Start My Family Tree Welcome to Geni, home of the world's largest family tree.
Join Geni to explore your genealogy and family history in the World's Largest Family Tree.

Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF)

view all


  • Dr. Ivan Dana Kahle, M.D. (1875 - 1959)
    The Derrick, Oil City Pa., Saturday, Jan. 3 1959: " RITES SET SUNDAY FOR DR. KAHLE Knox - Funeral services for Dr. I. Dana Kahle, prominent Knox physician, who died Thursday, will be held at 2:30 p.m. ...
  • Clarence Edgar Shepherd (1880 - 1959)
    Indiana Death Cert. # '59-001069 COD: Carcinoma of Stomach
  • McKendre Fremont Edwards (1856 - 1881)
    Edwards, McKendre Tremont [Fremont], deceased, son of W. E. and Sarah P. Edwards, was born in this place on the thirteenth day of March, 1856; removed to Amity, this county with his father’s family, wh...
  • George F. Shafer, 17th Governor of North Dakota (1888 - 1948)
    Governor of North Dakota. Served as Governor from 1929 to 1933 retouched photo from Mandan Historical Society.* 1920 - Watford City, McKenzie County, North Dakota* 1930 - Bismarck, Burleigh County, Nor...
  • Gordon Preston Fought (1877 - 1964)
    Gordon Preston Fought BIRTH 27 Jun 1877 Newark, Wirt County, West Virginia, USA DEATH 5 Aug 1964 (aged 87) Wheeling, Ohio County, West Virginia, USA BURIAL Harrisville IOOF Cemetery Harrisville, Ritchi...

The Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) or Odd Fellows is a non-political and non-sectarian fraternal order founded in 1819 by Thomas Wildey in Baltimore, Maryland, United States. It was originally chartered by the Independent Order of Oddfellows Manchester Unity in England but has operated as independent organization since 1842, although it maintains an inter-fraternal relationship with the English Order. The order is also known as the Triple Link Fraternity, referring to the order's "Triple Links" symbol, alluding to its motto "Friendship, Love and Truth".

While several unofficial Odd Fellows lodges had existed in New York City circa 1806-1818, because of its charter relationship, the American Odd Fellows is regarded as being founded with Washington Lodge No 1 in Baltimore at the Seven Stars Tavern on April 26, 1819, by Thomas Wildey along with some associates who assembled in response to an advertisement in the New Republic. The following year, the lodge affiliated with the Independent Order of Oddfellows Manchester Unity and was granted the authority to institute new lodges. Previously, Wildey had joined the Grand United Order of Oddfellows (1798-) in 1804 but followed through with the split of Independent Order of Oddfellows Manchester Unity (1810-) before emigrating to the United States in 1817.

In 1842, after an elementary dispute on authority, the American Lodges formed a governing system separate from the English Order, and in 1843 assumed the name Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

The Independent Order of Odd Fellows became the first fraternity in the United States to include both men and women when it adopted the "Beautiful Rebekah Degree" on September 20, 1851, by initiative of Schuyler Colfax, Vice-President of the United States.

Beyond fraternal and recreational activities, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows promotes the ethic of reciprocity and charity, by implied inspiration of Judeo-Christian ethics. The largest Sovereign Grand Lodge of all fraternal orders of Odd Fellows since the 19th century, it enrolls some 600,000 members divided in approximately 10,000 lodges in 26 countries, inter-fraternally recognised by the second largest, the British-seated Independent Order of Oddfellows Manchester Unity.