As usual, the genesis for this post was “stumbling” across some neat records and then asking, as usual, are there more?
Recently, 18th Century Minutes Books from the Grand Lodge of North Carolina (
St. John’s Lodge No. 3, ) were placed on line. I also discovered that the same website (Digital NC) includes the Book of Marks from Raleigh Chapter No. 10 of Royal Arch Masons amongst other holdings. With a bit more searching, I also discovered Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of North Carolina for the years 1797-1820 with a few odd later years. Wow! New Bern, NC
There is already some useful information online regarding the Grand Lodge of North Carolina including a listing of lodges since its organization in 1787, The Beginnings of Freemasonry in North Carolina and Tennessee, Board of Custodians and Certified Lecturer Historical Overview 1902-2016, and more. Additionally, The Southern Historical Collection at UNC (
Chapel Hill) has a Collection – Freemasons. Grand Lodge of North Carolina Records, circa 1790-1951. You can access the entire collection, for FREE, by visiting The Louis Round Wilson Special Collections Library or, some of the collection, volumes for Lodge 141 (Carolina Lodge, Anson County, Chartered 2 Dec 1851, Surrendered 15 Mar 1935), have been digitized and are available.
As expected, Internet Archive (one of my favorite places to seek out historical information) has many resources for Masonic organizations around the world under “Grand Lodge” + Masons and “Grand Lodge” + Freemasonry. Many many lodge histories are to be found.
Did you know that there is a Masonic Library & Museum Association? The website includes links to Masonic Libraries’ Catalog – it’s a work in progress.
The MLMA was founded in 1995 by a group of Masonic librarians and museum directors to share their common experiences, interests and ideas. MLMA is an international organization of members who are Masonic library and museum professionals and volunteers, sharing a love of Masonic materials, research, libraries, and museums.
I found the website Mason Post.com helpful for identifying active lodges across the
And, Ancestry.com has the Worldwide Masonic Directory, 1860 where you can search the lodge membership for the stated year.
Obviously, I could go on and on about searching for records of ancestors who might have been members of the Masons.
Do you have ancestors who were Freemasons? What records have you found for them? Is there a real gem of a database that other family historians researching into Freemasonry might find helpful?
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