For our next Topic Challenge of 2015, I am setting one from @JanMurphy:

We have some questions about the Masons already. There are MANY other fraternal organizations. I'm sure if we scoured our records, we could find people who belonged to the Masons, other fraternal orders, or other social organizations.

The orders themselves may have indexes of members with just a few dates involving their membership in the organization, but they can provide vital clues to residence in a particular area, and membership information may lead to hits in newspapers or city directories, yielding names of associates for cluster / FAN group research.

A quick search here reveals that to date we have had these questions that mention "mason" so to widen the net let's have questions about:

  • Freemasons;
  • other fraternal organizations and lodges; and
  • the occupation of Mason

To ask a question click here but if you are new to the Genealogy & Family History Stack Exchange then be sure to take our 2-minute Tour first.

After a couple of weeks I will tally up the results to see how we did.

If you have an idea for a new challenge or want to see a re-run of an earlier one then I encourage you to suggest new ones and vote for which to do next at Vote for the next Topic Challenge!

  • My grandfather was a Mason. I don't have any questions about it though.
    – user47
    Commented May 6, 2015 at 13:42
  • @JustinY do you know his mother lodge and other membership information?
    – Jan Murphy Mod
    Commented May 6, 2015 at 17:55
  • The info isn't handy but I think it's available somewhere. Why?
    – user47
    Commented May 6, 2015 at 18:02
  • @JustinY Knowing who else was a member of the same lodge is useful for researching the FAN club (friends, associates, neighbors). Using a US Mason's membership card that listed the mother lodge, I was able to get residence information in Scotland for someone in my tree. When I am studying immigrants, every scrap of information I can get helps to determine the identify of the person in a particular record -- whether the record belongs to 'my person' or someone else with the same name.
    – Jan Murphy Mod
    Commented May 8, 2015 at 16:03
  • @JanMurphy That makes sense, though I know plenty about my grandfather and his family. It's his great-grandparents that are my closest mystery.
    – user47
    Commented May 8, 2015 at 17:45

1 Answer 1


At the end of this topic challenge one new question related to it appeared:

It attracted two high quality answers, so thank you to those who participated.

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