doesn’t mean that his son Jean was a bad guy or that he had done something wrong. He might already have received his part of the inheritance before his father’s death as it is often the case. That might tells us that he was the first-born of the children.
We also learn that Adam, born in Germany, was a master shoemaker and lived in Terrebonne (Québec) and that he most likely owned the house he lived in or other pieces of land. What about his religion? I do not recall any other Bangles being mentioned in the Catholic baptismal records of William’s and Marie’s children. And what about the witnesses, are they German too?
The finding of a new document is always very exciting but it often raises more questions than it provides answers.
I must say that the first thing I was thinking at the time was that I had to find a burial record for Adam. He must have died not too long after the preparation of his will.
So, where was Adam buried?
This will be the subject of our second post. Stay tuned!
For related posts about The Bangle Files, please refer to the Introduction Page