A digitisation project between the Library and Museum and Ancestry will make searching for masons from the past much easier
The world’s largest online family history resource, Ancestry has transcribed over two million records of Freemasons in the English and Irish Constitutions using the membership registers of the United Grand Lodge of England and the Grand Lodge of Ireland.
The names have created a searchable online database of Freemasons from the 1750s to the early 1920s. The database and images from the Grand Lodge registers are being made available via Ancestry’s website. This will provide information about individual lodge affiliation, as well as address and occupation details.
It has often been difficult to track down the names of individual Freemasons if there were no details of their lodge. Grand Lodge’s main communication was with lodge secretaries and there was no reason for the organisation itself to create an alphabetical index of members.
It will now be much easier for family historians, researchers and those writing their lodge histories to access this information.
Ancestry provides a pay-per-view or subscription service and free access will also be available in the Library and Museum. Further details are available on the Library and Museum’s website and at www.ancestry.co.uk
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - NO. 38 SUMMER 2017
What a great article you wrote in Freemasonry Today, Issue 32, called ‘Finding Freemasons’. My mother enjoys her family history research and through the Ancestry connection she discovered that my great, great, great, great grandfather Abraham Keyzor and his cousin Abraham Murray were both initiated into Robert Burns Lodge, No. 25, on 6 December 1858.
One hundred and fifty-seven years later, I was delighted to see the lodge going strong and they very kindly allowed me to visit at their installation night on 6 February 2016.
What a night! The whole lodge made me feel very welcome and the Festive Board included a bagpipe player escorting in the Worshipful Master. There was an ‘address to the haggis’ before we tucked into a starter of haggis, and after dessert we had great entertainment with musical songs before a raffle, where I was lucky enough to win a bottle of Rabbie Burns beer.
Having the opportunity of visiting the lodge of an ancestor is something truly special and I intend to visit again in future. Hopefully, other brethren may find similar connections with older lodges.
David Bywater, Cantuarian Lodge, No. 5733, London