How to Validate Masonic lineage when records are lost?
My grandfather, grandmother and father lived in the Philippine Islands prior to WWII and during the Japanese occupation. When the docks of Manila were bombed, they lost all their personal possessions, including family bible, birth certificates, etc.
As a woman looking to join the OES, I'm having difficulty finding a way to definitively trace my grandfather's Master Mason status so I may join the OES. My family history includes stories of my grandfather's Masonic brethren going to heroic efforts to help him during the Japanese occupation, but I have no real evidence. I am not even sure which lodge he might have joined under as he was born in the US, joined the US Army and traveled extensively in his duties. My grandfather later died in a prison camp and has no living relatives, other than his progeny.
I've sent a letter to the General Secretary of the Manila lodge, but have not heard back. I've reached out to an acquaintance who is currently a Mason, who has put me in touch with my state's OES but I unfortunately can't provide date or place my grandfather might have joined the order.
How can one prove or give validity to the claim of relation to a member of the Masonic Order in such a case as mine?
Any advice is greatly appreciated.