[Square & Compasses]

Letter of the month: May 1998

Message-Id: <3561D830.47FD@tao.sou.edu>
Date: Tue, 19 May 1998 12:06:24 -0700
From: cyberbia 
Reply-To: malachid@usa.net
Organization: Southern Oregon University
To: dryfoo@MIT.EDU
Subject: Geneology

With the death of my grandparents, I am trying to compile my geneology for future generations while there are still a few relatives to talk with. I am having a great difficulty in locating ANY geneological material, and understand that the Masons do trace the geneology of members. If this is true, would it be possible to find the ancestors and decendants of particular masons? If so, how would I do so. I read your correspondance regarding the Office of the Grand Secretary, but I have NO information, including which lodge they belonged to.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

Malachi de AElfweald


From: dryfoo@MIT.EDU
Message-Id: <199805191934.PAA11680@thelonious.MIT.EDU>
To: malachid@usa.net
Subject: Re: Geneology 
In-Reply-To: Your message of "Tue, 19 May 1998 12:06:24 PDT."
             <3561D830.47FD@tao.sou.edu> 
Date: Tue, 19 May 1998 15:34:37 EDT

Dear Mr. de Aelweald,

Masonry does not trace genealogy. This is a very common misunderstanding.

Since Masonic lodges, like any organization, keeps records of their membership, it is often the case that a particular lodge or governing grand lodge may have some small information about a particular person who was a Mason: date he joined, dates on which he received degrees, sometimes dates of various Masonic honors, and possibly date of death.

Sometimes, when someone is certain of the town that their ancestor lived in, they can contact that state's grand lodge for information about what lodges are currently established in that town, or what lodges were working in that town when the ancestor was living there. Whether the grand lodge or the particular local lodge of that town will have much information about the ancestor depends entirely on their system of record-keeping.

As you can see, Masonic bodies can occasionally be a "primary source" (as the historians put it), that is a source of some raw information about a person's ancestor.

But Masonry does not have any organized genealogy program. The only organization I am aware of performing this function is the Church of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) who have an enormous database of genealogical information, not just of their own members, but as extensive as they can make it and continually expanding. You might wish to contact them.

Best of luck,


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| Gary L. Dryfoos | MPS; B'hood of the Blue Forget-Me-Not;
| P.O.Box 425400, Camb, MA 02142  | PM: Ocean Lodge AF&AM, Saugus GL Mass.
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