The purpose of this work is to set forth, in alphabetical sequence, the lineage of each of the nearly 2,000 noble houses–Dukes, Marquesses, Earls, Viscounts, and Barons–that had succumbed to extinction up to the time of the book’s original publication. Each article begins with the exact date of the patent’s creation, proceeding therefrom to the lineage which commences with the first known representative of the line, and carrying through successive generations up to the time of the extinction of the title, each generation constituting a catalogue of births, marriages, and deaths. The lineages are fleshed out with a wealth of incidental detail, which includes references to military and official service, estates, occupations, honors, collateral families, and places of birth, residence, and death. Altogether something on the order of 40,000 persons are referred to in the text.
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