Thursday, September 11, 2014

Mining the Massachusetts, Mason Membership Cards Collection on

I check the list of "Recently added and updated collections" on hoping that a newly added database will provide more information about my ancestral families.  The link for this page is at

One of the collections updated today is the Massachusetts, Mason Membership Cards, 1733-1990 database:

I had a few minutes (which turned into an hour and a half!) today, so I searched for the Seaver surname.  I was rewarded with 103 matches:

Some of the records had only a name and a last residence, but some had a birth date, birth place and death date, occupation, plus information about their Mason membership - the lodge name, dates for initiation, passed, raised, and reinstated.

I worked down the list and picked one to show you.  Here is the record summary for Harry Wendell Seaver, who was a member of the Washington Lodge in Roxbury, Massachusetts:

Harry's membership card looks like this:

I had Harry Wendell Seaver in my RootsMagic database, but I didn't have his exact birth date or death date, so that was good information for me.

From this card, I had event information and a source citation for his:

*  Name
*  Birth date and birth place
*  Death date and death place (I assumed the Residence)
*  Membership (I created a new Fact type)

The source citation crafted was:

Massachusetts, Mason Membership Cards, 1733-1990, indexed database and digital images, (, Washington Lodge, Roxbury, Mass., 1924, Harry Wendell Seaver entry.

The source citation information is: Massachusetts, Mason Membership Cards, 1733-1990 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2013.
Original data: Massachusetts Grand Lodge of Masons Membership Cards 1733–1990. New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, Massachusetts

I found that I had almost all of the persons listed in my database already, but I did not have death dates for about 20 of them.  Also, the cards usually included the full name including the middle name.  For a number of the matches, I was able to add the middle name to my RootsMagic database entry, replacing the middle initial that I had from vital, census or other records.

The information in this record collection really added some useful information to my RootsMagic database.  Unfortunately, none of the persons found in the collection were a member of my ancestral families.

Do you have a family member who might have been a member of the Massachusetts Grand Lodge of Masons in the 1733-1990 time period?  If so, there may be a membership card for him.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

1 comment:

Haz said...

I used this to confirm and then get the date of death of my mothers missing gt uncle last found in Scotland in 1901.He was not in the Uk in 1911 so we had been stumped. However it means new letters to the Scottish masons