To my understanding, the title "baron" could be earned by being of use to whoever had high enough authority to award titles of nobility within a nation or simply sucking up for long enough. I'm fairly certain this title could also be purchased, but I'm not sure what that process would actually be and need to know for my current WIP. Let's say a character's father was a baron but, in order to conceal his identity, the character changes his name and voids himself of all association with the family, thus forfeiting the right to the family estate and title. Some time later he wants to claim what should have been his to begin with (not the lands at this point, but at least the title). How can he do so? Keep in mind he's given up his family title, name, and holdings and basically started fresh in a new place. How would such a person ingratiate themselves to the ruler enough to be awarded a title? If they did not do this and they instead amassed some wealth and standing within the community, would they eventually conduct a straightforward exchange of their assets/wealth for the title with the ruler of the land, or how would the title actually be purchased? By the way, this takes place in the early industrial era (about mid-1800s) within Europe.