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American Dynasts

July 2024
1min read

The formidable family firm of Burke’s Peerage, Ltd., which for a century and a half has been publishing a Who’s Who of British aristocracy, is now looking across the Atlantic to our republic for a new publishing venture. Hoping to start an American counterpart to Burke’s Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage , Burke’s has a squad of freelance researchers tracking down living descendants of United States Presidents for inclusion in a forthcoming nine-hundred-page work to be called Burke’s Presidential Families of the United States of America . It is a formidable task —Jefferson alone, for example, has more than eleven hundred legitimate descendants. In a fine spirit of democracy the female descendants of Presidents will be listed among their brothers in order of their birth—Burke’s lists British noblewomen after their brothers because of the English tradition of primogeniture. Daughters of the Confederacy will be happy to hear that there will be a special section on the descendants of Jefferson Davis, and Tories will glory in an appendix dealing with Presidents of royal descent. The book is to appear late this year or early in 1975. We wish Burke’s all good luck with this project, but we can’t help feeling that somehow they’re missing the point.

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