Thursday, January 16, 2014

My Great Grandparents were Freemasons

So - while I was looking at the Obits I just found of my Great Grandparents ... in my Great Grandmother's I saw the phrase "Deborah Chapter of Order of the Eastern Star"


On my Great Grandfather's I saw several things....... "Deborah Chapter of Order of the Eastern Star" .... "Scottish Rite"...."White Shrine of Jerusalem"... "F and AM"... and "Shrine" .

So I was all ......... what the HECK does all that mean.....  to my surprise, but now I do remember my Mom mentioning to me a long time ago that my Great Grandfather was a Shriner ....  I found out that my Great Grandparents were Freemasons.

This has always been an interesting thing to me, now I know I have a connection of it.   So what does all this mean, let me share some information.   I found this info HERE.... I couldn't find a lot of information doing Wisconsin searches and them being close to the boarder of MN I checked with that search word and found this site with a host of information!!  YAY .....  This is what I just found out tonight, but I'll have to look into it some more!

Order of the Eastern Star

Vision Statement
 The Grand Chapter of Minnesota, Order of the Eastern Star, is a growing fraternal organization of women and men within the Fraternal Family of Masonry, whose members are dedicated to:
·         charity, truth and loving-kindness;
·         working together in harmony to share with and care for each other;
·         making a difference in their communities through their charitable and social activities;
·         and benefiting all mankind.
Developed by the 2003-2004 Grand Line Officers

Who Are We
The Order of the Eastern Star is the largest fraternal organization in the world to which both men and women may belong. Worldwide, there are approximately 1 million members under the General Grand Chapter.
Eastern Star is a social order comprised of persons with spiritual values but it is not a religion. Its appeal rests in the true beauty of the refreshing and character-building lessons that are so sincerely portrayed in its ritualistic work. A deep fraternal bond exists between its members. It is the wholesome relationship of sisterly and brotherly love brought about through high principles exemplified in our lives which makes us near and dear to each other.
While this is an Order composed of people of deep spiritual convictions, it is open to all faiths, except no faith. The personal welfare of our members is vital to all of those in the Eastern Star and it is considered a privilege to help another member whenever we can.
The stated purposes of the organization are: Charitable, Educational, Fraternal and Scientific; but there is much more to it than that. Dr. Rob Morris, the Poet Laureate of Masonry, founded the Order using beautiful and inspiring biblical examples of heroic conduct and moral values. These portray the noble principles which should adorn the personal lives of Eastern Star members. Eastern Star strives to take good people and through uplifting and elevating associations of love and service, and through precept and example, build an Order which is truly dedicated to charity, truth and loving kindness.
Concrete evidence of the charitable nature of the organization as it affects others is the millions of dollars which have been raised within the membership to support national, jurisdictional, and local charities. Minnesota have two homes for their senior members.
History of the Order
The history of the Eastern Star is divided into three Eras:
  1. The First Era extended from 1850 to 1866, under the leadership of Dr. Rob Morris, Poet Laureate of Masonry.
  2. The Second Era extended from 1860 to 1876, under the leadership of Robert Macoy of New York.
  3. The Third Era extends from 1876, when the General Grand Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star, was established to the present time.
Of these eras, the first is perhaps the most important as it prepared the way for the other two.
The real origin of the Eastern Star, like Masonry, will always be shrouded in mystery. Many researchers believe it had a French origin as early as 1703. By some, this is claimed to be the first inception of "Female Masonry" or "Androgynous Degrees" -- (degrees for both men and women).
There appeared at this time, to be a demand for "Side Degrees" or Degrees conferred on ladies, and quite a list sprang up -- "Heroines of Jericho", "Danger in the Dark", "Tall Cedars of Lebanon", etc. These were extensively used but soon fell into decay, for lack of lasting worth.
As to the real origin of Eastern Star Degrees in its Initiatory form, there is not the least shadow of doubt that the honor belongs to Dr. Rob Morris and its real origin comes under the First Era.
Dr. Morris had traveled many years. He had written many books on Masonry which are now valued references in many Masonic Libraries.
Never quite satisfied that all the good in Masonry should be confined to men, Dr. Morris felt that Masonry should be for the whole family. But by the laws of that Ancient Order, women are not eligible for its degrees. Knowing he could not change the Ancient Landmarks of Masonry, Dr. Morris sought some method by which women could share with the Masonic Brother the same inspiration that "prompts man to noble deeds."
Although he harbored these feelings for years, it wasn't until 1850, while confined to his home after an accident, that Dr. Morris fully developed the Eastern Star Degrees in their present initiatory form.
During this time, he carefully thought out the symbolism and significance of the floor plan and the corps of officers. He conferred the degrees upon his wife and daughters, and some neighbors, presumably having an idea to clothe the ladies with certain words or signs whereby they might make themselves known to Master Masons.
These signs and so-called mysteries of the Order were communicated freely to all Master Masons and their relatives. Dr. Morris and other prominent Master Masons gave many lectures and conferred the degrees on many ladies throughout the nation.
Who May Join
Only men who are Masons are eligible and only women with specific Masonic affiliation may be members. These affiliations include:
  • Affiliated Master Masons in good standing,
  • the wives
  • daughters
  • legally adopted daughters
  • mothers
  • widows
  • sisters
  • half sisters
  • granddaughters
  • stepmothers
  • stepdaughters
  • stepsisters
  • daughters-in-law
  • grandmothers
  • great granddaughters
  • nieces
  • great nieces
  • mothers-in-law
  • sisters-in-law
and daughters of sisters or brothers of affiliated Master Masons in good standing, or if deceased were in good standing at the time of their death; as well as members - either active for three(3) years or majority - of the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls or of the International Order of Job's daughters, each of whom having attained to at least the age of eighteen (18) years, are eligible to membership in the Order of the Eastern Star.
How to Join
To inquire about membership, talk to a current member, or contact a local chapter.  To find a Chapter near you, click here and locate your city (or one nearby) in the list.  Note the Chapter Name, Number, Secretary's name and phone number. Petitions are carefully read, eligibility investigated and election to membership must be by unanimous vote. The Order strives to select persons of mental, moral and spiritual quality who will work together in harmony to perform its objectives.

White Shrine of Jerusalem

Founded in 1894, the Order of the White Shrine of Jerusalem’s purpose is three-fold, Spiritual, Charitable and Fraternal bringing together Master Masons and their female relatives of high moral and social character to share their desire to spread the Christian Gospel, and assist the less fortunate and create enjoyable experiences for themselves.
The term “white” refers to the purity of the life of Jesus Christ and nothing to do with race or the racial makeup of the membership. Neither is it connected to the Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (AAONMS) to which some Master Masons (Shriners) belong. The Supreme Shrine is the governing body for this International organization.
Visit the White Shrine of Jersalem website for further information.

Scottish Rite

"My Hope Is In God"

The Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry is, above all else, an educational institution. We seek not to teach men the truth but, instead, a way to the truth. Each must find the truth for himself. The degrees of the Scottish Rite do not teach specific lessons. Rather, they give parallel examples from earlier cultures, raise questions and challenge us to think.
Freemasonry, in each of its branches, is a journey of self-discovery and self-development. We seek only to be a guide, teaching the common ground of various philosophical and religious approaches to belief, in order that men might be more united in their standards of right and wrong and in their understanding of the reality of God.
The Mission of the Scottish Rite, S.J.
To improve it's members and enhance the communities in which they live
by teaching and emulating the Principles of
Brotherly Love, Tolerance, Charity and Truth,
while actively embracing high social, moral and spiritual values,
including fellowship, compassion
and dedication to God, family and country.
The Scottish Rite Creed
The cause of human progress is our cause,
the enfranchisement of human thought our supreme wish,
the freedom of human conscience our mission,
and the guarantee of equal rights to all peoples everywhere,
the end of our contention.

About the Scottish Rite

The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry is commonly known as the Scottish Rite. It is one of several appendant groups of the worldwide fraternity known as Freemasonry. Each Valley has up to four Scottish Rite bodies, and each body confers a set of degrees. In the Southern Jurisdiction these are the Lodge of Perfection (4°–14°), Chapter of Rose Croix (15°–18°), Council of Kadosh (19°–30°), and the Consistory (31°–32°). The Supreme Council confers the 33rd Degree of Sovereign Grand Inspector General.
The Scottish Rite is one of the two branches of Freemasonry in which a Master Mason may proceed after he has completed the three degrees of Symbolic or Blue Lodge Masonry. The other branch is known as the York Rite, consisting of Royal Arch Masons, Royal and Select Masters and the Knights Templar.
For more information on the Scottish Rite, its organization, degrees and Valleys in Minnesota follow this link to the Orient of Minnesota web site:


Shriners offers men and their families an opportunity to meet new friends who have similar interests. There are 191 Shrine Temples, or chapters, located in the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Republic of Panama. Informal Shrine Clubs are located around the world.
Shriners of North America have a philanthropic mission as well-- to support Shriners Hospitals for Children, a world-class network of 22 pediatric specialty hospitals located throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. Since 1922, Shriners Hospitals for Children have significantly improved the lives of more than 800,000 children.
If you hold the title of Master Mason in Freemasonry, you qualify and are invited to join the Shriners. — All We Need Is You.

Who are the Shriners?

A brotherhood of men...dedicated to fun and fellowship...but with a serious purpose. Shriners are distinguished by an enjoyment of life and a commitment to philanthropy. They enjoy parades, trips, dances, dinners, sporting events and other social occasions. They support what has been called the "World's Greatest Philanthropy," Shriners Hospitals for Children, a network of 22 pediatric specialty hospitals, operated and maintained by the Shriners. All children, up to 18 years old, may be eligible for treatment at Shriners Hospitals if they, in the opinion of the hospital's chief of staff, could benefit from the specialized care available at Shriners Hospitals. Eligibility is not based on financial need or relationship to a Shriner.
What is Masonry and what is the connection to the Shrine?
In order to become a Shriner, a man must first be a Mason. The fraternity of Freemasonry is the oldest, largest and most widely known fraternity in the world. It dates back hundreds of years to the time when stonemasons and other craftsmen gathered in shelter houses or lodges. Over the years, formal Masonic lodges emerged, with members bound together not by trade, but by their own desire to be fraternal brothers.
The basic unit of Masonry is the Blue Lodge, where members earn the first three Masonic Degrees known as the Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason. There is no higher degree than that of Master Mason (the Third Degree).
After he becomes a Master Mason, he can belong to many other organizations which have their roots in Masonry and which have Blue Lodge Masonry as a prerequisite. Only when a man has achieved the status of Master Mason can he petition to become a Noble of the Shrine of North America. 

What is the relationship between Shriners and Shriners Hospitals?

In a unique interdependent relationship, the Shriners and Shriners Hospitals are separate but inseparable.
The Shriners of North America supports Shriners Hospitals in many ways: Shrine Temples and clubs often help arrange and pay for transportation for children and parents to the hospitals, and thousands of Shriners spend many hours of their own time driving families to the hospitals and entertaining the patients.
In addition, Shriners helps support the hospitals financially, with each Shriner paying an annual $5 hospital assessment. Temples and clubs also hold many fundraisers, some of which benefit Shriners Hospitals for Children.

What are the benefits of becoming a Shriner?

  • Membership in a well-known fraternal organization recognized for its social and philanthropic activities.
  • Opportunity to develop lasting friendships with others from all walks of life
  • A variety of social activities available for the entire family and many special-interest groups to meet individual interests
  • The privilege of being part of the "Worlds Greatest Philanthropy," offering Shriners many opportunities to find personal fulfillment and satisfaction through supporting Shriners Hospitals for Children.

If you would like more information about the Shrine there are two Shrine Centers located in the Twin Cities and one in Duluth. Follow the links to your desired location:
Parts of Northwestern Minnesota are served by the Shrine Center located in Grand Forks, North Dakota, Kem Temple.
Parts of Southwestern Minnesota are served by the Shrine Center located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, El Riad Temple.

The Shriners of North America

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