52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, My Family Tree, Paternal Side

Week 25: Groups

When finding the obituary of my great-great-grandfather, George Washington Morgart, there was always a part of it that interested me:

” The Knights of the Golden Eagle, of which he was a member, turned out in a body at his funeral”

Who are the Knights of the Golden Eagle? That is what I set out to learn this week.

The Knights of the Golden Eagle

The Knights of the Golden Eagle is a fraternal organization that began in 1873 in Baltimore, Maryland (I say is as via a Google Search there are claims it is still handing out scholarships in areas of Pennsylvania). The group was set up in Philadelphia by 1876 (with the help of the Odd Fellows).

This book cover was from the National Heritage Museum’s website

The KGE local chapters were “castles”, state castles were “grand castles” and the national headquarters were “supreme castles”.

The castles were set up like the Crusades and had 3 degrees:

  1. The first degree had you as a pilgrim where you “were taught fidelity to God and man”.
  2. The second degree had you as a medieval knight where you “revered religion, fidelity, valor, charity, courtesy, and hospitality”
  3. The third degree was based on a crusader where the member was “equipped against the evil of his enemies”.

To become a member the following qualifications are to be met:

  • White male
  • Over the age of 18
  • Have no physical or mental handicaps
  • Ability to write
  • Able to support themselves
  • Law abiding
  • Sound moral character
  • Of the Christian faith

Meetings were held in an orderly fashion with songs mixed in.

Odes and Marches book was found on HathiTrust.org

The group tried to do good things for their community and help members widows and orphans when they need protection.

* The above information was found on Wikipedia and The National Heritage Museum