21 Dec 2005

Baronet Turns to DNA Testing (and Television) to Find Heir

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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.

Maunsell House

Maunsell House

Slade Surname Genealogy Project

Slade Surname Genealogy Project Current Results


Sir Benjamin appears on television to discuss the search.

16 Feedbacks on "Baronet Turns to DNA Testing (and Television) to Find Heir"

John Carr

So, could be a great opportunity for Slade genealogy if you can persuade him to let the results of the genealogy go public. They will likely use different DNA markers than we do, still, the whole thing has possibilities.


They’d be crazy, if they didn’t ally with your project.

Desmond Patrick Slade

Why only American Slades? A whole line of Slades settled around Kimberley in South Africa. My father was sent there from Guildford, Surrey 1898. I was born in South Africa but I am a British subject, with 2 sons aged 15 and 17. My wife is also British.


Why not write the baronet a letter at Maunsell House?

wayne slade

my family are from appledore devon any use to you?

Mr Micheal William Slade

My father is a Mr Micheal William Slade, He is a London born man, he also has two sons, Graham Slade and Dean Slade

Joe Bloggs

As far as I am led to beleive Sir Benjamin Slade is not the owner of the estate; in fact it is owned by Pymanbell (Holdings) Ltd; and several properties are mortgaged to Farming and Agricultural Finance; he is not personally able to give his whole estate away to an heir


Possibly he may the majority owner of Pymabell (holdings) Ltd.?

Francis Reynolds

What is the monthly cost to maintain Maunsel House? And, what if you can’t sell it once you have acquired it?

Joe Bloggs

All that gitters is not gold; look very carefully

Joe Bloggs

Maybe its a ploy for someone to pay even the mortgages on the estate

Barry Shirley

Im am Barry Shirley , son of Mary Slade Shirley . She was born in Reading, Berks on May 21, 1927 to Ernest and Edith Slade . She became a war bride in 1944 and his lived in South Carolina ever since .I have two older brothers, Graham and David. Graham was also born in Reading ,Berks in 1945 .

Shannon Havasi

Good evening! We may not have the name Slade, however, my husband Ryan can fix anything and is very energetic. I would like to live there and take care of the animals. We would also like to have kids someday soon. Please consider us.

Kindest Regards,
Shannon and Ryan Havasi

Dominique R. Poirier

I’m not a Slade too, but, by some coincidence, it just happens that the mansion and all its furnitures therein fit my tastes. So, if I can be of some help for the unfortunate Baronet…

Hey, jokingly apart, this one rather deserves to be put in the humor category. I find comments are even funnier than the news itself. The Marx Brothers would appreciate that one…

“I am the TRUE Slade heir!”
“You bloody crook! I AM the true Slade heir.” Etc.

Why not envisaging one minute that the Baronet in question didn’t find, in fact, a good idea to have a good slice of fun as a matter of crowning his last days with humor. At least, that’s a pretty idea to have a lot of comments posted, as everyone may see it!

a female

Sir Benjamin your just another sexist pig, very common really.

Ronnie Slade

I am Ronnie Slade of Norfolk Virginia. Im guessing the Mansion was already given away being how old there posts are. But thought I’d post anyways, just incase :)


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