Tracing Your Freemason, Friendly Society and Trade Union Ancestors

A Guide for Family Historians

Daniel Weinbren

For much of the Victorian era and the 20th century almost all respectable working men (and many working women) were members of at least one fraternal body.
Date Published :
June 2019
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Series :
Tracing Your Ancestors
Illustration :
30 black and white illustrations
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding : Paperback
ISBN : 9781526710338

Dimensions : 9.5 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stockPages : 240
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Fraternal and friendly societies and trade unions – associations that provide mutual aid and benefits – have a long, fascinating history and the most famous of them – the Freemasons – have a reputation for secrecy, ritual and intrigue that excites strong interest and has been the subject of widespread misunderstanding. Daniel Weinbren, in this concise and accessible handbook, dispels the myths that surround them and gives readers an insight into their real purposes, their membership and their development over the centuries. He has also compiled a detailed compendium of books, archives, libraries, and internet sites that readers and researchers can consult to find out more about these organizations and to trace the involvement and experience of family members who were connected with them.

The origins of these societies are explored as are their economic, social and civic functions and the impact they had on the lives of individuals who joined them. The range of such societies covered includes the popular and international ones such as the Oddfellows, Foresters and Rechabites, as well as the smaller local fraternal organizations. The type of assistance they offer, their structure and hierarchy, meetings and ceremonies, regalia and processions, and feasts and annual gatherings are all described and explained.

So much information about these organizations and their membership is easily available if you know where to look, and Daniel Weinbren’s work is the ideal introduction to them. Anyone who has a forebear who was at some time linked with one of these organizations will find his book to be an essential guide to their research.

About The Author

Dr Daniel Weinbren has taught history at several universities and currently teaches both European history and local history at The Open University. He has published widely on Freemasons, friendly societies and trade unions, and has carried out extensive research into the social impact of the First World War. His many publications include The Open University: A History and The Oddfellows 1810-2010 and, with Simon Fowler, Now the War Is Over: Britain 1919-1920. He contributed a chapter on ‘Freemasonry and Friendly Societies’ to the Handbook on Contemporary Freemasonry.

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