F. Earl Christy: Postcard Artist
Ralph Adams Cram: The apprentice years in Boston

Is This Your Great-Great-Grandfather?

Josiah_drummond_web We get questions on a fairly regular basis from people who are interested in finding out more about their family history. Because of our collections, they usually come to us when there's a connection to Freemasonry or the American Revolution. We have some resources to help you get started with these kinds of questions, and we've put them together on a page on our website. The best place to get an introduction on how to approach genealogy that relates to Freemasonry is Paul Bessel's web page about Masonic genealogy.

Freemasonry actually consists of various different organizations, so there is no single place where all Masonic records are kept. And in answer to that question that might be on your mind, I'm sorry to say that there isn't one giant database that contains the names of every Mason who ever lived. However, there is still plenty of material available that's related to genealogy and Freemasonry, so take a look at the two pages I linked to above, and let us know if we can help you further.

The man pictured here is Josiah Hayden Drummond. Drummond was, among many other things, Sovereign Grand Commander of the Supreme Council 33°of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction (which, I should mention, founded and continue to fund the National Heritage Museum). Drummond served as Sovereign Grand Commander from 1867-1879 - the first Commander to serve after the so-called Union of 1867 that unified the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction's previously competing factions. Drummond's obituary in the New York Times mentions that he was a jurist, politician, mathematician, and genealogist. Born and raised in Maine, he served as Speaker, Senator, and Congressman in Maine's legislature, and was Maine's Attorney General from 1860-1864.

For more information about Drummond's Masonic activities - which are many - you could consult the 1903 Proceedings of the Supreme Council of Sovereign Grand Inspectors-General of the Thirty-Third Degree for the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction (available in our library) where this engraving of Drummond, as well as a lengthy obituary, may be found. We have more materials available in our Archives too, related to Drummond's time as Sovereign Grand Commander.

Drummond was also a Masonic writer, and we have a number of books written by Drummond. Perhaps the most familiar - at least to Mason's in Maine - is the The Maine Masonic Text Book, which was first compiled by Drummond in 1877 (Drummond was Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Maine from 1860-1862). To find other books by Drummond in our library, please search our online catalog, or drop us a line.

Oh, and if Josiah H. Drummond is, by some wonderful coincidence, related to you, let us know!



Hi Aaron.

Thanks for the info about Drummond. Related to this, we'll be doing another Masonic genealogy workshop in March 2016. Stay tuned!


Aaron Joy

Sadly, there are no more Drummonds, though maybe some extended relatives. But, his legacy lives on as a recognized name in the Portland lodge of Maine. While he started a law firm Drummond & Drummond with his son Josiah II, who passed it to his son Wadleigh, who passed it to his son Josiah III and the firm continues today as a leading real estate firm of less than 20 lawyers that has not grown like it's competition but stayed small and hopefully gives service Josiah would approve of. There's also a Drummond & Woodsum firm started in the 1960's via a cousin in the family.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)