Thursday, May 27, 2010

Treasure Chest Thursday - Austin's Mason Certificate

It's Treasure Chest Thursday, and I dug around in my photo archives and came up with a Mason's certificate for my great-grandfather's (Henry Austin Carringer).

The date on this says 4th day of August A.L. 5906. What does A.L. mean? I Googled a bit and found the ANNO LUCIS web site which indicates that A.L. = Anno Lucis (Year of Light), the current year plus 4,000 years, which approximates the Biblical account of the creation of the Earth.

So A.L. 5906 would be 1906.

It looks like Henry Austin Carringer didn't sign his certificate as he was supposed to do. I really don't know if he joined the group or not now.

I learned something today!

UPDATED 5 p.m.: Reader Jeanne asked if this certificate was in my family collection. Yes - it was, handed down over 100 years and found in one of the boxes that I received from my mother. I have not followed up on this lodge here in San Diego.

Reader Terri thought the certificate indicated that this lodge was giving him this certificate becuae he requested it, perhaps to join another lodge. As far as I know, from about 1895, Austin Carringer lived in San Diego until his death in 1946. Now,m he may have changed lodges to one closer to his home, or one that had friends from work or some other group.


geniebug said...

Randy....was that certificate found in your family collection? or did you order it from the Masonic Lodge? I am trying to find more information about my father's father, and his grandfather, and gr grandfather, who were all Masons. My dad is not, so he can't help me. Can you give me some pointers?
Thanks so much, Jeanne

Anonymous said...

Jeanne, if you know the area they lived in, you can probably find the lodge they belonged to. I sent an email to the lodge I figured my great grandfather belonged to, they replied and emailed me a copy of his registration card with the dates he took each degree within their organization. Otherwise, call a local lodge and see if they can help you.

Randy, not sure if we are reading the certificate the same. My take is that he was in this lodge and then was moving on and they gave him the go ahead to enter a new lodge, if he found one he wanted to join. Since you have this, I would assume he did not join another lodge.

Gene said...

could you send me a scan of this document - I have been a Mason since the 70's and would like to see it - thanks

Alana said...

Hi Randy,

This certificate is called a "demit" and is given to members who are leaving the fraternatity permanently, and shows that they were in good standing at the time(meaning they paid their annual dues). In future, if a member wishes to rejoin, they just show this certificate and they are then re-instated, without having to take the three degrees again. A different certificate or letter is issued if they wish to affiliate with another lodge.

As a member of the Order of the Eastern Star (a concordant body to the Freemasons), and Secretary of my local chapter, I issue these often.

To obtain a person's masonic information, you can contact the Grand Lodge of your respective area (such as the Grand Lodge of California). They have all the records - and they can tell you what lodge your ancestors belonged to. I was able to do this to get my father's and uncle's info.

You should also check to see if maybe any of your female ancestors were members of the Eastern Star. Membership in the Eastern Star is through a Mason (Master Masons can also join the Eastern Star).