Churchill’s will among millions published online

By Agence France-Presse
Wednesday, May 23, 2012 8:32 EDT
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Sir Winston Churchill makes the victory sign in an undated image  (AFP)
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The wills of famous Britons such as Winston Churchill are among those of six million people being published online for the first time Wednesday.

The massive collection of documents, which also includes the wills of Crimean War nurse Florence Nightingale and Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, has been made availabe by family history website ancestry.co.uk.

The latest records show that Churchill left more than £300,000 when he died — equivalent to nearly five million pounds today.

Thomas was more impoverished, leaving behind just £100, or £2,265.

Nightingale, though, proved as adept at saving money as she was at saving lives.

She left an estate worth £36,000 when she died in 1910, the website showed — over three million pounds in today’s money.

The information came from the England and Wales National Probate Calendar, 1858-1966 but is being made available online for the first time by the website.

Ancestry.co.uk international content director Miriam Silverman said: “These new records give a fascinating insight into the final estates of some of Britain’s most recognisable faces and reveal that money and fame did not always go hand in hand.

“They also provide a rich source of information for anybody interested in uncovering the finer details of their ancestor’s finances and exactly what, if anything, they decided to leave and to whom.”

Agence France-Presse
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