GENEALOGY (from the Gr. γένος, family, and λόγος, theory), a pedigree or list of ancestors, or the study of family history.

1. Biblical Genealogies.—The aims and methods of ancient genealogists require to be carefully considered before the value of the numerous ancestral lists in the Bible can be properly estimated. Many of the old “genealogies,” like those of Greece, have arisen from the desire to explain the origin of the various groups which they include. Information relating to the subdivision of tribes, their relation to each other, the intermingling of populations and the like are thus frequently represented in the form of genealogies. The “sons” of a “father” often stand merely for the branches of a family as they existed at some one period, and since in course of time tribal relations would vary, lists which have originated at different periods will present discrepancies. It is obvious that many of the Biblical names are nothing more than personifications of nations, tribes, towns, &c., which are grouped together to convey some idea of the bond by which they were believed to be connected.

For the personification of a people or tribe, cp. Gen. xxxiv. 30 (“Jacob said . . . I am a few men”), Josh. xvii. 14 (“the children of Joseph said . . . I am a numerous people”), Ex. xiv. 25 (“Egypt said, let me flee”), Jos. ix. 7, 1 Sam. v. 10, &c.; see G.B. Gray on Numbers, xx. 14 (Internat. Crit. Comm.). Thus we find among the “sons” of Japhet: (the nations) Gomer, Javan, Tubal; Canaan “begat” Sidon and Heth; the “sons” of Ishmael include the well-known tribes Kedar and Jetur; Jacob, or the synonym Israel, personifies the “children of Israel” (cf. use of “I,” “thou” of the Israelites in Deut., and in poetical passages). The recognition of this characteristic usage often furnishes an ethnological interpretation to those genealogical stories which obviously do not relate to persons, but to tribes or peoples personified. The Edomites and Israelites are regarded as “brothers” (cf. Num. xx. 14, Deut. ii. 4, Am. i. 11), and since Esau (Edom) was born before Jacob (Israel) it would appear that the Edomites were held to be the older nation. The union of two clans is expressed as a marriage, or the wife is the territory which is dominated by the husband (tribe); see Caleb. If the woman is not of noble blood, but is a handmaiden or concubine, her children are naturally not upon the same footing as those of the wife; consequently the descendants of Ishmael, the son of Hagar (Sarah’s maid), are inferior to Isaac and his descendants, whilst the children of Keturah (“incense”), Abraham’s concubine, are still lower—from the Israelite point of view. This application of the terms of relationship is characteristic of the Semites. The “father” of the Rechabites is their head or founder (cf. 1 Sam. x. 12: “who is their father?”), and a common bond, which is not necessarily physical, unites all “sons,” whether they are “sons of the prophets” (members of prophetic guilds) or “sons of Belial” (worthless men).

The interpretation of ethnological or statistical genealogies may easily be pushed too far. Every case has to be judged upon its own merits, and due allowance must be made both for the ambition of the weaker to claim or to strengthen an alliance with the stronger, and for the not unnatural desire of clans or individuals to magnify the greatness of their ancestry. The first step must always be the careful comparison of related lists in order to test the consistency of the tradition. Next, these must be critically studied in the light of all available historical material, though indeed such evidence is not necessarily conclusive. Finally, (a) literary criticism must be employed to determine if possible the dates of such lists, since obviously a contemporary register is more trustworthy than one which is centuries later; (b) a critical estimate of the character of the names and of their use in various periods of Old Testament history is of importance in estimating the antiquity of the list[1]—for example, many of the names in Chronicles attributed to the time of David are indubitably exilic or post-exilic; and (c) principles of ordinary historical probability are as necessary here as in dealing with the genealogies of other ancient peoples, and attention must be paid to such features as fluctuation in the number of links, representation of theories inconsistent with the growth of national life, schemes of relationship not in accordance with sociological conditions, &c.

The Biblical genealogies commence with “the generations of the heaven and earth,” and by a process of elimination pass from Adam and Eve by successive steps to Jacob and to his sons (the tribes), and finally to the subdivisions of each tribe (cp. 1 Chron. i.–ix. 1). According to this theory every Israelite could trace back his descent to Jacob, the common father of the whole nation (Josh. vii. 17 seq., 1 Sam. x. 21). Such a scheme, however, is full of manifest improbabilities. It demands that every tribe and every clan should have been a homogeneous group which had preserved its unity from the earliest times, that family records extending back for several centuries were in existence, and that such a tribe as Simeon was able to maintain its independence in spite of the tradition that it lost its autonomy in very early times (Gen. xlix. 7). The whole conception of the unity of the tribes cannot be referred to a date previous to the time of David, and in the older writings a David or a Jeroboam was sufficiently described as the son of Jesse or of Nebat. The genealogical zeal as represented in the Old Testament is chiefly of later growth, and the exceptions are due to interpolation (Josh. vii. 1 18, contrast v. 24), or to the desire to modify or qualify an older notice. This, in the case of Saul (1 Sam. ix. 1), has led to textual corruption; a list of such a length as his should have reached back to one of the “sons” of Benjamin (cf. e.g. Gen. xlvi. 21), else it were purposeless. The genealogies, too, are often inconsistent amongst themselves and in contradiction to their object. They show, for example, that the population of southern Judah, so far from being “Israelite” was half-Edomite (see Judah), and several of the clans in this district bear names which indicate their original affinity with Midian or Edom. Moreover, there was a free intermixture of races, and many cities had a Canaanite (i.e. pre-Israelite) population which must have been gradually absorbed by the Israelites (cf. Judg. 1.). That spirit of religious exclusiveness which marked later Judaism did not become prominent before the Deuteronomic reformation (see Deuteronomy), and it is under its influence that the writings begin to emphasize the importance of maintaining the purity of Israelite blood, although by this time the fusion was complete (see Judg. iii. 6) and for practical purposes a distinction between Canaanites and Israelites within the borders of Palestine could scarcely be discerned.

Many of the genealogical data are intricate. Thus, the interpretation of Gen. xxxiv. is particularly obscure (see Levites ad fin.; Simeon). As regards the sons of Jacob, it is difficult to explain their division among the four wives of Jacob; viz. (a) the sons of Leah are Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah (S. Palestine), Issachar and Zebulun (in the north), and Dinah (associated with Shechem); (b) of Leah’s maid Zilpah, Gad and Asher (E. and N. Palestine); (c) of Rachel, Joseph (Manasseh and Ephraim, i.e. central Palestine) and Benjamin; (d) of Rachel’s maid Bilhah, Dan and Naphtali (N. Palestine). It has been urged that (b) and (d) stood upon a lower footing than the rest, or were of later origin; or that Bilhahn points to an old clan associated with Reuben (Gen. xxxv. 22) or Edom (Bilhan, Gen. xxxvi. 27), whilst Zilpah represents an Aramaean strain. Tradition may have combined distinct schemes, and the belief that the wives were Aramaean at least coincides with the circumstance that Aramaean elements predominated in certain of the twelve tribes. The number “twelve” is artificial and can be obtained only by counting Manasseh and Ephraim as one or by omitting Levi, and a careful study of Old Testament history makes it extremely difficult to recover the tribes as historical units. See, on these points, the articles on the several tribes, B. Luther, Zeit. d. alttest. Wissens. (1901), pp. 1 sqq.; G.B. Gray, Expositor (March 1902), pp. 225-240, and in Ency. Bib., art. “Tribes”; and H.W. Hogg’s thorough treatment of the tribes in the last-mentioned work.

The ideal of purity of descent shows itself conspicuously in portions of Deuteronomic law (Deut. vii. 1-3, xxiii. 2-8), and in the reforms of Nehemiah and Ezra (Ezr. ix. 1-4, 11 sqq.; Neh. xiii. 1-3). The desire to prove the continuity of the race, enforced by the experience of the exile, gave the impetus to genealogical zeal, and many of the extant lists proceed from this age when the true historical succession of names was a memory of the past. This applies with special force to the lists in Chronicles which present finished schemes of the Levitical divisions by the side of earlier attempts, with consequent confusion and contradiction. Thus the immediate ancestors of Ethan appear in the time of Hezekiah (2 Chron. xxix. 12), but he with Asaiah and Heman are contemporaries of David, and their genealogies from Levi downwards contain a very unequal number of links (1 Chron. vi.). By another application of genealogical method the account of the institution of priests and Levites by David (1 Chron. xxiv.) presents many names which belong solely to post-exilic days, thus suggesting that the scribes desired to show that the honourable families of their time were not unknown centuries previously. Everywhere we find the results of much skill and labour, often in accordance with definite theories, but a thorough investigation reveals their weakness and often quite incidentally furnishes valuable evidence of another nature.

The intricate Levitical genealogies betray the result of successive genealogists who sought to give effect to the development of the hierarchal system (see Levites). The climax is reached when all Levites are traced back to Gershon, Kehath and Merari, to which are ascribed respectively Asaph, Heman and Ethan (or Jeduthun). The last two were not originally Levites in the later accepted sense of the term (see 1 Kings iv. 31). To Kehath is reckoned an important subdivision descended from Korah, but in 2 Chron. xx. 19 the two are distinct groups, and Korah’s name is that of an Edomite clan (Gen. xxxvi. 5, 14, 18) related to Caleb, and thus included among the descendants of Judah (1 Chron. ii. 43). Cases of adjustment, redistribution and “Levitizing” of individuals are frequent. There are traces of varying divisions both of the singers (Neh. xi. 17) and of the Levites (Num. xxvi. 58; Ezr. ii. 40, iii. 9; 1 Chron. xv. 5-10, xxiii.), and it is noteworthy that in the case of the latter we have mention of such families as Hebroni (Hebronite), Libni (from Libnah)—ethnics of South Judaean towns. In fact, a significant number of Levitical names find their analogy in the lists of names belonging to Judah, Simeon and even Edom, or are closely connected with the family of Moses; e.g. Mushi (i.e. Mosaïte), Gershon and Eleazar (cp. Gershom and Eliezer, sons of Moses). The Levites bear a class-name, and the genealogies show that many of them were connected with the minor clans and families of South Palestine which included among them Moses and his kin. Hence, it is not unnatural that Obed-edom, for example, obviously a southerner, should have been reckoned later as a Levite, and the work ascribed by the chronicler’s history to the closing years of David’s life may be influenced by the tradition that it was through him these mixed populations first attained importance. See further David; Jews; Levites.

In the time of Josephus every priest was supposed to be able to prove his descent, and perhaps from the time of Ezra downwards lists were carefully kept. But when Anna is called an Asherite (Luke ii. 36), or Paul a Benjamite (Rom. xi. 1), family tradition was probably the sole support to the claim, although the tribal feeling had not become entirely extinct. The genealogies of Jesus prefixed to two of the gospels are intended to prove that He was a son of David. But not that alone, for in Matt. i. he is traced back to Abraham the father of the Jews, whilst in Luke iii. He, as the second Adam, is traced back to the first man. The two lists are hopelessly inconsistent; not because one of them follows the line of Mary, but because they represent independent attempts. That in Matthew is characteristically arranged in three series of fourteen generations each through the kings of Judah, whilst Luke’s passes through an almost unknown son of David; in spite of this, however, both converge in the person of Zerubbabel.

See further, A. C. Hervey, Genealogies of Our Lord; H. von Soden, Ency. Bib. ii. col. 1666 sqq.; B. W. Bacon, Hastings’ Dict. Bib. ii. pp. 138 seq. On the subject generally see J. F. M‘Lennan’s Studies (2nd ser., ch. ix., “fabricated genealogies”); S. A. Cook, Ency. Bib. ii. col. 1657 sqq. (with references); W. R. Smith, Kinship and Marriage (2nd ed., especially ch. i.).  (S. A. C.) 

2. Greek and Roman Genealogies.—A passing reference only is needed to the intricate genealogies of gods and sons of gods which form so conspicuous a feature in classical literature.[2] In every one of the numerous states into which ancient Greece was divided there were aristocratic families, whose genealogies as a rule went back to prehistoric times, their first ancestor being some hero of divine descent, from whom, or from some distinguished younger ancestor, they derived their names. Many of these families were, as families, undoubtedly of great antiquity even at the beginning of the historical period; and in several instances they continued to maintain a conspicuous and separate existence for centuries. The element of family pride is prominent in the poetry of the Megarian Theognis; and in an inscription belonging to the 2nd century B.C. the recipient of certain honours from the community of Gythium is represented as the thirty-ninth in direct descent from the Dioscuri and the forty-first from Heracles. Even in Athens, long after the constitution had become thoroughly democratic, some of the clans continued to be known as Eupatridae (of noble family); and Alcibiades, for example, as a member of the phratria of the Eurysacidae, traced his origin through many generations to Eurysaces, who was represented as having been the first of the Aeacidae to settle in Attica. The Corinthian Bacchiadae traced their descent back to Heracles, but took their name from Bacchis, a younger ancestor. It is very doubtful, however, whether such pedigrees as this were very seriously put forward by those who claimed them; and it is certain that, almost along the whole line, they were unsupported by evidence.[3] We have the authority of Pollux (viii. 111) for stating that the Athenian γένη, of which there were thirty in each φρατρία, were organized without any exclusive regard being had to blood-relationship; they were constantly receiving accessions from without; and the public written registers of births, adoptions and the like do not appear to have been preserved with such care as would have made it possible to verify a pedigree for any considerable portion even of the strictly historical period.[4]

The great antiquity of the early Roman (patrician) gentes, who universally traced themselves back to illustrious ancestors, is indisputable; and the rigid exclusiveness with which each preserved its hereditates gentiliciae or sacra gentilicia is sufficiently illustrated by the fact that towards the close of the republic there were not more than fifty patrician families (Dion. Halic. i. 85). Yet even in these it is obvious that, owing to the frequency of resort to the well-recognized practice of adoption, while there was every guarantee for the historical identity of the family, there was none (documents apart) for the personal genealogy of the individual. There is no evidence that sufficient records of pedigree were kept during the earlier centuries of the Roman commonwealth, although the leading houses drew up genealogical tables, and their family pedigree was painted on the walls of the entrance hall. In later times, it is true, even plebeian families began to establish a prescriptive right (known as the jus imaginum) to preserve in small wooden shrines in their halls the busts (or rather, wax portrait masks fastened on to busts) of those of their members who had attained to curule office, and to exhibit these in public on appropriate occasions. Under these imagines majorum[5] it became usual to inscribe on the wall their respective tituli, the relationship of each to each being indicated by means of connecting lines; and thus arose the stemmata gentilicia, which at a later time began to be copied into family records. In the case of plebeian families (whose stemmata in no case went farther back than 366 B.C.) these written genealogies were probably trustworthy enough; but in the case of patricians who went back to Aeneas,[6] so much cannot, it is obvious, be said; and from a comparatively early period it was clearly recognized that such records lent themselves too readily to the devices of the falsifier and the forger to deserve confidence or reverence (Pliny, H.N. xxxv. 2; Juv. viii. 1).

Thus, parvenus were known to place the busts of fictitious ancestors in the shrines and to engage needy literary men to trace back their descent even to Aeneas himself.

The many and great social changes which marked the closing centuries of the Western empire almost invariably militated with great strength against the maintenance of an aristocracy of birth; and from the time of Constantine the dignity of patrician ceased to be hereditary.[7]

3. Modern.—Two forces have combined to give genealogy its importance during the period of modern history: the laws of inheritance, particularly those which govern the descent of real estate, and the desire to assert the privileges of a hereditary aristocracy. But it is long before genealogies are found in the possession of private families. The succession of kings and princes are in the chronicle book; the line of the founders and patrons of abbeys are recorded by the monks with curious embellishment of legend. But the famous suit of Scrope against Grosvenor will illustrate the late appearance of private genealogies in England. In 1385 Sir Richard Scrope, lord of Bolton, displaying his banner in the host that invaded Scotland, found that his arms of a golden bend in a blue field were borne by a knight of the Chester palatinate, one Sir Robert Grosvenor. He carried the dispute to a court of chivalry, whose decision in his favour was confirmed on appeal to the king. Grosvenor asserted that he derived his right from an ancestor, Sir Gilbert Grosvenor, who had come over with the Conqueror, while an intervening claimant, a Cornish squire named Thomas Carminowe, boasted that his own ancestors had borne the like arms since the days of King Arthur’s Round Table. It is remarkable that in support of the false statements made by the claimants no written genealogy is produced. The evidence of tombs and monuments and the reports of ancient men are advanced, but no pedigree is exhibited in a case which hangs upon genealogy. It is possible that the art of pedigree-making had its first impulse in England from the many genealogies constructed to make men familiar with the claims of Edward III. to the crown of France, a second crop of such royal pedigrees being raised in later generations during the contests of York and Lancaster. But it is not until after the close of the middle ages that genealogies multiply in men’s houses and are collected into volumes. The medieval baron, knight or squire, although proud of the nobility of his race, was content to let it rest upon legend handed down the generations. The exact line of his descent was sought only when it was demanded for a plea in the king’s courts to support his title to his lands.

From the first the work of the genealogist in England had that taint of inaccuracy tempered with forgery from which it has not yet been cleansed. The medieval kings, like the Welsh gentry of later ages, traced their lines to the household of Eden garden, while lesser men, even as early as the 14th century, eagerly asserted their descent from a companion of the Conqueror. Yet beside these false imaginations we find the law courts, whose business was often a clash of pedigrees, dealing with genealogies centuries long which, constructed as it would seem from worthy evidences, will often bear the test of modern criticism.

Genealogies in great plenty are found in manuscripts and printed volumes from the 16th century onward. Remarkable among these are the descents recorded in the Visitation Books of the heralds, who, armed with commissions from the crown, the first of which was issued in 20 Hen. VIII., perambulated the English counties, viewing arms and registering pedigrees. The notes in their register books range from the simple registration of a man’s name and arms to entries of pedigrees many generations long. To the heralds these visitations were rare opportunities of obtaining fees from the visited, and the value of the pedigrees registered is notably unequal. Although it has always been the boast of the College of Arms that Visitation records may be produced as evidence in the law courts, few of these officially recorded genealogies are wholly trustworthy. Many of the officers of arms who recorded them were, even by the testimony of their comrades, of indifferent character, and even when the visiting herald was an honourable man and an industrious he had little time to spare for the investigation of any single genealogy. Deeds and evidences in private hands may have been hastily examined in some instances—indeed, a herald’s summons invites their production—and monuments were often viewed in the churches, but for the most part men’s memories and the hearsay of the country-side made the backbone of the pedigree. The further the pedigree is carried beyond the memory of living men the less trustworthy does it become. The principal visitations took place in the reigns of Elizabeth, James I. and Charles II. No commission has been issued since the accession of William and Mary, but from that time onwards large numbers of genealogies have been recorded in the registers of the College of Arms, the modern ones being compiled with a care which contrasts remarkably with the unsupported statements of the Tudor heralds.

Outside the doors of the College of Arms genealogy has now been for some centuries a favourite study of antiquaries, whose researches have been of the utmost value to the historian, the topographer and the biographer. County histories, following the example of Dugdale’s Warwickshire folios, have given much space to the elucidation of genealogies and to the amassing of material from which they may be constructed. Dugdale’s great work on the English baronage heads another host of works occupied with the genealogy of English noble families, and the second edition of “G.E.C.’s” Complete Peerage shows the mighty advance of the modern critical spirit. Nevertheless, the 20th century has not yet seen the abandoning of all the genealogical fables nourished by the Elizabethan pedigree-mongers, and the ancestry of many noble houses as recorded in popular works of reference is still derived from mythical forefathers. Thus the dukes of Norfolk, who, by their office of earl marshal are patrons of the heralds, are provided with a 10th-century Hereward for an ancestor; the dukes of Bedford, descendants of a 15th-century burgess of Weymouth, are traced to the knightly house of Russell of Kingston Russell, and the dukes of Westminster to the mythical Gilbert le Grosvenor who “came over in the train of the Conqueror.”

Genealogical research has, however, made great advance during the last generation. The critical spirit shown in such works as Round’s Studies in Peerage and Family History (1901) has assailed with effective ridicule the methods of dishonest pedigree-makers. Much raw material of genealogy has been made available for all by the publication of parish registers, marriage-licence allegations, monumental inscriptions and the like, and above all by the mass of evidences contained in the volumes issued by the Public Record Office.

Within a small space it is impossible to set forth in detail the methods by which an English genealogy may be traced. But those who are setting out upon the task may be warned at the outset to avoid guesswork based upon the possession of a surname which may be shared by a dozen families between whom is no tie of kinship. A man whose family name is Howard may be presumed to descend from an ancestor for whom Howard was a personal name: it may not be presumed that this ancestor was he in whom the dukes of Norfolk have their origin. A genealogy should not be allowed to stray from facts which can be supported by evidence. A man may know that his grandfather was John Stiles who died in 1850 at the age of fifty-five. It does not follow that this John is identical with the John Stiles who is found as baptized in 1795 at Blackacre, the son of William Stiles. But if John the grandfather names in his letters a sister named Isabel Nokes, while the will of William Stiles gives legacies to his son and daughter John Stiles and Isabel Nokes, we may agree that reasonable proof has been given of the added generation. A new pedigree should begin with the carefully tested statements of living members of a family. The next step should be to collate such family records as bible entries, letters and diaries, and inscriptions on mourning rings, with monumental inscriptions of acknowledged members of the family. From such beginnings the genealogist will continue his search through the registers of parishes with which the family has been connected; wills and administrations registered in the various probate courts form, with parish registers, the backbone of most middle-class family histories. Court rolls of manors in which members of the family were tenants give, when existing and accessible, proofs which may carry back a line, however obscure, through many descents. When these have been exhausted the records of legal proceedings, and notably those of the court of chancery, may be searched. Few English households have been able in the past to avoid an appeal to the chancery court, and the bill and answer of a chancery plaintiff and defendant will often tell the story of a family quarrel in which a score of kinsfolk are involved, and the pleadings may contain the material for a family tree of many branching generations. Coram Rege and De Banco rolls may even, in the course of a dispute over a knight’s fee or a manor carry a pedigree to the Conquest of England, although such good fortune can hardly be expected by the searcher out of an undistinguished line. In proving a genealogy it must be remembered that in the descent of an estate in land must be sought the best evidence for a pedigree.

At the present time the study of genealogy grows rapidly in English estimation. It is no less popular in America, where societies and private persons have of late years published a vast number of genealogies, many of which combine the results of laborious research in American records with extravagant and unfounded claims concerning the European origin of the families dealt with. A family with the surname of Cuthbert has been known to hail St Cuthbert of Lindisfarne as its progenitor, and one surnamed Eberhardt has incorporated in its pedigree such German princes of old times as were found to have Eberhardt for a Christian name.

Genealogy in modern France has, with a few honourable exceptions, fallen into the hands of the popular pedigree-makers, whose concern is to gratify the vanity of their employers. Italy likewise has not yet shaken off the influence of those venal genealogists who, three hundred years ago, sold pedigrees cheaply to all comers. But much laborious genealogical inquiry had been made in Germany since the days of Hübner, and even in Russia there has been some attempt to apply modern standards of criticism to the chronicles of the swarming descendants of the blood of Rurik.

In no way is the gap made by the Dark Ages between ancient and modern history more marked than by the fact that no European family makes a serious claim to bridge it with its genealogy. The unsupported claim of the Roman house of Massimo to a descent from Fabius Maximus is respectable beside such legends as that which made Lévis-Mirepoix head of the priestly tribe of Levi, but even the boast of such remote ancestry has now become rare. The ancient sovereign houses of Europe are, for the most part, content to attach themselves to some ancestor who, when the mist that followed the fall of the Western empire begins to lift, is seen rallying with his sword some group of spearmen.

Authorities.—Genealogical works have been published in such abundance that the bibliographies of the subject are already substantial volumes. Amongst the earlier books from the press may be noted Benvenuto de San Georgio’s Montisferrati marchionum et principum regiae propagium successionumque series (1515); Pingonius’s Arbor gentilitiae Sabaudiae Saxoniaeque domus (1521); Gebweiler’s Epitome regii ac vetustissimi ortus Caroli V. et Ferdinandi I., omniumque archiducum Austriae et comitum Habsburgiensium (1527): Meyer’s work on the counts of Flanders (1531), and Du Boulay’s genealogies of the dukes of Lorraine (1547). Later in the same century Reineck of Helmstadt put forth many works having a wider genealogical scope, and we may cite Henninges’s Genealogiae Saxonicae (1587) and Theatrum genealogicum (1598), and Reusner’s Opus genealogicum catholicum (1589–1592). For the politically inconvenient falseness of François de Rosières’ Stemmata Lotharingiae ac Barri ducum (1580), wherein the dukes of Lorraine were deduced from the line of Charlemagne, the author was sent to the Bastille by the parlement of Paris and his book suppressed.

The 17th century saw the production in England of Dugdale’s great Baronage (1675–1676), a work which still holds a respectable place by reason of its citation of authorities, and of Sandford’s history of the royal house. In the same century André Duchesne, the historian of the Montmorencys, Pierre d’Hozier, the chronicler of the house of La Rochefoucauld, Rittershusius, Imhoff, Spener, Lohmeier and many others contribute to the body of continental genealogies. Pierre de Guibours, known as Père Anselme de Ste Marie, published in 1674 the first edition of his magnificent Histoire généalogique de la maison royale de France, des pairs, grands officiers de la couronne et de la maison du roy et des anciens barons du royaume. Of this encyclopaedic work a third and complete edition appeared in 1726–1733. A modern edition under the editorship of M. Potier de Courcy began to be issued in 1873, but remains incomplete. Among 18th-century work Johann Hübner’s Bibliotheca genealogica (1729) and Genealogische Tabellen (1725–1733), with Lenzen’s commentary on the latter work (c. 1756), may be signalized, with Gatterer’s Handbuch der Genealogie (1761) and his Abriss der Genealogie (1788), the latter an early manual on the science of genealogy. Hergott’s Genealogia diplomatica augustae gentis Habsburgicae (1737) is the imperial genealogy compiled by the emperor’s own historiographer.

Modern peerages in England may be said to date from that of Arthur Collins, whose one-volume first edition was published in 1709. The fifth edition appeared in 1778, in eight volumes, to be republished in 1812 by Sir Egerton Brydges, the “Baptist Hatton” of Disraeli’s novel, who corrected many legendary pedigrees, besides inserting his own forged descent from a common ancestor with the dukes of Chandos. From this work and from the Irish peerage of Lodge (as re-edited by Archdall) most of the later peerages have quarried their material. With these may be named the baronetages of Wotton and Betham. Of modern popular peerages and baronetages that of Burke has been published since 1822 in many editions and now appears yearly. Most important for the historian are the Complete Peerage of G. E. C[ockayne] (2nd ed., 1910), and the Complete Baronetage of the same author. The Peerage of Scotland (1769) of Sir Robert Douglas of Glenbervie came to a second edition in 1813, edited by J. P. Wood, and the whole work has been revised and re-edited by Sir James Balfour Paul (1904, &c.). Of the popular manuals of English untitled families, Burke’s Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Commoners (1833–1838) is now brought up to date from time to time and reissued as the Landed Gentry.

Lists of pedigrees in English printed works are supplied by Marshall’s Genealogist’s Guide (1903), while pedigrees in the manuscript collections of the British Museum are indexed in the list of R. Sims (1849). Valuable genealogical material will be found in such periodicals as the Genealogist, the Herald and Genealogist, the Topographer and Genealogist, Collectanea topographica et genealogica, Miscellanea genealogica et heraldica and the Ancestor. In Germany the Deutscher Herold is the organ of the Berlin Heraldic and Genealogical Society. The Nederlandsche Leeuw is a similar publication in the Low Countries.

Modern criticism of the older genealogical methods will be found in J. H. Round’s Peerage and Pedigree, 2 vols. (London, 1910), and in other volumes by the same author. The Harleian Society has published many volumes of the Herald’s Visitations; and the British Record Society’s publications, supplying a key to a vast mass of wills, Chancery suits and marriage licences, are of still greater importance. The Victoria History of the Counties of England includes genealogies of the ancient English county families still among the land-owning classes. English pedigrees of the age before the Conquest are collected in W. G. Searle’s Anglo-Saxon Bishops, Kings and Nobles (1899).

Genealogical dictionaries of noble French families include Victor de Saint Allais’s Nobiliaire universel (21 vols., 1872–1877) and Aubert de la Chenaye-Desbois’ Dictionnaire de la noblesse (15 vols., 1863–1876). A sumptuous work on the genealogy and heraldry of the ancient duchy of Savoy by Count Amédée de Foras began to appear in 1863. Spain has Lopez de Haro’s Nobiliario genealogico de los reyes y títulos de España. Italy has the Teatro araldico of Tettoni and Saladini (1841–1848), Litti’s Famiglie celebri and an Annuario della nobilità. Such annuals are now published more or less intermittently in many European countries. Finland has a Ridderscap och Adels Kalender, Belgium the Annuaire de la noblesse, the Dutch Netherlands an Adelsboek, Denmark the Adels-Garbog and Russia the Annuaire of Ermerin. But chief of all such publications is the ancient Almanach de Gotha, containing the modern kinship of royal and princely houses, and now accompanied by volumes dealing with the houses of German and Austrian counts and barons, and with houses ennobled in modern times by patent. A useful modern reference book for students of history is Stokvis’s Manuel d’histoire et de généalogie de tous les états du globe (1888–1893). The best manual for the English genealogist is Walter Rye’s Records and Record Searching (1897), while an ill-arranged but valuable bibliography of English and foreign works on the subject is that of George Gatfield (1892).  (O. Ba.) 

  1. G. B. Gray’s Hebrew Proper Names (1896), with his article in the Expositor (Sept. 1897), pp. 173-190, should be consulted for the application and range of Hebrew names in O.T. genealogies and lists.
  2. On the subject generally see articles “Genos” and “Gens,” by A. H. Greenidge, in Smith’s Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (3rd ed., 1890), where the chief authorities are given.
  3. The fondness of Euripides for genealogies is ridiculed by Aristophanes (Acharnians, 47).
  4. All the earlier Greek historians appear to have constructed their narratives on assumed genealogical bases. The four books of Hecataeus of Miletus dealt respectively with the traditions about Deucalion, about Heracles and the Heraclidae, about the early settlements in Peloponnesus, and about those in Asia Minor; he further made a pedigree for himself, in which his sixteenth ancestor was a god. The works of Hellanicus of Lesbos bore titles (Δευκαλιώνεια and the like) which sufficiently explain their nature; his disciple, Damastes of Sigeum, was the author of genealogical histories of Trojan heroes; Apollodorus of Athens made use of three books of Γενεαλογικά by Acusilaus of Argos; Pherecydes of Leros also wrote γενεαλογίαι. See J. A. F. Töpffer, Attische Genealogie (1889); also J. H. Schubart, Quaestt. geneal. historicae (1832); G. Marckscheffel, De genealogica Graecorum poësi (1840).
  5. The chief authority on this subject is Polybius (vi. 53); see also T. Mommsen, Römisches Staatsrecht, i. (1887), p. 442.
  6. At the funeral of Drusus the images of Aeneas, of the Alban kings, of Romulus, of the Sabine nobles, of Attus Clausus, and of “the rest of the Claudians” were exhibited (Tac. Ann. iv. 9).
  7. The Roman stemmata had, as will be seen afterwards, great interest for the older modern genealogists. Reference may be made to J. Glandorp’s Descriptio gentis Antoniae (1557); to the Descriptio gentis Juliae (1576) of the same author; and to J. Hübner’s Genealogische Tabellen. See also G. A. Ruperti’s Tabulae genealogicae sive stemmata nobiliss. gent. Rom. (1794). (X.)