Are Knights Templar and Freemasons connected?

by Plubius
(United States)

I use an alias so that I may freely inquire.


I am a grandson of a former member of this Brotherhood (he was in one of the northern New Jersey Lodges but I haven't a clue which one), but I don't fully understand what he did with you all during his life in the Freemasons. Additionally, I do not fully understand what the Freemasons are about or their origins. Are you all really connected to the Knights Templar?

I'm merely an inquisitive mind who seeks to understand a bit more.

In earnest,
Plubius

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Nov 24, 2014
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Theories, legends and truth...
by: Tim

Hello Plubius,

Congratulations on your Masonic family history. What your grandfather did as a Freemason was to participate in and contribute to an organization that works to make things better. The fraternity works to raise monies to assist those in need; we work within our communities to improve conditions, relieve distress and aid in worthy causes. We work to make one another better by encouragement in worthwhile endeavors and association with men of good character. We work to make ourselves better through study and introspection. Admittedly, some succeed more than others.

Men contribute and participate in different ways. Some become active officers of their Lodge or Grand Lodge, some are content to labor close to home and shoulder to shoulder with those they know and love, some support the efforts of others through material contribtions. Each member chooses his own level of participation and method of contribution. What your grandfather may have done I can not know but at the very least, as a member of the Masonic fraternity, he helped to make things better for others.

The true origins of Freemasonry are unknown. Its teachings are universal and extend to the first time one man expressed kindness to another. Most of the history you read about is concocted by non-Masons or true Masons who innocently take our traditional teachings as literal truths. Our teachings are primarily allegory presented in historical settings. They are intended to impress upon the heart and mind important moral lessons.

As to our history, the earliest known Masonic document is called the Regius Poem. Its origin, depending on which Masonic scholar you read, dates to sometime from the 10th to the 14th century. Most scholars today agree that it was written in 1390. You can read the poem and a translation of it on the page at this address:

http://www.freemasons-freemasonry.com/regius.html

There are theories and legends of our origins, but there is no firm history pior to the events of the early 1700's that culminated in the foundation of the United Grand Lodge of England in 1717. That is the beginning of what is termed, "Modern Freemasonry" and from that time forward our history is recorded.

Likewise, there are theories and legends regarding the Freemasons and the warrior monks of the Knights Templar, but again there is no historical link between the two. It is possible, and some say even likely, that surviving Knights of the Temple joined the stone masons guilds of the time and were thus able to travel freely throughout the land. It seems it would have been a clever thing for them to do, but without evidence we can only surmise that they did so.

The modern day order of Knights Templar is a Christian order and part of the York Rite of Freemasonry here in the U.S. Its teachings include chivalry, loyalty, selflessness and perseverence.

Thanks for the questions and for visiting Masonsmart. Hope this is helpful to you.

Fraternally,

Tim

Nov 25, 2014
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In addition
by: Fred

P-
Tim is absolutely correct in his assessment. One of the reasons that you do not know a lot about your relative ' s involvement in Freemasonry, is that we, like most fraternities, do not advertise. You will see signs up regarding functions that we do, such as charity breakfasts, and parades. We are called, by the unenlightened, a secret society, which we are not. We ARE a "members only" type group, like any other fraternity. In most jurisdictions, New Jersey being one, we do not recruit members, interested men, must ask to join. The most "recruiting" that we do is to inform the general public about joining, through statements like "To be one ask one", also written 2B1ASK1. If you are really interested in Freemasonry, go to your local lodge and knock on the door before a meeting, or ask questions of a Master Mason. I hope this helps.

Good Luck,

Fred :.

Dec 10, 2014
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Where to look
by: Thane

Plubius,

If you are interested in finding out more able about your grandfather's Masonic career, you could contact the Grand Lodge of New Jersey. http://www.newjerseygrandlodge.org

We're not a geneological group, but they should be able to tell you where and when he joined, his occupation, marital status and address when he joined, what offices he held and so forth.

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