An English Baronet, lacking an heir, is resorting to DNA testing of Americans of the same name to locate a suitable male relative to take up the burden of maintaining the estate. This interesting exercise in genealogy will by covered by the Discovery Channel in a program currently, misleadingly, titled I’m Really a Royal.
The ad would read: Free to one lucky American named Slade, a 16-room English mansion surrounded by 1,300 acres of prime land in southwestern England. But be prepared to work for it.
Baronet Sir Benjamin Slade, 59, has no heir, but is desperate to pass his ancestral home, Maunsel Home — now a busy entertainment venue — to someone in the family.
So he has given a DNA sample to a team of genealogists, who will search for the closest match among Americans called Slade; some 5,000 are estimated to live in North Carolina alone.
“Running Maunsel House is a young person’s thing and I’m tired of it,” Slade told The Associated Press Wednesday. “I spoke to my 14th cousin in England, but he has a nice house of his own and he doesn’t want to move.”
The lucky man — Slade insists his heir must be male — will inherit the stately home near Taunton in southwest England, which dates in part from the 13th century and boasts a library, a dining room for 80 guests and a staff of five.
Sir Benjamin appears on television to discuss the search.