Garthbeg Coat Of Arms

The Lost Families of Stratherrick, Nairn, and Dunmaglass

The Last Will and Testament

of John McTavish of Garthbeg


Transcribed by Wayne Jones


At Inverness the twenty third day of August one thousand seven hundred and seventy four years.   

In presence of Mr Charles Fraser Commissary of Inverness compeared John McBean writer there as prov. re Lieut. John McTavish after designed who presented and gave in the latter Will and Testament underwritten desiring the same might be insert and registrate in the Court Books of the said Commissariot that all Execution necessary might pass thereof conform to the clause of Consent to Registration therein contained which desire the said Judge finding reasonable, ordained and hereby ordains the same to be insert and registrate accordingly and whereof the tenor follows:  

Vizt.  I Lieutenant John McTavish of Garthbegg being sick and disseased in body but sound in mind, memory and judgement and knowing there is nothing more certain than death altho the time thereof be not known, do therefore in order to prevent all manner of disputes, and differences that may happen to arise among or betwixt my children concerning my moveable estate or subject after my decease make my latter Will and Testament as follows:  

In the first place I recommend my soul to God Almighty hoping to be saved in and thro' the merits of Jesus Christ my Redeemer and I order my body when it please God to call me off the stage of life to be decently interred and as to my worldly means and effects,  

I nominate and appoint Duncan McTavish my eldest son now in life and the heirs of his body to be my only Executor and universal Legator, and Intromitter with my whole goods, gear, debts, sums of money and moveables of whatsoever nature or denomination presently pertaining to me or that shall happen to pertain and belong or be relating to me the time of my decease and falling under Testament to whom I legate and bequeath the same with the burden always in the first place of my funeral expenses and of my just and lawful debts if any be and next with the burden of payment of the provisions and bairns part of gear to such of my children as shall remain unprovided for  

particularly Alexander McTavish my youngest son to whom I hereby provide to the sum of fifty pounds Sterling money payable by my said Executor to him at and again the term of Whitsunday seventeen hundred and seventy six years in full of all he can ask or demand of me or my said Executor by and thorow my decease save good Will only  

and because Tavish McTavish my fourth Son is bred a sailor, and has gone abroad to America some years ago and not certain whether he is dead or in life. I therefore in the doubt of his coming home and in need of aid and assistance leave and recommend to my nearest friends and relations to judge and determine what my said eldest son and Executor should give to him in name of a bairnes part of gear and of my said moveable subjects  

and thirdly in regard to my daughters:  

Vizt. Ann my eldest daughter who is married to Donald McGillivray Tacksman of Achnalodan of Dunmaglass and Elizabeth McTavish my second daughter who is also married to Lieut. Hugh Fraser now in America have got each of them full payment of the tochers and provisions promised them at the time of their marriage at least their husbands did and that in full of all they can ask or crave of me or my Executor after my decease any manner of way except good Will only I therefore exclude and debarr them from any further share, or part of my means or effects  

and lastly because Marjory McTavish my youngest daughter who is married to Coll McDonald remains also unprovided I hereby burden my said Executor with the payment to her and her said husband of the sum of one thousand marks Scots money foresaid and that in lieu and compleat payment to her and her said husband for his interest of all that they or either of them can ask of demand of me or my said Executor after my demise  

and I hereby write and make known this my last Will and Testament to all whom it may concern and I consent to the registration hereof in the Books of Council and Session or others competent therein to remain for preservation and to that effect I constitute the said John McBean my procurator. 

 In witness whereof I have subscribed these presents written on this and preceeding page of Stampt paper by Duncan McTavish in Cranstmask at Garthbegg the twenty sixth day of October one thousand seven hundred and seventy three years  

Before these witnesses  Donald Bain McTavish in Garthbegg and Duncan McTavish writer hereof  [Sgn Subr] Jon McTavish – Dun McTavish Witness – Donald McTavish witness –  

The principal latter Will and Testament wrote on Stampt paper is therefore Extracted upon this and preceeding two pages by me – Dun Grant Clk of the Commissariot of Inverness. 

I Charles Fraser Commissary of Inverness do hereby certify and declare to all whom it may concern that what is contained on this and the two preceeding pages signed by Duncan Grant as Clerk of the Commissariot of Inverness is a just true and authentick double or extract of the principal Will and Testament executed by the aforesaid Lieut. John MacTavish of Garthbegg in favour of the before named Duncan McTavish his eldest son in witness whereof I have wrote and subscribed these presents at Inverness the thirty first day of December one thousand seven hundred and seventy four years and of his Majesty’s Reign the fifteenth year.  Chas. Fraser Commissary at Inverness. 

On the fourth day of February in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy five administration (with the Will annexed) of all and singular the goods, chattells, and credits of John McTavish late a Lieutenant in his Majesty’s seventy eighth Regiment of foot at Garthbegg in the County of Inverness in North Britain deceased was granted to John Ogilvie the lawful attorney of Duncan McTavish the son of the said deceased and sole Executor named in the said Will for the use and benefit of the said Executor now residing at Garthbegg aforesaid he having been first sworn duly to administer. 

Public Record Office, PROB 11/1005/ Quire 59; pp. 101-102 of volume.