Rob Hamilton: VAFHO Expo Speaker

Rob Hamilton is an inspirational speaker specialising in all things Masonic. Born into a family steeped in Freemasonry dating back to his great Grandfather and the Island of St.Helena

Rob first joined the order of Antient Free and Accepted Masons of Victoria 48 years ago, and during that time He has occupied every position in what is affectionally known as the “lodge” at a local level, he currently holds the Masonic rank of Past Grand Standard Bearer. An 18th degree Freemason, Knight Templar and numerous other side orders associated with masonry He is a member of several Masonic study circles and The Victorian Lodge of Research, from which he holds a certificate of Masonic studies. He is also a freemason in the English Constitution

Rob has written numerous papers on various Masonic and related topics including, The Knight Templers, The Schaw Statutes of 1598 (and its influence on the current fundamentals of industrial workplace conditions), Symbolism in freemasonry, and Freemasonry is it a religion.

He speaks on Masonic topics such as, The spread of freemasonry through the British empires conquests into America, and the Indian Sub- Continent. The arrival of freemasonry in the colonies of New South Wales and Van Diemen’s Land in the 1780’s.Freemasons in Changi, Masonic symbols and monuments found in cemeteries. Interpreting Masonic photographs. What Masonic records can tell us, and where they may be found? Interpreting the Masonic language found in Trove, What were the various constitutions that were operating in early Australia? Rob delivers Masonic knowledge from his 48 years of research into Freemasonry and family history. He has amassed an extensive private library of books and documents, some dating from the mid 1700’s, research papers and modern electronic sources.

These dynamitic subjects help fill in the gaps and put the flesh on the bones between birth and death. What did our ancestors do in the society they lived in and helped to establish The Freemasons were in many cases the first organised groups in any new settlement, in fact 1802 saw the first Masonic meeting in New South Wales held between French naval officers of the Baudin expedition and British officers of the N.S.W. Corp. This was just 14 years after the British settlement of Port Jackson 1788.

Rob speaks regularly on cruise ships, Masonic lodges, genealogical conferences, family research gatherings and organisations such as, The Country Women’s Association. In March 2018 Rob was a speaker at the Australasian Congress on Genealogy & Heraldry in Sydney where he presented a program dealing with Masonic records for genealogists.

For all things Masonic contact Worshipful Brother  Rob Hamilton, Past Grand Standard Bearer, at:- shippo2@bigpond.com .

Come and hear Rob presenting at the VAFHO Family History Expo in Hamilton at 2.00 pm, Saturday 1st June 2019.

Title: The Freemason’s Record and the Genealogist

Precis: A powerful presentation introduces the non-mason to the peculiar world of freemasonry and its records, and with my knowledge and experience gain the ability to recognise the various levels within this once very secretive world.  Learn about the entered apprentice, fellow craft, and master mason

Recognise these men by their dress as well as that of the various office bearers and their insignia, as worn within the fraternity, including that of the grand master.

This vital knowledge assists the genealogist to build a live picture of their ancestor as we work through the various records that are available from the principal governing bodies both in Australia and England,

We also explore the best approach when researching masons in America and parts of Europe

The Freemasons records may include, but are not limited to:

  • The dates of initiation
  • promotion to various positions or rank
  • occupation
  • date of birth
  • home address
  • and in some cases family members.
  • The records may also include photographs and minutes of his activities both within the lodge but also in the community

We work through a case study of the first Master of a Victorian lodge held at the Junction Hotel on Saturday 7th May 1859.

Conventional genealogical research gave scant information regarding his life in Australia, no birth, no death, a brick wall. .

With knowledge of the Masonic history in Australia we are led to the records from the Grand Lodge of England. Records that show him to have been a plantation owner in Jamaica, a publican, engineer and teacher in Victoria before finally moving to Hawaii.

With knowledge of Masonic terminology we are able to explore places like Trove through different eyes, to gain a deeper understanding, the fabric of the man and his influence in the society of the time.

The Masonic record is one of the greatest reservoirs of personal information of a man’s life in his community, a resource which as yet is vastly untapped.

Submitted on behalf of Rob Hamilton : Speaker at the VAFHO Family History Expo, Hamilton, 1 June 2019.

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