Past Masonic Member Verification

Where can I verify that my grandfather was a Scottish Rite Mason in Illinois in the 1940s and 1950s? My grandmother was also in the Eastern Star.


Is there a source that I can contact?

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Jul 17, 2010
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The truth is out there
by: Tim

Unfortunately, there is no central depository for Masonic records. Lodges have records of their members. Grand Lodges have records of the members of their Lodges. But, the two sources will not necessarily have identical records. While Lodge Secretaries do their best to keep records straight and Grand Lodge Secretaries are normally quite fastidious about records keeping, things do happen over decades and centuries. Records are lost or misplaced or somehow wander off in a number of ways. This doesn't mean there won't be records for your grandparents. There most likely will be, but finding them might not be easy.

I think my first stop would be the Grand Lodge of Illinois and the Grand Chapter of Illinois.

http://www.ilmason.org/contact.html

http://www.illoes.org/grand_secretary.htm

Contact them and provide as much information as you can about your grandparents' Masonic memberships. If you're lucky enough to have old dues cards, or some sort of announcement or presentation that mentions your grandparent as an Officer that will be a big help. Otherwise, you might find mention of them in an archived newspaper article at the library or online. Family members or friends of your grandparents might also be able to help. If you have any Masonic memorabilia that belonged to your grandparents there will likely be some indication of its origin on it or written inside. Anything that you can remember will help.

You might also consider contacting the Masonic Lodge or Lodges, and the Star Chapter in the area where your grandparents lived. Odds are they were members of the organizations close to home.

As to your grandfather's Scottish Rite membership the Supreme Council in Washington might be able to locate his records. Here is the address for that Web site:
http://www.scottishrite.org/who/contact.html

However, your best bet might be to contact the Scottish Rite Valley closest to his home. It appears that there are several Valleys within Illinois. A Web search for "Scottish Rite Illinois" (without the quotes) will give you a great point to start from.

It's not really as difficult as it may sound. A few letters, some phone calls and e-mails and if there are any records to be found they will be. Don't expect it to happen in a hurry, though. Odds are, records from that era will not yet be digitized so it may take some time to track them down. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to be persistent.

Thank you for your question and good luck in your quest.

Fraternally yours,

Tim

Mar 26, 2012
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Searching scottish roots.
by: monty simon

I am looking for my Grand fathers masonic records, e.g. His age the year etc. My father George Simon was also a mason in toronto. Grand fathers name James Cobbin Jaffray. Birth place in or near to Aberdeen Scotland. Thanks monty.simon@rogers.com

Mar 27, 2012
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Help finding Mason Information on Grandfather and Uncle
by: Anonymous

My mother informed me that my Grandfather and Uncle were part of the Masons. My Grandfather is from the New York area. I am looking for their information. My daughter is part of the Rainbow group and I would like to get her file up to date with correct information.
ceocoulson@Yahoo.com

Thanks

Aug 22, 2012
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My Grandfather was a Mason
by: Debbie

How can I verify my Grandfather's membership? He was born in 1875 and was a Mason both in Ontario Canada and in Buffalo New York.

Aug 29, 2012
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Membership Level
by: Anonymous

My understanding is that there are many different levels that can be achieved, how can a person find what level a mason was?

Jun 09, 2013
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Verification of a past mason
by: Angela

How can I verify my grnadfathers infomation that would verify that he was a mason in the 70's

Jun 16, 2013
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my grandparents were in the lodges
by: Pam Morris

My grandfather was a mason and my grandmother was an Eastern star. I know he was a mason until 1946 when he past away in AZ. My grandma was an Eastern star until she past away in 1970. I believe they both joined when they lived in worth, IL. this is all the information I have for them.

Jun 22, 2013
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How to locate a passed Mason's history
by: Tim

I'm sorry but I can not do this research for you. First, not being a family member the Lodges or Grand Lodges would likely not release the information to me without a very good reason. Second, I don't need to. You can do it yourself.

The purpose of this page is to offer an example and explanation of how to go about researching the Masonic records of passed loved ones. It's not a service that I or anyone else can offer.

1. Gather all the information you can regarding the Masonic history of your loved one. If you're short on information contact their friends or family members who may remember or even be in possession of Masonic memorabilia.

2. If you know the Lodge or Chapter that they belonged to contact them. Most Masonic Lodges and Eastern Star Chapters, at least in the U.S., have Web sites or their contact information can be found on their Grand Lodge or Grand Chapter Web sites. Search the Web for the Lodge or Chapter. If you don't know to which Lodge or Chapter they belonged try contacting the one(s) near where they lived. Masonry is a community oriented organization and most of us join close to home.

3. If you're unable to determine or discover which Lodge or Chapter they belonged to the next step would be to contact the Grand Lodge of the State in which they lived. Just do a Web search using "Masonic Grand Lodge" and add the name of the State or province. Contact them and let them help you discover your heritage.

4. Be persistent. Most Grand jurisdictions have recent records in digital form these days, but if you're research goes back more than a generation or two those records could be in a dark corner of the basement somewhere. It could be as simple as a phone call or a few e-mails, or it could turn into quite an adventure.

These same steps will work for Scottish Rite, York Rite, Eastern Star, or any other Masonic body. Just find the trail and then follow it until you find what you're looking for.

Good hunting. Best of luck. And, best regards.

Fraternally,

Tim

Aug 04, 2013
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??
by: richmond jones

my mom says she heard my grandpas twin brother say he was a mason but im not sure how to verify besides goin through illinois/indiana masonic records ,any help would be greatly appreciated .frances laughlin his membership wouldve been from 1933 or higher he was born on 10/10/1915 twins with marion my grampa

Aug 05, 2013
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It's your Masonic journey
by: Tim

It sounds like you have a pretty good start on the information you'll need to begin your search. Just contact the Grand Lodges of Illinois and Indiana and see what they can do to assist you. Here are their Web addresses:

Grand Lodge of Indiana:

WWW.IndianaFreemasons.com

Grand Lodge of Illinois:

WWW.ILMason.org

Best regards,

Tim

Aug 28, 2014
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finding grandfather's information
by: Granddaughter

My grandfather, who I never met due to a car accident before I was born, was a Mason. He lived in Southern California. I know others have received help on here, do you have any suggestions on looking for information on him in California?
Thanks!
clampmanslo@gmail.com

Aug 28, 2014
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Masonic Granddaughter
by: Tim

Dear Granddaughter,

The Grand Lodge of California will be your best source of information on your Grandfather. If you have any information as to which lodge he was a member of that would help, but it's shouldn't be necessary. Just contact them and ask for their help in researching your Masonic family history. I'm sure they will be happy to help in whatever way they can. Below is the Web address for the Grand Lodge of California:

https://www.freemason.org/index.htm

Best of luck in your search and thanks for visiting Masonsmart.

Sep 08, 2014
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Granddaughter
by: Thane

Grand Lodge of California. http://www.freemason.org/index.htm

Good luck with your research.

Sep 16, 2014
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Eastern Star
by: Linda

I remember that my grandmother in Arlington Heights and Mount Prospect Illinois was in the Eastern Star. I remember her having a star pin she would where when she went to a meeting. This is way back in the late 60s early 70 since she passed away in 1972. I do not have a pin number nor the pin so I am hoping someone can help me in the search for me.
Thanks All

Or email me at
spyder@mwt.net

Linda

Sep 22, 2014
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For Linda
by: Thane

A good starting place: http://www.iloes.org/contact-us/

Good luck.

Jul 06, 2015
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Verification
by: Robert Gurd

I'm interested in my Grandfathers masonic membership George Wesley Dell Three Springs, Pa. my Email is gurdslovechrist@gmail.com

Jul 07, 2015
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Masonic records search for George Wesley Dell
by: Tim

Hello Robert and thank you for visiting Masonsmart.

It looks like the nearest lodge to Three Springs is Cromwell Lodge #572 in Orbisonia, PA. I would suggest starting there. You can find contact information for the Lodge Secretary at the Web address below:

http://lims.pagrandlodge.org/lodges/view/572

If that doesn't work out try expanding your search by contacting the Grand Lodge of Free & Accepted Masons of Pennsylvania. They keep records on a State level so if your Grandfather was a member of a Pennsylvania Lodge they will most likely have a record of it. Their Web address is below:

http://www.pagrandlodge.org/

Hope this helps. Good luck in your search, and thanks again for visiting Masonsmart.

Sincerely,

Tim

Jun 18, 2016
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Fathers History
by: Rene

As a child my father told me he was a Mason and would show me his rings/garment and told when I'm older I should join OES. As an adult I currently want to join the OES but don't recall any of my father's information to create a petition. He passed away in my teens and I don't know what lodge he belonged to or if he was in good standing.

All I know is that he's from NY and moved to the west coast to create a family with my mother.

Jul 28, 2016
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Looking for chapter name where my mom attend
by: Carmen

JUST TRYING TO FIND OUT WHAT WAS THE CHAPTER Name OF THE EASTER STARS THAT WAS ON FULLERTON ST IN NEWARK NJ

Jul 28, 2016
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OES Grand Chapter of NJ
by: Tim

Hello Carmen,
and thank you for visiting Masonsmart.

I think your best and surest bet to find the information you're looking for will be contacting the Grand Chapter of the Order of Eastern Star in New Jersey. Here's the Web address for their site:

http://www.njoes.com/

Just give them a call or e-mail. I'm sure they will be happy to assist you.

Thanks again for visiting and please come again.

Aug 02, 2016
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Lodge 348 Yoakum Texas
by: Anonymous

My g g uncle belonged to the Yoakum, Texas lodge no 348. He was a chartered member. The lodge is no longer active. I would like to see if they have any photos or information on him. Who can I contact?

Aug 04, 2016
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"Lost" Lodge
by: Ken

Sir,
I am writing because I recently found out that my Great Great Grandfather was a "Worshipful Master" of the Lodge in Iola, Illinois number 691. The problem with that, is the fact that the town has been devastated by floods, fire, and tornado's over the years since he was alive. AND to top all of that off...the town is pretty much non existent now, save a few houses and a church. (The "town" itself is gone-meaning no buildings left).
By reading some of the other comments, I'm going to assume that you are going to direct me to the Grand Lodge in Illinois, or a lodge in a neighboring town (which there is one) but I wanted to check first...or you might have other ideas.
I really appreciate your time in answering my question(s), and thank you in advance for your help.
Ken

Aug 07, 2016
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Good assumption, but also...
by: Tim

Hello Ken,
and thank you for visiting Masonsmart.

Your assumption is correct. Your best source of information regarding an Illinois Lodge or an Illinois Mason will be the Grand Lodge of Illinois. Your idea of contacting a neighboring lodge is also excellent. There may be someone there who knows or has access to a more detailed history of the lodge in Iola than even the Grand Lodge. You might also try the local or nearby public library. A lot of historical information has been converted into micro-fiche or digital form and, while it may be a long-shot, it could also be a treasure trove.

Thanks again for the visit. Please come again.

Fraternally,

Tim

Aug 07, 2016
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Lost history of Lodge 348 in Yoakum, TX
by: Tim

Dear Anonymous in Yoakum,

Odds are that when Lodge 348 in Yoakum became inactive it consolidated with a nearby lodge. If that is the case their historical documents should have been transferred to the new lodge along with the memberships of the remaining active members. I would suggest contacting the Grand Lodge of Texas to find out what became of Lodge 348. While the Grand Lodge may not have a lot of information they should be able to offer some direction in tracking down someone who will.

Best of luck and good hunting. Thanks for visiting Masonsmart.

Fraternally,

Tim

May 03, 2017
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He was a 33 degree mason
by: James Benjamin smith

My grandfather was a 33 degree mason in the cereal springs Illinois in the 1915 area his name was James Benjamin Smith and my grandmother was a member of eastern star

May 09, 2017
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James Benjamin Smith
by: Tim

Congratulations on your Masonic family history. If you are seeking more information I would suggest the Grand Lodge of Illinois at this address:

http://www.ilmason.org/site/GrandLodgeIllinois

Or the Prince Hall Grand Lodge at this address:

http://www.mwphglil.com/

Thank you for visiting Masonsmart and we wish you the very best.

Jun 03, 2017
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NY Mason?
by: Nancy

Hi,
I just found out my great grandfather and great uncle were masons on Staten Island, NY. Is there a way I can find out where they belonged? I cant seem to find a lodge on Staten Island. This would have been in the 1920s to 1950s or so. Thank you!

Jun 06, 2017
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Re: NY Mason?
by: Tim

Hello Nancy,
and thank you for visiting Masonsmart.

Congratulations on the discovery of your Masonic family history. Your best bet would be to contact the Grand Lodge of New York. Barring some sort of disaster (fire, flood, carelessness, etc.) they should have records for your Great Grandfather and Great Uncle. Below is the Web address for their Contact Us page:

https://nymasons.org/2016/contact-us/

I wish you the very best of luck in your search.

With kind regards,

Tim

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