Reading a royal family tree is an interesting pastime for any genealogist. It's exciting to find out if your family descended from royalty or nobility, and to locate elusive ancestral lines. Fortunately, the family trees of royals and nobles have been meticulously maintained throughout the ages. The Howards of England, for example, can trace their lineage in written records farther than any known family, back to 900 A.D.
Burke's Peerage and Gentry is the definitive guide to the genealogical history of the major royal, aristocratic and historical families of the United Kingdom, Ireland and the United States A link to Burke's official website is provided below, along with links to other sites covering royal and noble families throughout the world.
Royal Family Tree: UK, USA and Ireland
There are a wide variety of sites that focus on royal genealogies. The ones given below have a special focus on royalty and leading families in the United Kingdom, United States of America and Ireland:
- Cyndi's List gives royal and noble lines as well as family tree links to a cache of information for genealogists.
- Burke's Peerage is considered the definitive guide for royal, aristocratic and historical families in the United States, United Kingdom and Ireland. It also covers Scottish in America, American orders of chivalry, and gives American family histories of key Americans. Although not royalty per se, it covers important figures in American history, such as Barack Obama, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and other American presidents. Subscription is required.
- Brit Royals.com offers a comprehensive family tree of British royalty since Alfred the Great (849 through 2008). It includes biographies of kings and queens, lines of succession and time lines.
- InfoPlease showcases a detailed family tree of British royalty back to George V.
- Royal Gov.Uk is the official website of the royal family of the United Kingdom.
- Ancestry.com gives message boards for royalty and nobility on this leading genealogy site.
Royalty and Nobility in Europe
In Europe, there are only ten monarchies left:
- Kingdom Belgium
- Kingdom Denmark
- United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
- Principality Liechtenstein
- Grand Duchy Luxembourg
- Principality Monaco
- Kingdom of the Netherlands
- Kingdom Norway
- Kingdom Spain
- Kingdom Sweden
If you're looking for information on European royal families, check out the following resources:
- BBC gives exhaustive information on the British royal family and nearly every other royal family in the western world due to intermarriages between these families.
- Almanach de Gotha is a registry of the reigning and formerly-reigning imperial and royal sovereign houses and the non-sovereign princely and ducal houses of Europe, together with the complete listing of the imperial nobility of the Holy Roman Empire.
- Royal Family of Europe offers a comprehensive family tree for European royal families. It also gives lineages for Thomas Jefferson and his slaves, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.
Africa, Americas, Asia, and Pacific
Almanach.be gives links to exhaustive information on dynasties outside of Europe. It covers Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, complete list of Caliphs, successors of Mohammad, Iran, Iraq, sultanates of the Philippines, Mexico, Nigeria, Uzbekistan, Sierra Leone chiefdoms, Shan states, and many more. You'll also find links to other helpful information. Membership is required.
Holy Roman Empire
Oxford Reference offers a timeline of information on the Holy Roman Empire from 753 to 1806. The site covers laws, nobility, emperors, electors, regalia and elections.
Royal Coats of Arms
Burke's Peerage & Gentry International Registry of Arms offers a wealth of information about heraldry of the leading families in United Kingdom, Ireland and the United States. It gives the history of heraldry and authoritative information on royal and noble coats of arms, heraldic authorities and societies.
Because of the abundance of information available on royal lineages, it's easy to construct a family tree for a project using a genealogy software or templates. However, you're sure to find a ready-to-print royal family tree in the links given above. Probably, all you'll have to do is hit "print."