Family seat

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A family seat or sometimes just called seat is the principal residence of the landed gentry and aristocracy. The residence usually denotes the social, economic, political, or historic connection of the family within a given area. Some families took their dynasty name from their family seat (Habsburg, Hohenzollern, and Windsor), or named their family seat after their own dynasty's name. The term family seat was first recorded in the 11th century Domesday Book where it was listed as the word caput . The term continues to be used in the British Isles today. A clan seat refers to the seat of the chief of a Scottish clan.


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Palace Grand residence, especially a royal or episcopal residence

A palace is a grand residence, especially a royal residence, or the home of a head of state or some other high-ranking dignitary, such as a bishop or archbishop. The word is derived from the Latin name palātium, for Palatine Hill in Rome which housed the Imperial residences. Most European languages have a version of the term, and many use it for a wider range of buildings than English. In many parts of Europe, the equivalent term is also applied to large private houses in cities, especially of the aristocracy; often the term for a large country house is different. Many historic palaces are now put to other uses such as parliaments, museums, hotels, or office buildings. The word is also sometimes used to describe a lavishly ornate building used for public entertainment or exhibitions such as a movie palace.

A marquess is a nobleman of high hereditary rank in various European peerages and in those of some of their former colonies. The German language equivalent is Markgraf (Margrave). A woman with the rank of a marquess or the wife of a marquess is a marchioness or marquise. These titles are also used to translate equivalent Asian styles, as in Imperial China and Imperial Japan.

The Chief of the Name, or in older English usage Captain of his Nation, is the recognised head of a family or clan. The term has sometimes been used as a title in Ireland and Scotland.

A sept is a division of a family, especially of a Scottish or Irish family. The term is used in both Scotland and Ireland, where it may be translated as sliocht, meaning "progeny" or "seed", which may indicate the descendants of a person. The word may derive from the Latin saeptum, meaning "enclosure" or "fold", or via an alteration of "sect".

Imperial, royal and noble ranks Legal privilege given to some members in monarchical and princely societies

Traditional rank amongst European royalty, peers, and nobility is rooted in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages. Although they vary over time and among geographic regions, the following is a reasonably comprehensive list that provides information on both general ranks and specific differences.Distinction should be made between reigning families and the nobility - the latter being a social class subject to and created by the former.

Norse clans

The Scandinavian clan or ætt/ätt was a social group based on common descent, equivalent to a clan.

Sharīf, also spelled shareef or sherif, feminine sharīfa (شريفة), plural ashrāf (أشراف), shurafāʾ (شرفاء), or shurfāʾ, is a term used to designate a person descended, or claiming to be descended, from the family of the prophet Muhammad. It may be used in three senses:

  1. In the broadest sense, it refers to any descendant of Muhammad's great-grandfather Hashim, including all descendants of Muhammad's paternal uncles Abu Talib and al-Abbas.
  2. More often, it refers to a descendant of Ali, a son of Abu Talib and a paternal cousin of Muhammad, especially but not exclusively through Ali's marriage with the prophet Muhammad's daughter Fatima. In this latter sense, the term effectively refers to all descendants of the prophet.
  3. In its narrowest sense, it refers only to someone who descends from Ali and Fatima's eldest son Hasan. In this limited context, it is contrasted with the term sayyid ('lord', 'master', plural sāda,, which then only refers to the descendants of Hasan's younger brother Husayn.

The Armenian nobility was a class of persons which enjoyed certain privileges relative to other members of society under the laws and customs of various regimes of Armenia. Governments which recognized or conferred nobility were the Kingdom of Van, Satrapy of Armenia, Kingdom of Armenia, Bagratid Kingdom of Armenia (885-1045) and the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia (1198-1375). The Armenian kingdoms of Vanand (963-1065), Syunik (987-1170), and Lori (978-1113) had a system of nobility that was similar to the nobility of Cilicia.

Barons in Scotland Scottish feudal barons, and a list of baronies

In Scotland, a baron is the head of a feudal barony, also known as a prescriptive barony. This used to be attached to a particular piece of land on which was situated the caput or essence of the barony, normally a building, such as a castle or manor house. Accordingly, the owner of the piece of land containing the caput was called a baron. According to Grant, there were around 350 identifiable local baronies in Scotland by the early fifteenth century and these could mostly be mapped against local parish boundaries. The term baron was in general use from the thirteenth century to describe what would have been known in England as a knight of the shire.

ODoherty family

The O’Doherty family is an Irish clan based in County Donegal in the north of the island of Ireland.

Clan Erskine Lowland Scottish clan

Clan Erskine is a Scottish clan of the Scottish Lowlands.

Clan MacDonald of Dunnyveg Scottish clan

Clan MacDonald of Dunnyveg, also known as Clan Donald South, Clan Iain Mor, Clan MacDonald of Islay and Kintyre, MacDonalds of the Glens (Antrim) and sometimes referred to as MacDonnells, is a Scottish clan and a branch of Clan Donald. The founder of the MacDonalds of Dunnyveg is Eòin Mòr Tànaiste Mac Dhòmhnaill, a son of Iain Mic Dhòmhnaill and Margaret Stewart of Scotland, daughter of King Robert II. Members of the clan actually pronounced and spelled their name M'Connall due to the Gaelic pronunciation of the name Mac Domhnuill thus giving rise to the surname McConnell and its variants. While historically recognised as a clan by the Court of the Lord Lyon, it is now an armigerous clan as it no longer has a chief. The last chief was Sir James MacDonald, 9th of the Clan MacDonald of Dunnyveg or Clan Donald South, who died in London in 1626.

The British nobility is made up of the peerage and the landed gentry. The nobility of its four constituent home nations has played a major role in shaping the history of the country, although now they retain only the rights to stand for election to the House of Lords, dining rights there, position in the formal order of precedence, the right to certain titles, and the right to an audience with the monarch. More than a third of British land is in the hands of aristocrats and traditional landed gentry.

A nobiliary particle is used in a surname or family name in many Western cultures to signal the nobility of a family. The particle used varies depending on the country, language and period of time. However, in some languages the nobiliary particle is the same as a regular prepositional particle that was used in the creation of many surnames. In some countries, it became customary to distinguish the nobiliary particle from the regular one by a different spelling, although in other countries these conventions did not arise, occasionally resulting in ambiguity. The nobiliary particle can often be omitted in everyday speech or certain contexts.

Clann Somhairle, sometimes anglicised as Clan Sorley, refers to those Scottish and Irish dynasties descending from the famous Norse-Gaelic leader Somerled, King of Mann and the Isles, son of Gillabrigte (†1164) and ancestor of Clann Domhnaill. Primarily they are the Clan Donald, formerly known as the Lord of the Isles, and the mainland Clan MacDougall, and all their numerous branches. Clan Macruari are their lost sept.

Nobility Official privileged social class

Nobility is a social class found in some societies that have a formal aristocracy and normally ranked immediately below royalty. Nobility has often been an estate of the realm that possessed more acknowledged privilege and higher social status than most other classes in society. The privileges associated with nobility may constitute substantial advantages over or relative to non-nobles or may be largely honorary, and vary by country and by era. Membership in the nobility, including rights and responsibilities, is typically hereditary and patrilineal.

Heraldic clan

A heraldic clan, in Poland, comprised all the noble (szlachta) bearers of the same coat of arms. The members of a heraldic clan were not necessarily linked by consanguinity. The concept of heraldic clan was unique to Polish heraldry.

Townhouse (Great Britain)

In British usage, the term townhouse originally referred to the town or city residence, in practice normally in London, of a member of the nobility or gentry, as opposed to their country seat, generally known as a country house or, colloquially, for the larger ones, stately home. The grandest of the London townhouses were stand-alone buildings, but many were terraced buildings.