Casefile Clues

27 August 2012

An Odd Fellow In Chicago and What Does J. W. Mean?

Apparently my wife's ancestor Thomas Frame was something of an odd fellow as evidenced by a recent item I located on Genealogybank. Memberships in fraternal organizations are not something I normally research, but like anything else they can contain clues and may lead to further records. 

Daily Inter Ocean (Chicago, IL), 11 January 1891, part III page 21
One has to read the article carefully. The column mentions several different "encampments" of the Order of Odd Fellows. The reference of interest is to Thomas Frame who is indicated as having been elected to an office in the "encampment" from the Pullman area of Chicago. This encampment, the Columbia Encampment-Number 84, was recently re-opened with officers as indicated in this blurb.


Daily Inter Ocean (Chicago, IL), 11 January 1891, part III page 21
desired entry--Thomas Frame

There is only one Thomas Frame in the Pullman area, so there's a really good chance he's the English native that I'm researching in that area. Whether or not this is a big research clue is another matter entirely. 

The one problem is that I don't know what his elected office was. The names are apparently listed with their office after their names:
  • J. W. Taylor, Chief Patriarch
  • R. P. Cheyne, S. W.
  • J. W. Marwick, H. P.
  • F. L. Woodford, Scribe
  • Nels Bergreen, Treasurer
  • Thomas Frame, J. W.
If there had been many Frames in the area, this might have helped me distinguish one from another. It might also have confirmed the existence of an additional Thomas Frame. How big a clue this membership is I'm not all that certain. I know where Thomas was born and died, who his wife was, who his parents were, and who his children were. 

This is an interesting item that I'll file away. Later it may prove helpful. In some families, this item could have been a breakthrough. 

Searching for last names like "Frame" on most sites is not necessarily easy. We'll see in a future post how I found this on Genealogybank.

[update--a Facebook friend Helen Smith from Australia told me this refers to Junior Warden--thanks. And the link for that is: http://www.ioof.org/acronyms.html]