If your relative was a freemason, chances are there’s a record of their masonic life waiting to be uncovered. The first step is to find their name in the Membership Registers. To do this, you can either visit the museum and use ancestry.co.uk for free, or pay for one of our staff to search the archives for you. Our records date back to the 1750s. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a freemason to use this service.
Plus, if you have any masonic paperwork or objects that belonged to your relative, let us know. We can interpret their significance and perhaps make further connections that’ll deepen your understanding of your relative’s masonic career.
Digitised records on Ancestry
There are more than 1.7 million names of masons listed in the registers from 1751-1921 available on ancestry.co.uk. You can access these records with an Ancestry subscription, or you can use them for free in our library when you register as a reader.
We can search the original paper records for you. Sometimes this reveals extra information that doesn’t appear on Ancestry. We charge £31 per name (£16.50 for members of the United Grand Lodge of England) for this service. Complete the request form below and we’ll take it from there.
Unlocking the past
Looking into your family history can be extremely rewarding. You might discover more than you expected to. So it was for a woman named Lucy, who visited the museum seeking information about her grandfather, Thomas. She carried with her a letter from his lodge: the perfect thing to launch an investigation.
After some digging in the archives, Andrew, the museum Assistant Curator, found a photo of Thomas with the other members of his lodge. Not only that—he also located the summons sent to Thomas when he was made Master of his lodge more than half a century before. The summons was signed, with Thomas’ handwritten notes on the back. For Lucy, seeing the photo and holding something that belonged to her grandfather was a profound experience.
“It’s as if he’s reaching out to me through history,” she explained.
Very interesting place and very helpful people, l was looking up past family history to do with freemasonry, well worth a visit.