Most of yesterday and today was spent in meetings preparing for next week The participants in the research trip will begin arriving tomorrow with the rest in on Sunday. I had a meeting at the National Archives this morning and hit the GRO for my five certificates. This afternoon I visited Freemason Hall (which happens to be across the street from the hotel…a half a block from the National Library. I have been in touch with the Archivist during the summer trying to find records for a client. Since many of my extended family were Masons in the U.S. I decided to see if I could find them in the records in Ireland.
So far, the answer seems to be no, but I ran out of time before I got to the last book. In order to find individuals in the records prior to 1875 you need to know what lodge they were associated with. Beginning in 1875 there is an alphabetical listing a large ledger of members which gives the name and the number of the lodge. You need another book to find the locality of the lodge. The first volume goes through 1895 and the second volume from 1896 - 1918. I was looking for Mackeys probably in the Bundoran/Ballyshannon area (there wasn't a lodge in northern Leitrim and from my trip this summer, I know that Bundoran is only about 5 miles from where my ancestors lived). Since my family was in the area until the early 1930s, I still need to follow up with the last book. It appears that there were four lodges in this area, but in some cases, the lodge was closed and the number reassigned to a lodge in another location. I'm not sure where this search will eventually take me…if I find a possible individual, there is likely a membership list, but it may not give me much additional information. There also might be a history of the lodge that could shed some light on the family. With the total lack of records from this area, I'll look at anything <g>.