Grandpa’s Dabblings In Freemasonry & A Quick Tip For Cheapskate Genealogists

As much as I dislike cutting off my genealogy addiction, I cut all ties to my websites during the holidays. Sorry Ancestry, Geneanet, and Findmypast; I just don’t have time for all of your glorious info. The practice pads my wallet for the expenses of the season. It doesn’t make sense to pay for a service during a month that I know I won’t use it. (I have 36 Christmas parties and a trip to Tijuana this month! There’s no way I’m getting to research Great-Uncle Pablo.) I’ve also learned that it’s good for me to back out of researching for a while; it often results in my spotting something I hadn’t seen before. But the lack of subscriptions does create a hole in my routine, so I try to focus on chatting with relatives when I see them.

After Thanksgiving dinner this year, my mom brought out her mother’s jewelry box. Inside was a small plastic bag containing my grandfather’s Freemason pin. My brothers and I had no idea he was involved in the Freemasons. Probably like most people, I don’t know exactly what being a Freemason entails, and I haven’t the foggiest what a member in the 1920s like my grandfather would have done as a member. But the revelation made me want to find out! Unfortunately, like I said, I’ve tied myself off of that information, at least until the New Year.

My grandfather’s involvement didn’t last long; my grandmother didn’t cotton to the idea. She thought being a part of an organization that didn’t have Jesus as a central tenet was sacrilegious. So Grandpa stepped down, but kept the pin. I wish I could ask him about it. What he liked about meetings? What different people he met? Would he have even been able to talk about it with me or is it like Fight Club?

For any of you cheap skate genealogists: When you sign-up for a website, put a monthly reminder in the calendar app in your cell phone. Have it remind you about 5 days before your subscription renews each month, that way you can decide if you want to renew or not, and if you decide to cancel the charge can be processed in time not to charge you. Put your username and password in there too!