Masonic Orders Family Tree


The Masonic Orders Family Tree is an important part of Freemasonry, tracing its history and influence from ancient times to the present day. Freemasonry has been around since at least the 17th century, and it has evolved and adapted over the centuries. The Masonic Orders Family Tree can help us learn more about the various branches of Freemasonry, their origins, and how they have developed over time. It can also provide insight into the symbols, customs, and beliefs associated with each branch of Freemasonry. From the Knights Templar to the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite to modern-day organizations like the Grand Lodge of America, this Family Tree traces the fascinating journey of Freemasonry from its earliest days all the way to today.The history of Masonic orders dates back to the Middle Ages, when the craft of stonemasonry was first practiced. Masons were highly skilled laborers who built structures such as cathedrals and castles. Over time, the traditions and rituals associated with masonry grew and evolved to become known as Freemasonry.

Freemasonry is a system of moral values, ethics, and brotherhood that is practiced in lodges around the world. It has been estimated that there are over six million Freemasons worldwide. Masonic orders are organized into a hierarchical structure, with Grand Lodges at the top and subordinate lodges beneath them. Each lodge is composed of individual members who meet regularly to discuss philosophy, perform rituals, and generally share their knowledge and ideas.

Masonic orders have evolved over the centuries in response to changing times, cultures, and beliefs. Despite this evolution, the core principles of Freemasonry remain largely unchanged: brotherly love, relief (charity), truth, and justice. Masonic orders have also played an important role in history, from helping to shape the American Revolution to providing support during times of war or natural disasters. Today, many Masonic orders still exist around the world and continue to promote their core tenets while engaging in charitable works for their local communities.

Origins of Masonic Orders

Masonic orders have a long and complex history. This article takes a look at the origins of these organizations, exploring the various influences and events that led to their formation.

• The earliest known record of Freemasonry is from 1390 in England, but it is thought that the organization had its roots in stonemason guilds as early as the 11th century.

• Freemasonry spread throughout Europe during the 16th and 17th centuries. It was introduced to colonial America in 1730, and during this time period, Masonry began to associate itself with philosophical principles and moral teachings.

• During the 18th century, Masonry underwent significant changes and began to take on a more organized form with Grand Lodges being established throughout Europe and America. Lodges also took on a more spiritual dimension, incorporating elements of religious philosophy into their teachings.

• The 19th century saw further innovations in Masonry with new degrees being developed such as the Scottish Rite and York Rite degrees. These additional degrees allowed for deeper exploration of philosophical principles and religious ideas within Masonry.

• By the 20th century, Masonry had become an international organization with lodges operating in many countries around the world. This internationalism has helped to strengthen bonds between members across different cultures and societies.

Today, Masonic orders continue to be an important part of many societies worldwide, offering members a unique form of fellowship based on shared values, ideals and beliefs. Despite its long history, Freemasonry remains relevant today through its commitment to self-improvement, charity work and helping others in need.

Structure of Masonic Orders

Masonry is divided into several different orders, each with its own set of rituals and symbols. The Grand Lodge of England is the highest Masonic body in the world and divides Masonry into three main orders: Craft Masonry, Royal Arch Masonry, and Rose Croix Masonry.

• Craft Masonry – is the most commonly known form of Freemasonry and is sometimes referred to as “Blue Lodge” Masonry. This order includes the three traditional degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, and Master Mason.

• Royal Arch Masonry – usually follows Craft Masonry and consists of four additional degrees. These are the Mark Master, Past Master, Most Excellent Master, and Royal Arch degrees.

• Rose Croix Masonry – is an advanced order that comes after Royal Arch Masonry and consists of eighteen degrees. These are divided into two series: the first series contains nine degrees from the 4th to 12th degree; while the second series contains nine degrees from 13th to 18th degree.

The structure of each Masonic order can be complex and difficult to understand for outsiders. However, it is important to remember that all Masons share a common bond of brotherhood in their dedication to morality and justice. The structure is designed to help members progress spiritually through understanding, practice, knowledge and wisdom which they can then use in their everyday lives for personal growth. Although the structure may seem confusing at first glance, it ultimately serves an important purpose in helping Masons grow together to become better people in society.

Overview of Masonic Divisions

Masonry is an ancient fraternal organization that promotes principles of justice, brotherly love, and charity. It is composed of divisions or branches, each with its own distinct set of symbols, rituals, and traditions.

The most common divisions are the Blue Lodge, the Royal Arch Masons, the Cryptic Masons, the Knights Templar and the Scottish Rite. Each division has its own unique symbols and rituals that distinguish it from the others.

The Blue Lodge is the foundation of all Masonic Orders. It is composed of three Degrees: Entered Apprentice (EA), Fellowcraft (FC), and Master Mason (MM). These Degrees are often referred to as “Symbolic Masonry” because they use symbols to communicate lessons about moral conduct and self-improvement.

The Royal Arch Masons is a higher degree of Freemasonry that focuses on spiritual enlightenment. The Degrees in this division are: Mark Master Mason (MMM), Past Master (PM), Most Excellent Master (MEM), and Royal Arch Mason (RAM). The teachings in these degrees involve Biblical stories, practical morality, and philosophical insights into human nature.

The Cryptic Masons have three Degrees: Royal Master (RM), Select Master (SM) and Super Excellent Master (SEM). This branch of Freemasonry emphasizes moral instruction through allegory from ancient history.

The Knights Templar is a division focused on Christian teachings and values. It consists of four Degrees: Knight’s Bachelor Degree, Knight’s Order Degree, Red Cross Degree, and Red Cross Knights Degree. The teachings in these Degrees focus on loyalty to God and country, courage in adversity, charity towards those less fortunate than oneself, and service to humanity.

The Scottish Rite is a system of 33 degrees divided into two sections: the Ineffable Degrees (4-14) which focus on philosophical inquiry;and the Philosophical Degrees (15-33) which focus on morality through symbolism. This branch emphasizes self-improvement through study of philosophy and ethics.

In reflection, Freemasonry consists of many different divisions or orders with their own unique symbols and rituals which promote justice, brotherly love, charity and spiritual enlightenment. Each division has its own set of teachings that provide guidance for moral living while stressing individual growth in knowledge and understanding.

Exploring Degrees in the Masonic Family Tree

The Freemasons are an ancient and venerated organization with a complex system of degrees or orders. There are three main branches within the Masonic family tree, each with its own distinct set of degrees. The three branches include Symbolic, Scottish, and York Rite Freemasonry. Each branch has a unique series of rituals and symbols that connect them to their past. Here is a brief overview of the degrees within each branch:

Symbolic Freemasonry
Symbolic Freemasonry is the oldest form of the craft, dating back to medieval Europe. The degree system is relatively simple and includes three primary degrees: Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craftsman, and Master Mason.

Scottish Rite Freemasonry

The Scottish Rite is a more elaborate form of masonry that was developed in the 18th century. It consists of 29 degrees divided into four sections: The Lodge of Perfection (4°-14°), Chapter Rose Croix (15°-18°), Council of Kadosh (19°-30°) and Consistory (31°-32°).

York Rite Freemasonry

York Rite Freemasonry is based on an older Masonic practice called chivalric Masonry. This system includes three separate divisions; Capitular Degrees (Mark Master, Past Master, Most Excellent Master, Royal Arch Mason), Cryptic Degrees (Royal Master, Select Master, Super Excellent Master) and Chivalric Orders (Order of Red Cross, Order of Knights Templar). Each division has its own set of rituals and symbols that connect it to its past.

Each degree within the Masonic family tree serves a unique purpose. From providing insight into ancient symbolism to helping members grow spiritually and intellectually, these degrees serve as an invaluable part of any mason’s journey. With so many different degrees available to explore, there truly is something for everyone in the Masonic family tree!

History of Grand Lodges and Grand Masters

The Grand Lodge and its Grand Master are two of the oldest offices in Freemasonry. In the early 18th century, four independent Grand Lodges emerged in England to govern the fraternity. Although their beliefs and practices varied, they all shared a common goal of upholding the ancient principles of Freemasonry. The first Grand Lodge was founded in London in 1717, followed by three more: The Premier Grand Lodge of England (1723), The Antients’ Grand Lodge of England (1751) and The United Grand Lodge of England (1813).

Each lodge was headed by a ‘Grand Master’, a title first held by Anthony Sayer in 1717. The role was traditionally held by a prominent member who was responsible for managing the lodge’s affairs, presiding over meetings and ensuring that members followed Masonic principles.

Selection Process

The process for selecting a new Grand Master is an important part of Masonic tradition. Generally, the current Grand Master will nominate his successor at least six months before his term ends. This nominee will usually be a senior member who has demonstrated exceptional leadership qualities and knowledge of Freemasonry principles. Once nominated, the candidate must be approved by at least two-thirds majority vote from the other members of the lodge before he can assume office.

Rituals & Traditions

The rituals and traditions performed by a Grand Lodge are steeped in centuries-old symbolism and lore. Each meeting usually begins with an ‘Opening Ceremony’ where candidates are welcomed into the lodge with Masonic salutations and oaths. This is followed by other traditional ceremonies such as tracing boards, readings from Masonic texts or presentations on various topics related to Freemasonry. At the end of each meeting, there is usually a ‘Closing Ceremony’ where members bid farewell to one another with more salutations before dispersing for the evening or adjourned till next time.


In addition to these rituals, a Grand Master also has many other responsibilities including chairing meetings; ensuring compliance with laws governing Freemasons; upholding fundamental values such as integrity; encouraging fellowship amongst members; supporting charitable causes; managing finances; handling disputes between members; and representing the fraternity in public forums.

In Reflection

The position of Grand Master has been held by some of history’s most notable figures such as George Washington, Winston Churchill and King George VI – all testament to its significance within Freemasonry. It is an office steeped in tradition that requires dedication, wisdom and leadership – qualities that have been passed down through generations for centuries now.

Masonic Symbols and Traditions

Masonry is a fraternity with a long and rich history, dating back centuries to its inception in the early 1700s. From its beginnings in England, the Masonic Order spread to the United States and other countries around the world. As it grew, it developed unique symbols and traditions, all of which have become an integral part of Masonic life.

The most recognizable symbol of Masonry is the square and compass. This symbol is often seen on jewelry, pins, clothing, books and more. The square and compass symbolize the principles of morality that guide a Mason’s life. It also represents the relationship between a Mason’s spiritual self and the physical world around them.

Masonry also has several traditions that are practiced by members all over the world. One tradition is called “raising,” which occurs when a new member of the fraternity is initiated into full membership. During this ceremony, which is usually held in a lodge or temple space, a person rises from one degree to another as they recite oaths of loyalty to their Masonic brethren and gain privileges within their lodge.

Other traditions include special meetings held throughout the year for members to celebrate certain holidays or commemorate important events in Masonic history. These meetings typically involve rituals like prayer, readings from sacred texts or special presentations by guest speakers. They can also include meals shared among brethren as well as fellowship activities like music or dancing.

Other symbols used in Masonic ceremonies include aprons, gloves, swords and other items that represent various aspects of Freemasonry such as wisdom, truth or justice. The colors used for these items are often blue with gold trimming to represent faithfulness or loyalty between Masons as well as other virtues like temperance and brotherly love. Additionally, there are several ancient tools such as plumb lines, compasses and carpenters’ squares that are used during rituals to remind Masons of their obligations to each other and society at large.

The traditions and symbols associated with Masonry have been passed down from generation to generation for centuries now. They provide an important link between members of this fraternal order all over the world and serve as reminders of what it means to be part of this unique family tree.

The Role of Women in the Masonic Family Tree

Women have had a long and important role in Freemasonry, the world’s oldest and largest fraternal organization. Though the organization itself is made up of men, female relatives of Freemasons have their own unique place in the Masonic family tree. In this article, we will explore the different roles women have played in Freemasonry over the years and how they continue to be involved today.

From its inception in 1717, women have had a part to play in Freemasonry. The first woman to be accepted into the organization was Lady Anne Clifford, who was made an honorary member by virtue of her husband being a Mason. Since then, women have been active members of various Masonic orders such as the Order of Eastern Star and International Order of Job’s Daughters.

These organizations are designed specifically for female relatives of Masons and provide them with a place to learn about their unique heritage and connect with others who share their beliefs. Women are also eligible to join Co-Masonry and other Masonic bodies that allow both sexes as members.

In recent years, there has been an effort to increase female involvement in Freemasonry by creating more opportunities for them within organizations such as Grand Lodges and Supreme Councils. This includes initiatives such as appointing female Grand Masters or Grand Officers, launching programs specifically tailored for women’s involvement in Masonry, and allowing women to become full members or join mixed lodges.

Today, many lodges are actively encouraging female participation through initiatives like these. This is part of a larger effort to ensure that all members – regardless of gender – feel welcome and included within the Masonic family tree.

Though it may not always be easy for women to find their place within this centuries-old tradition, there are many ways they can get involved and make their mark on this venerable institution. Whether it’s through joining one of its sister organizations or becoming a full member themselves, there are plenty of opportunities for women to become an integral part of the Masonic family tree.

Final Words On Masonic Orders Family Tree

Masonic Orders Family Tree has been an integral part of society since its inception. It has provided a sense of community and brotherhood to members, a strong sense of spirituality, and an ongoing commitment to self-improvement. Through its various levels, it provides a unified structure for members to strive for greater things.

The family tree provides a great source of information for those who are interested in learning more about the history and symbolism associated with the Order. It is also an invaluable tool for researching and understanding the role that certain lodges have played in the development of Freemasonry as a whole.

The importance of Masonic Orders Family Tree cannot be underestimated. It serves as a reminder that Freemasonry is a living tradition that continues to shape our world today and will continue to do so into the future. It is also a reminder that we all stand on the shoulders of those who came before us, and that we should strive to honor their legacy by continuing to live up to their ideals.

In reflection, it is clear that Masonic Orders Family Tree has made an indelible impact on our society today and will continue to do so in the future. The tree serves as both an object lesson in history and an inspiration for those who strive for excellence, justice, truth, and brotherhood. May we all continue on this path with reverence and dedication as we seek out our own place within this great Order.

Esoteric Freemasons