ancestry.com
By Alexandra Sifferlin
September 2, 2015

Every wonder what Paul Revere, Eli Witney, and other famous historical figures gave away in their wills? Ancestry.com now has the answer.

A new feature launched by the family history website Ancestry.com allows users to search through digital wills and probate records of over 100 million people, the Associated Press reports. The database contains items from the Colonial era to the start of the 21st century. An entry for Revere shows he set aside $500 in his will for all but one of his grandchildren, who the patriot declared “shall have no part of my estate” except for $1.

Many of the documents are available in courthouses nationwide, but this is the first time wills and probate records have been pulled together on such a large scale.

The database, which has over 170 million documents from all 50 states, will be publicly available starting Wednesday.

Contact us at editors@time.com.

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