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17-05-2015, 12:00   #1
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The Orange Order as a source of family information

While doing some family history research I have discovered that someone I'm researching was in the Orange Order in Belfast in the early part of the 20th century.

I was wondering if anyone has ever approached the OO about details of their past membership. I guess that this would probably be a sensitive subject and that there may be a reluctance to release this information, if it exists.
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17-05-2015, 13:26   #2
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They've featured on at least one episode of WDYTYA, so they'll divulge info to researchers with TV companies behind them at the least. You may need to go up in person as I'd say they'd be much more reluctant to give info without actually meeting the person they're giving it to.
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17-05-2015, 16:21   #3
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Interesting post, OP. I've worked with some Irish fraternal organization records here in the US. Probably the main types of extant records that you can hope for are membership applications, meeting minutes, and any possible insurance schemes that Order members might have participated in.

Older local newspapers might have reported on meetings and give a list of those in attendance, their position titles, etc.

See also if there is any central repository/archive for the documentation of the Orange Order. A total guess, but maybe somewhere like the Linen Hall Library or Presbyterian Historical Society.
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17-05-2015, 16:27   #4
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Might be worth contacting the North of Ireland Family History Society as an early port of call. I'm sure they'd know how/who to approach. They may even have some records in their Research Library.
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22-05-2015, 09:10   #5
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I have but no luck.
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23-05-2015, 09:23   #6
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The orange order discovered King William's Book of Accounts in Belfast City Hall in 2012. I have no idea why they are allowed keep it and not asked to turn it over to the state.
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24-07-2015, 12:44   #7
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There are two recently opened museums, one in belfast and one in Loughgall.
The listing on the Visit-Belfast tourism website says they cover family history.
I can't post links yet but look for: OrangeHeritage .co .uk

It seems the Belfast one has an archive. The email address is: info @ orangeheritage .co .uk
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