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A Genealogist In The Archives: Masonic Records in the Archives

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Masonic Records in the Archives

"31 Days of Tips from The Archive Lady"

DAY #23

Masonic Records in the Archives

One of the most interesting records collections and one that I get more requests in the Houston County, Tennessee Archives are Masonic Records. The Masonic Lodge has been a staple of a lot of local communities and a lot of genealogists seek out these types of records.

New Providence Lodge, No. 128 F.& A.M. Request for Widow's Aid, located at the Houston County, Tennessee Archives

Masonic Records are normally donated by individuals and the collections can contain just about anything from documents, letters, photographs, meeting minutes, newspaper clippings and lodge publications just to name a few. They are a great resource for the genealogist trying to find information about the ancestors who were members of these groups. 

Powder Spring Lodge, No. 579 F. & A.M. Building Fund Help Letter, located at the Houston County, Tennessee Archives

These records could be held locally at a county archive, historical/genealogical societies and libraries. Most of the time they are archived by the name of the lodge, for example New Port Lodge #208 Records Collection. They can also be held at the state level at a state archive or a state historical/genealogical society. The Masonic organizations themselves have websites and archives of their very own that could hold records.

Mineral Springs Lodge, No. 533, F. & A.M., Mortgage Aid Help Letter, located at the Houston County, Tennessee Archives

Most of these records will be located in the Manuscript Collections of an archive. When a specific collection of interest is found, be sure and ask to see the Finding Aid. The Finding Aid will have great information about what is in the collection at the folder level. Not every piece of paper will be cataloged but you should be able to get an idea of what is in the collection and then the folders of interest can be requested.

New Portland Lodge No. 208, 100th Anniversary Pamphlet ca. 1951, located at the Houston County, Tennessee Archives

If you have never searched for your ancestors Masonic Records, now might be a good time to seek them out!



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  1. Well, Melissa. I have a LOT of Masons in my family. I’ve tried only once to find records, without success. I guess I should pursue it more fervently. Thanks!

    1. Hello Diane! Yes you should, as the members of the Masons are getting older and the younger people are not taking on the mantle, their records are more and more being donated to local archives, historical societies, genealogical societies, etc. There are still some chapters that are not opening up their records but we can hope. Thank You for reading my blog!