Genealogies of Noble Families as a Database for Social Science? Possibilities and Limits.

. Historical Social Research 34 (1): 122 - 142 (2009)


This paper examines the possibility of using genealogies of noble families as a source for social sciences, to analyse the social reality of noble families, during the transition from a class structured to a civil based society. Genealogies of noble families have been published since the 19th century, but they were stopped during the second world war. These publications were resumed in 1951. In these genealogies the following information of each person are published: Name and family name, date of birth and date of death. The same data, concerning the spouse, education, profession, information concerning an estate and membership in voluntary organisations was collated. The analysis of this mass data enables statements concerning the change of professions, to the number of marriages and to the mobility of marriage, to the number of children, to length of marriage and, to a certain extent, social participation. But there is a lack of data concerning the education, the professional career

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