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How much money did Charles Dickens leave when he died?


About 80,000 pounds (that'd be about 7 million pounds today).  This fascinating tidbit comes from the Ancestry databse England & Wales National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills & Administrations), 1861 - 1941.  The Calendar is an index to over 6 million British wills.  Entries will give you the full name of the deceased, date and place of death, the registry where probate was issued, the size of the estate, and sometimes even the beneficiary of the will.  Of obvious use for genealogists, the database also just makes for fun reading.  Why did the poet Christina Rosetti leave her fortune to her brother?  The record makes sure to point out that she died a "spinster", so that explains that.  If you find an ancestor's will listed here, you can order a copy of the complete will from the Probate Registry in the UK.

The Probate Calendar, along with Ancestry's thousands of other databases, can be accessed for free on Ancestry Library at any Ottawa Public Library branch.