Freemasons, or simply "Masons," have been an integral part of American culture since the Colonial period and have immeasurably shaped the Republic through their leadership, altruism, public service, and character. Although the most famous Freemasons have been presidents, CEOs, and other public figures, the vast majority of Freemasons were and are small-town members working in their own communities to advance Masonic principles and traditions. Due to their esoteric nature, they have also been the recipients of much inquiry and curiosity over the years. More information on Freemasons can be found via Wikipedia, http://www.masoniclibraries.org/ , http://www.msana.com/historyfm.asp
(An excellent source for General George Washington
s, upper echelon of Generals, who were Freemasons in America) [http://www.pagrandlodge.org/district3/443/Master%20Paper%204%20feb%2006.pdf]
This project does not seek to determine whether Masons are "good" or "bad," and instead is merely interested in Masons for historical and genealogical purposes.
Thank you to Geni for making us a Featured Project on April 22, 2011!
What & What Not to Add
This project aims to connect all of the confirmed American Freemasons on Geni. The Masons added to the project should have their membership confirmed by themselves or their Lodges (primary documentation), or by reputable scholars (secondary documentation). If you are using Internet resources to find lists of Masons, be sure to use only reputable, sourced ones.
Please note: For the purposes of this project, being an "American Freemason" means being a member of an American Masonic Lodge. That means that some "American" Masons may originally be from other nations.
Please do add:
- Profiles for people confirmed to be members of American Lodges (see above)
- Lodge names/numbers in the "About Me" field on their profile whenever possible
- Sources in the "About Me" field on their profile
Please do not add:
- "Suspected" or rumored Masons
- Names from conspiracy theory websites
- Americans who were Masons only through Lodges outside America
- Members of affiliated organizations (like the Order of the Eastern Star) only
Research Tips & Suggestions
Ben M. Angel has shared with us some excellent on-line resources you can use to research your American Masonic ancestors. Please see his discussion thread for more detailed information on working with local lodges.
The best place to start is A Page About Freemasonry, the world's oldest Masonic website. It posts no genealogical information, but does have lots of good general information about Masons and how to contact state and local lodges.
Figures to Add
Incomplete List; Feel Free to Expand
Although the majority of Freemasons are not notable public figures, the following links are to profiles that should be added as verified Masons by collaborators with access to them. Please kindly delete names from this list once you have added their profiles.
- Irving Berlin (Note: Private Profile -Marv)
- Walter Chrysler (Note: Private Profile -Marv)
- Albert Ringling (and all six of his brothers) (Note: Private Profiles -Marv)
This project was started in March 2011 by J. Ashley Odell. Please feel free to contact her with questions -- or, even better, use the Discussions link at the top right.