You may wish to start with these county-wide or regional societies:
A local parish or urban district historical society sometimes has more data of interest to your specific needs as a researcher. Many of these do not have a website and are purely volunteer staffed. A contribution for any research effort is a wise investment:
Founded in 1974, this is the place to go to order publications, fiche, maps, etc. created by the various socities.
The SOG has a great many records available in their reading room:
This section discusses non-genealogical socities in Lincolnshire. Some of these may have membership records.
The Oddfellows, like the 'Forestors' or 'The Ancient Shepherds' or 'The Ancient Order of Druids' were 'friendly societies'. Acts of Parliament in 1793 and 1825 allowed these clubs to be set up. Their function was to offer financial relief to their members in times of hardship such as sickness and retirement. Their memberships were more upper working class or middle class in the social heirarchy as, the member ship fees to join and the monthly subscription were often beyond the reach of the labouring working classes who might well have been living 'hand to mouth' on a month to month basis. In 1850 there were 5,487 Oddfellows in Lincolnshire, organised into 99 'lodges' but this had increased by 1900 to a membership in Lincoln alone, of 6,209. These societies often met in a public house but some who had leanings towards temperance or were better off, had their own premises. So occasionally, you will still find public buildings known as The Oddfellows Hall. The public houses often had a decorated 'fan light' that is a pane of glass over the entrance door with the Arms of the Society inscribed and coloured, these too could be seen in the older pubs of the 1980s. The reference book to try to get hold of is The Friendly Societies in England: 1815-1875, by P H J H Gosden 1961.
Last updated on 28-June-2009
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