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Tracing Your Freemason, Friendly Society and Trade Union Ancestors (ePub)

A Guide for Family Historians

Family History P&S History > Social History P&S History > Social Science & Culture > Politics

By Daniel Weinbren
Imprint: Pen & Sword Family History
Series: Tracing Your Ancestors
File Size: 6.6 MB (.epub)
Illustrations: 30
ISBN: 9781526710352
Published: 23rd April 2019


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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.

Overall, this book is an invaluable guide for researching ancestors in these Societies and I am confident that anyone with an ancestor in either of the Freemasons, Friendly Societies or Trade Unions should buy a copy of this book. It will surely be an excellent tool and its benefits will far exceed its cost.

Dr Stuart C Blank, Military Archive Research

As featured in

Nottinghamshire Family History Society

"This book does raise awareness of the importance of mutual aid societies in the past two centuries or so. It is therefore a useful text for family and community historians."

Family and Community Historical Research Society

As featured in

Glasgow and West of Scotland Family History Society

Featured in

Northumberland and Durham FHS

As featured by

Family Tree, October 2019

The book provides excellent guidance on where to look for the records that have survived, as well as many interesting examples.

Read the full review here

Lost Cousins

A concise and detailed introduction to the history of fraternal and friendly societies and trade unions, and a guide to the archives, records, books and websites which researchers can use to trace ancestors who joined these societies.

Cumbria FHS

"If your ancestors had links to these bodies the book will be a useful addition to put on your bookshelf."

East Yorkshire Family History Society

Featured in

Glasgow and West of Scotland Family History Society

Overall this book offers a general background to a wide selection of groups, societies and unions that our ancestors might have belonged to.

Read the full review here

Rosie Amber, Blogger

As featured by

Alde Valley Suffolk Family History Group, June 2019

As featured by

Alde Valley Suffolk Family History Society

Freemasonry, offering an oath-bound social space for ritual and social bonding and engagement in charitable work, reached peak membership in the 1950s and 60s. In the chapter, you'll learn about the history, how to get information on members, including on Ancestry and elsewhere as well as a summary of controversies.

Read the full review here

Canada's Anglo-Celtic Connections, John D Reid

Daniel’s book is most informative and insightful, and again would have been most welcome when we were tracing our family trees.

Read the full review here

Books Monthly
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