Burke's Peerage

        Burke's contains genealogical information limited solely to the landed aristocracy of Great Britain.  For bibliography, its best features are its reproductions of coats of arms which often are used in the bookplates of "armigerous" (arms-bearing) families.  Usually found on the front or back pastedown of the binding, bookplates can provide conclusive proof of ownership even if the owners never signed their name in the book.  Coats of arms are extremely detailed, and custom dictates that they can never be used by any but a member of the family to which they belong.  The detailed genealogical information also can help identify persons named in documents when the persons belong to families which re-use the same given names in multiple generations.  In 1837, Burke also published A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Commoners of Great Britain and Ireland, Enjoying Territorial Possessions or High Official Rank; but Uninvested with Heritable Honours 4 Vol. (London: Henry Colburn).  The DNB offers far more detailed information about the lives of its entries than Burke's, including details about authorship, and sometimes book-ownership or donation to libraries.

Author Burke, Bernard, Sir, 1814-1892
Title Burke's genealogical and heraldic history of the peerage, baronetage & knightage, founded 1826 by John Burke and Sir Bernard Burke .. edited by L. G. Pine ..
Pub. Info. London, Burke's peerage limited, 1956
Edition 101 ed
 Main Collection  929.72 B95  AVAILABLE
Descript cxxviii, 2786 p. illus. (incl. coats of arms) 26 cm
LC SUBJ HDG Nobility -- Great Britain
  Knights and knighthood -- Great Britain
  Heraldry -- Great Britain