King James I instituted the order of Baronet in 1611, and in the 230 years between that date and the year 1841, when the second edition of this work was originally published, nearly 1,000 Baronetcies succumbed to extinction or dormancy, the result of common exclusions in the laws governing descent. The purpose of this book is to set forth, in alphabetical sequence, the lineage of each of the nearly 1,000 holders of the order of Baronet up to the time of the extinction of the royal patent. The genealogy, throughout, is exact and meticulous, the materials in all cases deriving from public archives, private record collections, and competent authorities.
Each article, superscribed by the family name and an illustration of the Baronet’s armorial bearings, begins with the exact dates of the patent’s creation and extinction, proceeding therefrom to the lineage, which commences with the first known representative of the line and is carried through successive generations up to the time of the extinction of the title, each generation constituting a litany of births, marriages, and deaths. The skeletal outlines are fleshed out with a wealth of incidental detail, which includes references to education, service, occupation, and death, and descriptions of arms, in short, biographical particulars of a kind sufficient to make the reading both stimulating and informative. Altogether something on the order of 35,000 persons are referred to in the text.
Clearfield’s publication is a reprint of the second edition of 1841, the first edition to include the extinct and dormant Baronetcies of Ireland and Scotland, never before collected or published.