CHAPTER I. GENERAL REMARKS.
THIS volume is the first instalment of a work that admits of wide extension. Its object is to serve as an index to the achievements of those families which, having been exceptionally productive of noteworthy persons, seem especially suitable for biographical i• nvestig• ation.
The facts that are given here are avowedly bald and imperfect ; nevertheless, they lead to certain important conclusions. They show, for example, that a considerable proportion of the noteworthy members in a population spring from comparatively few families.
The material upon which this book is based is mainly derived from the answers made to a circular sent to all the Fellows of the Royal Society whose names appear in its Year Book for 1904.
The questions were not unreasonably numerous, nor were they inquisitorial; nevertheless, it proved that not one-half of those who were addressed cared to answer them. I t was, of course, desirable to know a great deal more than could have been asked for or published with propriety, such as the proneness