Masonic Records



Often overlooked resources are Masonic records. Many of your ancestors may have been members of a local Masonic Lodge in their hometown. The Masonic Lodge has been a staple organization in many local communities for decades. This organization includes the ladies, who are members of the Order of the Eastern Star (men can also belong to the Eastern Star).

The beginnings of the Masonic Lodge arose from the stonemasons’ guilds during the Middle Ages. The language and symbols used in the fraternity’s rituals come from this era. The oldest document that makes reference to Masons is the Regius Poem, printed about 1390, which was a copy of an earlier work. In 1717, four lodges in London formed the first Grand Lodge of England. This worldwide fraternity emphasizing personal study, self-improvement, and social betterment. From the 1800s into the early 1900s, there was the Masonic tradition of founding orphanages, homes for widows, and homes for the aged provided the only security many people knew.

Because the Masonic Lodges believe in traditions, most have held onto their records, letters, photos and documents over the years. They are a great resource for the genealogist trying to find information about the ancestors who were members of these groups.

If you already know that an ancestor was a member and especially where, that is where you start. Here is a search link for locations of Masonic Lodges. Even if you are not sure of who to contact, see if there is a lodge in your own hometown and see if they can assist in finding the lodge that your ancestor most likely belonged to.

You can also check with the hometown or home county museum, because sometimes such Masonic documents have been donated to local museums or historical / genealogical societies. It is best to know the name of your ancestor’s lodge rather than trying to locate with just their surname. Each lodge had a name and a number. In Martin County, FL the lodge is ‘Acacia Masonic Lodge No. 163′. Check also the local hometown Masonic Lodge to see if they have a web site. Going over the hometown newspapers may help in finding the lodge name or even a listing with your ancestor.

Photos: Masonic membership poster; Masonic icon and the Acacia Masonic Lodge in Martin Co., FL

Related Familytree.com Blogs:

Locating Information on Organizations Ancestors were Member

Masonic Lodges of Michigan

Masonic Lodges of Maine

< Return To Blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.