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Saraband Music

Burke's Peerage and Gentry

Burke's and Debretts have long been synonymous with the nobility in Britain. Burke's Peerage is online, in partnership with Origins Network, but with its own site and subscription rates. There doesn't seem to be a free trial period.

If you have traced your family back to the nobility (or are fortunate enough to be part of a family which is in the peerage), then this could be an excellent resource for you. Bear in mind though, that many public or university libraries have one or more copies of Burke's in their reference section, and that some copies have been scanned in Google Books or in Ancestry. I bought myself a second hand copy of a 1959 Burke's online.

They have a powerful search engine, where you can search birth, death and marriage dates, along with education, estates, clubs and more. Subscribers also have access to a discussion group, a help page with FAQs, an A to Z of heraldic terms and a lot of other helpful information.

The advantage of a subscription (72 hours or annual) to this site is uninterrupted access, and the ability to search several editions and find records far more quickly. One wonderful feature is that different generations are colour-coded. Using Ancestry scans can seriously test the eyesight, and a magnifying glass is very handing when using the book. Reading Burke's online from this site is much easier.

They also have a collection of history and genealogy articles called the ATAVUS subscriber library which includes articles on Scottish, English, Irish and US families, American presidents, British Prime Ministers and more. Editions of Burke's that you can search include the current edition of Burke's Peerage, and the 19th editions of Burke's Landed Gentry (various sections). There's also a book of American families with British Ancestry and more.

Burke's website also has a shop where you can buy their various new editions. If you think this site might be worth it to you, try their site tour.

Patrice Connelly
December 2010

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