IAGenWeb Bremer County

Stephen and Bridget Durnan
contributed by Eric Durnan


Larger versions of pictures are missing. Please contact coordinator for more information.

The Durnan family lived in Bremer county from about 1870 to 1903. Their great great grandson Eric has contributed pictures of his gggrandparents, their home, and their barn. The photos of Stephen and Bridget were given to him by his aunt, Martha Slagle, who has supplied a great deal of information about the family as well. The photo of the home dates from the 1930s. Eric intends to provide us with more information about his family and their neighbors.

Eric's note regarding his transcription of the wills: "I've left the wording and spelling as is, so the misspelled words and random capital letters are intentional. Both wills appear to be a copy of a copy, and in the case of Stephen's, the copy is crooked and parts of the words are chopped off. I've entered what I can read, put (unknown) in for words I can't read, and added question marks (???) for those words that I've taken an educated guess at. Bridget was apparently unable to write her name and signed her will with an X."

Stephen Durnan's Will

In the name of God, Amen,

I, Stephen Durnan of the town of Dayton in the County of Bremer, and State of Iowa, of the age of Fifty Four, and being of sound mind and memory, do make and publish and declare this my last will and testament, in manner following, that is to say:

I give, devise, and bequeath to my beloved wife Bridget Durnan all of my House hold furniture of whatever nature, all of my personal property consisting of Horses, Wagons, Harnesses, ploughs & cattle of every kind which I may be (unknown) if or my death, I also give to her all of my real estate – lying in the towns of Franklin, consisting of ninety acres more or less, also hundred and twenty(120) of land lying in the township of Dayton all in Bremer Co. Iowa. Also twenty five acres of timber lying in Dayton township Bremer Co Iowa and lastly, I give and bequeath to her all the rest, residue(???), and (unknown) of my property, goods, and chattles(???) of nature and kind(unknown) and I hereby appoint my wife Bridget Durnan sole executor of this my last will and testament, hereby revoking all former wills by me made.

In witness whereof whence here ??? set my hand and seal this 7th day of July in the year of our Lord one thousand Eight Hundred and Eighty Eight.

Stephen Durnan (Signature)

The above instrument consisting of one sheat of Paper, was (unknown) the date thereof, signed, and deetailed by the said Stephen Durnan as and for his last will and testament in Presence of us who at his request and in his Presence, have subscribed as (unknown) as(???) witnesses thereto,

Albert Glattly (signature) Residing at Dayton in Bremer
(unknown) Brooks (signature) Residing at Dayton in Bremer Iowa

Bridget Durnan's Will

In the name of God Amen,

I Bridget Durnan of the county of Bremer and State of Iowa, bring of sound and disposing mind and memory, but considering the uncertainty of life do make publish and declare this my last will and testament in the manner and form following to wit.

First, It is my will all my just debts and charges against my estate be paid as soon as they conveniently can be.

Second, It is my will that the farm which I now own shall not be sold until my two youngest children Edward Durnan and William Durnan , shall be of lawful age and that they shall be cared for and receive a good common school education from the proceeds thereof until such time.

Third, Of the property remaining after my youngest son shall arrive at the age of 21 years, I give devise and bequeath the same to my livelor (???) children namely Thomas Durnan, John Durnan, James Durnan, Charles Durnan, Edward Durnan, William Durnan, Kate Testin, Mary Testin, Margaret Testin, Bridget Rohrsen, Lizzie Schmeltzer, and Martha Durnan, to be shared equally among them, share and share alike.

Provided however, that my sons William Durnan, and Edward Durnan, and my daughter Martha Durnan shall first have from said residue or remainder, my household and kitchen furniture including bed and bedding.

Fourth, It is my will that is I shall have to pay and debts for my son John Durnan by reason of having signed notes with him that said sum shall be deducted from his portion of my estate, and shall be divided equally among my other children.

Fifth, I hereby nominate and appoint my son in law Anthony Schmeltzer to be the executor of this my last will, revoking and making void all other will by me at anytime heretofore made.

Witness my hand this 16th day of March-AD-1901

Witness her
Bridget X Durnan

(unknown, looks like S.H.) Morse(signature)
F.H. Munger(signature)



This page was last modified on May 26, 2013