Thanks to the folks at, the wills and probate records of over 100 million Americans are now online, catalogued, and ready to be searched. Buried in this bounty are some familiar names. Paul Revere? Check. JP Morgan? Check. Abe Lincoln? No check-unfortunately he died intestate, but the list goes on.

Paul Revere

Paul Revere

Midnight Rider, Patriot, Silversmith, Disgruntled Grandfather

You can learn a lot about somebody by reading their will- but you can infer even more. 

From family feuds and prized possessions, to the identities of favored children and problematic heirs- much can be deduced from seemingly minor details found in a will. For instance, Paul Revere left $500 to each of his grandchildren, except for one, Francis, to whom he bequeathed exactly $1. What did Francis do that cost him the other $499?

The memory of the internet is long. Someday your great great great great grand-children may be looking you up and drawing conjectures based upon the contents of your will. How will you be remembered?

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