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16 December, 2016

Will: Samuel Williamson of Cork

Below is my attempt at transcribing the will of Samuel Williamson of Cork (1808-1872) as found in the Original Will Registers 1858-1920 on Find My Past

It is a key document for working out the family tree of the Williamsons of Cork.

page 446:
I Samuel Williamson of No 31 & 32 Lavitts Quay¹ in the City of Cork Tin Plate Worker & Japanner, being of sound mind hereby revoking all former Wills do bequeath to my beloved Wife Elizabeth Williamson, My House & title to which I am lawfully entitled According to a Deed of Partnership entered into between my son in law Jacob Wolfe & myself, Samuel Williamson dated 23rd November 1870 – I leave nothing to my son William Henry Williamson and I leave to my £5 only / Five pounds only / to my daughter Christina Williamson to be appropriated to her use in the purchase of a suit of mourning clothes, as my son in law Jacob Wolfe, and my daughter Margaret Wolfe shall deem fit. And I also will & bequeath to my beloved Wife Elizabeth Williamson, all my household furniture and other chattles for her own use thereof it, & that she shall not be at liberty to appropriate or otherwise dispose of said furniture & chattles unless her pecuniary circumstances

page 447:
circumstances may necessitate her doing so, but that she shall at her decease leave them intact for the use & benefit of my said son in law & his wife Jacob & Margaret Wolfe. And I hereby declare that it is my desire & intention that my Wife shall live in unison with my son in law Jacob & his Wife Margaret Wolfe, and my said son in law Jacob Wolfe & his wife Margaret Wolfe shall as agreed with me & in consideration of the use of the means hereby bequeathed maintain & cherish my said Wife in a befitting manner, as if she was their own Mother², & leaving her in addition to her maintenance, a Weekly sum of Ten shillings for her own private purposes. And I hereby declare that I leave nothing to my daughter Sarah Perdue², or her heirs, I hereby declare that it is my desire that my remains shall be interred in the Cork new Wilton Cemetery in a suitable place & that the expenses of my funeral shall be paid out of the money belonging to the firm, And I also Will that my son Samuel Williamson & my daughter Rebecca Ann Williamson², now inmates of the Cork Lunatic Asylum, shall in the event of their decease, be provided with a decent burial, at the joint expense of my son in law Jacob Wolfe & my Wife Elizabeth Williamson. I appoint my brother William R Williamson³ of Worcester, England, & my friend Josh. D. Reddin of North Main St Cork jointly and severally Executors of this my last Will & testament. Dated this 10th day of January 1872. Samuel Williamson.
Signed & Acknowledged & declared by the said Samuel Williamson as & for his last Will and testament in the presence of us, who, being present at the same time as his presence, at his request & in the presence of each other, have hereunto

Page 448:
here unto subscribed our names at Witnesses
Abraham Wolfe 35 North Main Street Cork
Henry Farman 22 Shandon St Cork

I hereby leave & bequeath to my son in law Jacob Wolfe, the lease of the premises 31 & 32 Lavitts Quay in the City of Cork, but my Wife Elizabeth Williamson shall be allowed as heretofore the entire use during her lifetime of the apartments now Occupied by us. My son in law Jacob Wolfe shall pay Rent and all Rates & Taxes due from time to time upon the said premises.
Should my said son in Law Jacob Wolfe at any future time give up the premises 31 & 32 Lavitts Quay in the City of Cork & remain elsewhere during the lifetime of my Wife, then my Wife shall be provided by my said son in law with suitable accommodation in whatever house or houses he may reside in, in accordance with article 4.
This Codicil is in addition to the former bequests.
10th January 1872 Samuel Williamson Signed
Acknowledged & declared by the said Samuel Williamson as & for his last Will & Testament in the presence of us, who being present at the same time in his presence, at his request & in the presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names as Witnesses
Abraham Wolfe 35 North Main Street Cork
Henry Farman 22 Shandon St Cork.

Be it known, that Samuel Williamson late of Lavitts Quay in the City of Cork Tin plate worker and Japanner deceased, who died on or about the 13th day of January 1872 at the same place and who at the time of his death had a fixed place of abode at same place within the said district of Cork, made and duly executed his last will and testament and one codicil and did therein name William B Williamson³ and Joseph D Reddin

Page 449:
Reddin Executors who have duly renounced Probate and Execution of said will – that there is no residuary Legatee named therein and Be it further Known, that on the 18th day of June 1872, Letters of administration (with the said will and codicil annexed) of all and singular the personal estate and effects of the said deceased, were granted by Her Majesty’s Court of Probate to Elizabeth Williamson also of same place, Widow, the lawful widow of deceased and a Legatee named in said will she having previously been sworn well and faithfully to administer the same according to the tenor of the said will to pay the just debts of the said deceased, and to exhibit a true and proper inventory of all and singular the said personal estate and effects and to tender a just and true account thereof whence required by law so to do.

Sworn Under £450


  1. Lavitts Quay
    • 31 & 32 Lavitts Quay is a slightly different address to that previously found in directories (no 26 Lavitts Quay). Lavitts Quay is the quay running along the South bank of the main branch of the River Lee on the northern edge of the main island on which central Cork stands. (ref: Wilkie’s map of Cork city  commissioned for Wilkie’s Cork city Directory : 1872)
    • One would suspect that a “Tinplate Worker” would reside in a relatively lowly area of the city, and the quay – despite its central location  may have been like that (consider Butler’s Wharf in London – before gentrification – and the Quayside in Newcastle – before redevelopment). However, The Athenaeum, on the site now occupied by the Opera House, faced onto Lavitts Quay. (ref: Photograph of The Athenaeum, on Cork City & County Archives)
    • The Athenaeum was the location of William Blizard Williamson’s address on the benefits of temperance in 1869 when he visited his native city. (see post: William Williamson of Cork)
    • It would seem that Samuel Williamson (in partnership with his son in law) had fairly extensive premises in an area that was possibly “on the up”. The will makes no reference to another premises, so we have to assume that Lavitts Quay was a manufacturing as well as a possible retail building.
  2. “as if she was their own Mother”
    • There is a possibility that cannot yet be excluded that this phrase was not just a reference to Jacob Wolfe (his son in law) but also to Margaret Wolfe (his daughter) – in which case Margaret might be a daughter by a relationship prior to Samuel’s marriage to Elizabeth.
    • Margaret and Jacob were married in 1870 when Samuel was 43 and had been married to Elizabeth for 19 years (since 1851). It is possible but by no means certain that Margaret was Elizabeth’s child.
    • His daughter Sarah Perdue was married to James in October 1857, six years after her father’s marriage to Elizabeth. If she was Elizabeth’s daughter (by Samuel) there must have been some reason preventing her parents’ marriage – possibly William was already married? However, it is far more likely that she was his daughter by a currently unknown previous wife.
    • In might seem strange however that Samuel should require his widow to jointly fund the funerals of his two children in the Cork Lunatic Asylum (Samuel and Rebecca) if they were not hers.
  3. William R Williamson / William B Williamson
    • The first reference to “William R Williamson” is presumed to be a miss-transcription in the register as shown by the later reference to William B Williamson.
    • The reference to “my brother William R Williamson of Worcester, England”, is the phrase I was hoping to find – this must be my great great grandfather, William Blizard Williamson, Tinplate manufacturer of Worcester in England.
    • Samuel’s marriage record (see post: William Williamson of Cork) records his father as Thomas Williamson – my great great great grandfather.
  4. This will and codicil both written a few days before Samuel’s death is surprisingly harsh in respect of many of his children (leaving them nothing) and even with his favoured daughter, Margaret (and her husband Jacob Wolfe), it is possibly onerous in requiring them to accommodate and look after his wife (rather that providing sufficient to allow her to support herself independently). Perhaps he would not entrust the welfare of a possibly frail wife to anyone else? However his widow was not so frail that she could not successfully apply for and obtain letters of administration.


  1. […] The will extends over two whole register pages and two half pages and has a lot of genealogical detail: […]

    Pingback by William Blizard Williamson of Cork « Faulder Family Genealogy — 14 February, 2017 @ 7:45 pm

  2. […] know that William had an elder brother Samuel (1808-1872 – Samuel’s will mentions William B Williamson of Worcester as an executor). Samuel’s will (as transcribed […]

    Pingback by Williamson: Current Research « Faulder Family Genealogy — 15 September, 2021 @ 5:35 pm

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