Independent Order of Odd Fellows
|Independent Order of Odd Fellows|
|Founded||April 26, 1819
Baltimore, Maryland, US
|Motto||True friends love forever|
|Colors||White Blue and Red|
|Symbol||Three Link Chain
(The Triple Links)
|Headquarters||422 Trade Street,
Winston-Salem, North Carolina, US
The Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) is a global altruistic and benevolent fraternal organization derived from the British Oddfellows service organizations of the 18th century. There are a number of explanations of the origin of the name – for example:
In 18th century England, it was odd to find people organized for the purpose of giving aid to those in need and of pursuing projects for the benefit of all mankind. Those who belonged to such an organization were called "Odd Fellows".
The Order is also known as "The Three Link Fraternity", referring to the Order's "Triple Links" logo – three links contain the letters F, L and T, (Friendship, Love and Truth).
The word "Independent" in the organization's name was given by the English parent organization as part of the chartered title of the new North American chapter:
The Independent Order of Odd Fellows was founded on the North American Continent in Baltimore, Maryland, on April 26, 1819 when Thomas Wildey and four members of the Order from England instituted Washington Lodge No. 1. This lodge received its charter from Manchester Unity of Odd Fellows in England.
Odd Fellowship became the first fraternity in the US to include both men and women when it adopted the "Beautiful Rebekah Degree" on September 20, 1851. This degree is based on teachings found in the Holy Bible, and was written by the Honorable Schuyler Colfax who was Vice President of the United States during the period 1868–73. Odd Fellows and Rebekahs were also the first US fraternal organizations to establish homes for senior members and for orphaned children.
- 1 Philosophy and purpose
- 2 Name
- 3 History
- 4 International spread
- 5 20th century
- 6 21st century
- 7 Symbols, lodges, officers, positions and degrees
- 8 Grand United Order of Odd Fellows in America
- 9 Notable members of the IOOF
- 10 Architectural impact
- 11 See also
- 12 References
- 13 Further reading
- 14 External links
Philosophy and purpose
As an organization, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows aims to provide a framework that promotes personal and social development. Lodge degrees and activities aim to improve and elevate every person to a higher, nobler plane; to extend sympathy and aid to those in need, making their burdens lighter, relieving the darkness of despair; to war against vice in every form, and to be a great moral power and influence for the good of humanity. Teachings in the Order are conducted through the exemplification of the Degrees of membership. The Degrees are conferred on the candidate by their Lodge, and are teachings of principles and truths by ceremonies and symbols. The Degrees are presented largely by means of allegory and drama. For Odd Fellows, the degrees in Odd Fellowship emphasizes a leaving of the old life and the start of a better one, of welcoming travelers, and of helping those in need. Lodges also provide an international social network of brothers and sisters that extends to more than 26 countries worldwide. If traveling is an interest, membership can provide a valuable network that will very much welcome an international visitor, and assist in their enterprises, and certainly their travels wherever possible. The command of the IOOF is to "visit the sick, relieve the distressed, bury the dead and educate the orphan." Specifically, IOOF are dedicated to the following purposes:
- To improve and elevate the character of mankind by promoting the principles of friendship, love, truth, faith, hope, charity and universal justice.
- To help make the world a better place to live by aiding each other in times of need and by organizing charitable projects and activities that would benefit the less fortunate, the youth, the elderly, the environment and the community in every way possible.
- To promote good will and harmony amongst peoples and nations through the principle of universal fraternity, holding the belief that all men and women regardless of race, nationality, religion, social status, gender, rank and station are brothers and sisters
- To promote a wholesome fraternal experience without violence, vices and discrimination of every form.
- The Odd Fellows and Rebekahs spend over US$775 million in relief projects annually
- The Educational Foundation provides substantial loans and grants to students
- SOS Children’s Village provides a caring home for orphaned children in 132 countries around the world
- Odd Fellow and Rebekah Homes provide a caring environment for the elderly
- Living Legacy focuses on planting trees and enhancing the environment
- The Arthritis Foundation
- Visual Research Foundation supports vision care and research through the Wilmer Eye Institute
- United Nations Pilgrimage for Youth sponsors a group of students for an educational trip to the United Nations
- Annual pilgrimages to the "Tomb of the Unknowns" (Arlington National Cemetery, USA), Canadian War Memorial, Ottawa, ON, and other Tombs of the Unknown Soldier.
- Odd Fellow and Rebekah Homes provides a caring environment for the elderly and orphans
- Odd Fellow and Rebekah camps and parks provide recreation for the youth and for families
The stated goals of Oddfellowship include:
- One of the strongest fraternal societies in the world.
- A great worldwide united brotherhood.
- A fraternity founded on the basis of universal brotherhood.
- Founded on the North American continent in 1819.
- Based upon the purest principles of equality.
- Non-political and non-sectarian.
- A source of comfort in times of trouble and adversity.
- A world-wide force that stands for all that is noblest and highest.
- An everyday guide for conduct, a mantle that should be worn always.
- An organization that favors no person for their wealth and frowns on none for their poverty.
- An ideal that exists in the heart and mind of every genuine Odd Fellow or Rebekah.
- Fulfilling a mission in the world which no other institution has successfully attempted.
- A vitalizing, sympathetic, and actuating influence in the lives of all its real members.
- A ministering spirit succoring the needy, cheering the despondent and protecting the helpless.
- The handmaid of virtue and religion.
- Founded on the inspired word of God as revealed to man in the Holy scriptures.
Several theories aim to explain the meaning of the name "Odd Fellows".
One says that they were called "odd" because in the beginning of Odd Fellowship in the 18th century, at the time of industrialization, it was rather odd to find people who followed noble values such as benevolence, charity and fraternalism.
A variation on that theory states: "The Odd Fellows, at least according to one story, got its curious name from the fact that it was a lodge that opened its doors to the working class who at that time did not ordinarily belong to fraternal orders—and were thus 'odd'. This may or may not be true as the Odd Fellows have been around for a long time and a good many things get lost in the fog of history."
Another theory states that Odd Fellows were people who engaged in miscellaneous or "odd" trades. In the 18th century, major trades were organized in guilds or other forms of syndicate, but smaller trades did not have any social or financial security. For that reason, people who exercised unusual trades joined together to form a larger group of "odd" fellows.
A slightly different version of this second theory states: "By the 13th century, the tradesmen's Guilds had become established and prosperous. During the 14th Century, with the growth of trade, the guild 'Masters' moved to protect their power (and wealth) by restricting access to the Guilds. In response, the less experienced (and less wealthy) 'Fellows' set up their own rival Guilds. In smaller towns and villages, there weren't enough Fellows from the same trade to set up a local Guild, so Fellows from a number of trades banded together to form a local Guild of Fellows from an odd assortment of trades. Hence, Guilds of Odd Fellows."
"In all times and among all nations which have reached a sufficient level of cultural development, there have always been voluntary associations formed for higher purposes. It is admitted that 'mystery of long-past ages enshrouds the origin of Odd Fellowship'", and that the exact date of its first founding is 'lost in the mist of antiquity'. The Manchester Unity Oddfellows (in United Kingdom) state on their website that "Oddfellows can trace its roots back to the Trade Guilds of the 12th and 13th centuries. Some believe that there are records in Scotland which show that the Oddfellows in its original form may have arisen in the 1500s. Some historians claim that it existed before 1650.
What is clear is that there were numerous Oddfellow organizations in England in the 1700s. One Edwardian Oddfellow history argued that in 1710 there was a 'Loyal Lintot of Oddfellows' in London. The first Oddfellows group in South Yorkshire, England, dates from 1730. The earliest surviving documented evidence of an “Oddfellows” lodge is the minutes of Loyal Aristarchus Oddfellow Lodge no. 9 in England, dated March 12, 1748. By it being lodge number 9, this connotes that there were older Oddfellows lodges that existed before this date. As a result of the Glorious Revolution of 1688 (when the Protestant William of Orange replaced the Catholic King James II), by the mid-18th century, the Order of Patriotic Oddfellows had formed in the south of England, supporting William, and The Ancient Order of Oddfellows had formed in the north, supporting the Stuarts. Subsequent to the failure of Bonnie Prince Charlie's uprising, in 1789 these two Orders formed a partial amalgamation as the Grand United Order of Oddfellows. These days they are more commonly known as "The Grand United Order of Oddfellows Friendly Society" (GUOOFS), abandoning all political and religious disputes and committing itself to promoting the harmony and welfare of its members. Some books mention that there was a lodge of a 'Union Order of Oddfellows' in London in 1750, and one in Derby in 1775. The Oddfellows Magazine of 1888 included a picture of a medal presented to the secretary of a lodge of the Grand Independent Order of Oddfellows in 1796. On a magazine review of a 1798 sermon preached in the Sheffield Parish Church, the "Oddfellows appear to be very numerous with about thirty-nine lodges of them in London and its vicinity, two at Sheffield, and one at each of the following places: Wolverhampton, Birmingham, Shrewsbury, Windsor, Wandsworth, Canterbury, Liverpool, Richmond in Surrey and Lewes". This suggested that the "Original United Order of Oddfellows" consisted of a total of 50 lodges at that time. In 1810, various lodges of the Union or United Order in the Manchester area declared themselves as an "Independent Order", and organized the "Manchester Unity of Oddfellows" which chartered the Odd Fellows in North America in 1819.
While several unofficial or self-instituted lodges had existed in New York City sometime in the period 1806 to 1818, because of the charter relationship, the American Odd Fellows is regarded as being founded in Baltimore at the Seven Stars Tavern on April 26, 1819, by Thomas Wildey and some associates who assembled in response to a newspaper advertisement. The following year, the lodge affiliated with the Manchester Unity and was granted the authority to institute new lodges.
In 1842, after an elementary dispute on whether the American lodges were to be involved in decision-making procedures, the American Lodges formed a separate governing system from the English Order, and in 1843 changed their name to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. In the following years, lodges were instituted all over the country, first in the east and later in the west. Also in 1842, the English Oddfellow Grand Lodges issued a warrant to an African American sailor named Peter Ogden from New York City; unlike Wildey and the IOOF, Ogden and the African American Odd Fellows lodges never separated from the English order, and they remain part of the Grand United Order of Odd Fellows (GUOOF), still headquartered in Philadelphia.
On September 20, 1851, IOOF became the first national fraternity to accept both men and women when it formed the Daughters of Rebekah. Schuyler Colfax, (Vice President of the United States (1869–1873) under President Ulysses S. Grant), was the force behind the movement. Both the Odd Fellows and Rebekahs have higher branches known as Encampments and Patriarchs Militant.
The American Civil War (1861–1865) shattered the IOOF in America; membership decreased and many lodges were unable to continue their work, especially in the southern States. After the Civil War, with the beginning of industrialization, the deteriorating social circumstances brought large numbers of people to the IOOF and the lodges rallied.
From 1860 to 1910/1920, also known as the "Golden Age of Fraternalism" in America, the Odd Fellows became the largest among all fraternal organizations, (at the time, even larger than Freemasonry). By 1889, the IOOF had lodges in every American state.
In 1896, the World Almanac showed the Odd Fellows as the largest among all fraternal organizations.
By the late nineteenth century, the Order had spread to most of the rest of the world, establishing lodges in the Americas, Australasia, and Europe. The peak of membership was probably in 1915 when the IOOF had 3.4 million active members.
There was one IOOF lodge in the country, Buenos Ayres Lodge no.1 instituted on January 1, 1903, with 32 members. The most recent report from the lodge was received by the Sovereign Grand Lodge in 1912.
Because of failure to keep records, it is hard to trace the early history of Odd Fellowship in Australia. What was recorded is that a lodge of the Order of Loyal and Independent Odd Fellows was in existence in the state of New South Wales on February 24, 1836. The lodge was established in New Zealand in 1843. An Australian Supreme Grand Lodge was established in Victoria sometime in the year 1850 and this body made negotiations for affiliation with the Grand Lodge of the United States in 1861. It is also noted that an Ancient Independent Order of Odd Fellows was in existence from 1861 to 1867 in Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia.
Because of the condition of the government at that time, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in Austria was first formed as a club in 1911. After WWI, conditions changed and the club was instituted as Friedens Lodge no.1 on June 4, 1922, in Vienna followed by Ikarius Lodge no.2, Pestalozzi Lodge no.3 and Fridtjof Nansen Lodge no.4. Mozart Lager Encampment no.1 was also instituted on June 3, 1932.
The first lodge under the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Belgia Lodge no.1, was instituted on June 13, 1911, in Antwerp. On March 15, 1975, Aurora Rebekah Lodge no.1 was instituted in Antwerp. Two more Odd Fellows Lodges were opened in the country.
Because many documents were not properly kept and some were destroyed, the precise date of the introduction of Odd Fellowship in Canada cannot be given. But it is known[by whom?] that two lodges under the Manchester Unity of Independent Order of Odd Fellows known as Royal Wellington Lodge no.1 and Loyal Bon Accorde Lodge no.2 existed in Halifax, Nova Scotia, as early as 1815. The older Order of Odd Fellows in Canada merged with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in 1843. The IOOF in Canada has 7 Grand Lodges, namely: Grand Lodge of Alberta, Grand Lodge of Atlantic Provinces, Grand Lodge of British Columbia, Grand Lodge of Manitoba, Grand Lodge of Ontario, Grand Lodge of Quebec and Grand Lodge of Saskatchewan.
'The Oddfellows [sic] galop' [for piano] was dedicated by permission to the Worthy Grand Master and members of the I.O.O.F., Ontario by George Buckley Sippi (1847-1915), professor of music, Hellmuth College, London, Ont. The sheet music, which was published in London, Ont. by A. & S. Nordheimer, c. 1875, was illustrated with a drawing of Oddfellow's Hall, London, Ont. with I.O.O.F. insignias in each corner.
The first Lodge under the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, known as Valparaiso Lodge No.1, was instituted by Dr. Cornelius Logan, Grand Sire, on April 15, 1874. Four additional lodges were instituted in the following years, and a Grand Lodge of Chile was instituted on November 18, 1875. However, due to the political situation in the country, the lodges in the country were reduced to 3 active lodges in 1888 and the charter of the Grand Lodge was surrendered. In September 2012, there were 3 Odd Fellows Lodges and 3 Rebekahs Lodges in the country.
The Independent Order of Odd Fellows was established in Cuba when Porvenir Lodge no.1 was instituted in Havana on August 26, 1883. More lodges were then instituted the following years. In 2012 there were about 116 Odd Fellows Lodges, 50 Rebekahs Lodges, 33 Encampments, 12 cantons and 2 Junior Lodges, totaling to about 15,000 members in Cuba.
- Czech Republic
The first attempt to establish the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in the Czech Republic was in 1905 through the formation of Friendship Lodge No. 8 in Saxony. But the unstable political and social condition of the country hampered the development. The actual development of the IOOF began after the creation of Czechoslovakia. However, Lodges were banned and cancelled during WWII. The IOOF began to re-activate lodges in 1989, building the first Odd Fellows Hall in the Czech Republic in 1996. In 2010, Martel Rebekah Lodge No.4 was founded as the lodge for women.
The Independent Order of Odd Fellows was established in the Kingdom of Denmark in 1878 and the Rebekahs in 1881. In September 2012, I.O.O.F had over 112 Odd Fellow Lodges and 94 Rebekah Lodges, with a total membership of 14,500 in Denmark. The I.O.O.F Grand Lodge headquarters of the Kingdom of Denmark is located at the Odd Fellow Palace in Copenhagen.
- Dominican Republic
The Independent Order of Odd Fellows was formally established in the Dominican Republic when Dr. Joaquin Balaguer Lodge no.1 was founded on February 24, 2007, in the City of San Cristobal.
The Independent Order of Odd Fellows was founded in Estonia when 1 Odd Fellows Lodge was founded by the Grand Lodge of Finland in 1993 and a Rebekah lodge in 1995.
After the Independent Order of Odd Fellows Grand Lodge of Sweden was established in 1895, the interest in Odd Fellowship was awakened in Finland. A letter from the year 1901 can be mentioned as a first sign of this interest. However, taking into consideration the political and social situation of Finland as a part of the Russian Empire at that time, the applicant was advised to abandon the whole idea. After Finland had declared independence in 1917, the idea of an Odd Fellows Lodge in Finland was raised again. A few interested people from the town Vaasa in Ostrobothnia province were able to join the Swedish Odd Fellow lodges until the Sovereign Grand Lodge finally permitted the Grand Lodge of Sweden to officially establish the IOOF in Finland in 1925. The first lodge established was named Wasa Lodge no.1 in the coastal town of Vaasa. Additional lodges were then formed in Helsinki in 1927 and a third lodge in Turku in 1931. Odd Fellows in Finland encountered great difficulties in 1930s and during the wartime. Especially the question of premises was quite difficult for many years. However, all three lodges which had been established before the war continued their activities almost without interruption. Only after the war, in the year 1951 was the next lodge established. Since then, the development has been steady and quite rapid. In the beginning of the 1980s, the number of brother lodges was 35 and the number of sister lodges 19 leading to the institution of the Grand Lodge of Finland on June 2, 1984. In the year 2008, there were 57 Odd Fellows lodges and 48 Rebekah lodges in Finland with about 8,200 members.
Dr. John F. Morse was District Deputy Grand Sire for Europe.[when?] He was instrumental in founding the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in Germany and Switzerland which help spread Thomas Wildey Odd Fellowship throughout the European continent. The first lodge under the Independent Order of Odd Fellows was established on December 1, 1870, in Wurttemberg, Germany, by Dr. John F. Morse, a Past Grand Master in California and a member of California Odd Fellows Lodge #1 of San Francisco, California, U.S.A. After the institution of Wurttemberg Lodge, other lodges were instituted including Germania Lodge No. 1 in Berlin on March 30, 1871; Helvetia Lodge No. 1 in Zurich, Switzerland on April 2, 1871; Saxonia Lodge No. 1 in Dresden on June 6, 1871; and Schiller Lodge No. 3 in Stuttgart on May 25, 1872. During the first decades, many lodges were instituted including 56 lodges in the 1870s, 20 lodges in the 1880s, 41 lodges in the 1890s, and the membership totaled almost 4,000 brothers. The formal establishment of the I.O.O.F Grand Lodge of the German Empire was on December 28, 1872.
The Independent Order of Odd Fellows in Iceland was founded in August 1933 under the Jurisdiction of the I.O.O.F Grand Lodge of Kingdom of Denmark, until it established the Grand Lodge of Iceland on January 31, 1948. In September 2012, there were 26 Odd Fellows Lodges, 15 Rebekah Lodges, 5 Odd Fellow Encampments and 3 Rebekah Encampments – about 3,300 members with 1 Odd Fellow lodge waiting for approval for institution.
The Independent Order of Odd Fellows was first introduced in the country when Colombu Lodge no.1 was instituted in Naples in 1895.
The first lodge in Mexico under the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, known as Ridgely Lodge no.1, was instituted on August 5, 1882. Several Lodges were opened the following years reaching up to 5 Lodges in 1895. However, the political situation affected their progress. In 2012, there was one Odd Fellows Lodge and one Rebekah Lodge re-instituted in 1996.
Paradijs Loge nr. 1 (Paradise Lodge No. 1) was founded in Amsterdam on 19 March 1877 by L. Elkan and G.E. van Erpen, former members of an Odd Fellows lodge in the USA. This initiative commenced in 1876, but initially the Dutch Government was not pleased. It subsequently stopped its resistance later in the same year. The translation of the rituals was the next problem, combined with the recognition by the Soeverine Loge (Sovereign Grand Lodge). Eventually the founder of the German Order, Ostheim, was appointed Gedeputeerd Groot Sire voor Nederland and installed the first Dutch board. In 1899, lodges were established in Den Haag and Groningen. Also in 1899, the first Nederlandse Grootorde (Grand Lodge of Netherlands) was founded. On 2 September 1911, the first Belgian Lodge, Belgia Loge nr. 201, was established in Antwerp, and the Order changed its name to Orde in Nederland en België.
Different Orders of Odd Fellows have existed in Nigeria since the 1800s. The Independent Order of Odd Fellows re-established lodges in the country in 2008. In January 2012, there were four Odd Fellow lodges in the country.
The Independent Order of Odd Fellows was established in Norway in 1898 and is one of the strongest jurisdictions in terms of membership. In January 2010, there were 151 Odd Fellow Lodges and 125 Rebekah Lodges and about 23,414 members in the country.
The Independent Order of Odd Fellows was established in Poland in Poznan in 1876 and in Wroclaw (then Breslau) in 1879. A Regional Grand Lodge of Silesia and Poznan was established in 1885, which opened lodges in Bydgoszcz in 1895, Gniezno in 1896, Torun in 1898, Gdansk in 1899, Pila 1899 and Grudziadz in 1901. After World War I, six Odd Fellows lodges worked in the Polish lands: in Poznań "Kosmos-Loge" in Inowroclaw "Astrea-Loge" in Bydgoszcz "Emanuel Schweizer Gedächnits Loge" in Gniezno "Friedens-Loge" in Torun "Coppernicus -Loge" and Grudziadz "Ostheim-Loge." Moreover, in Gdansk Gedania-Loge "and the camp" Vistula-Lager" existed. In addition to the above-mentioned, there were 18 IOOF lodges in the Lower Silesia, including as many as five in Wroclaw, "Morse", "Moltke," Phönix "Freundschaft" and "Caritas". In the years 1925 to 1926, they built a new, modern building for their headquarters. It was projected by A. Radig, and it stands in today’s Hallera Street in Wroclaw.
- Puerto Rico
The Independent Order of Odd Fellows was formally established in Puerto Rico when Boriken Lodge No. 1 was instituted on November 6, 1899, with the help of several members from Florida, New Jersey and New York Lodges of the IOOF. Naborias Rebekahs Lodge No. 1 was also formed in the country.
Filipinos first embraced the fraternalism of the Odd Fellows during the revolutionary era as a reaction to the perceived abuses by their Spanish colonists, and by 1898, had formed several military lodges and Odd Fellows Association in Manila. According to their own records, the early membership consisted primarily of military officers and government officials. The organization failed during World War II, and was not reformed until November 21, 2009. In 2012 there were 5 active I.O.O.F lodges located in various towns and cities in the country.
Interests about forming a lodge under the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in Spain started very long ago but was unsuccessful until Andalucia Rebekah Lodge no.1 was established in 1995, and Costa del Sol Lodge no.1 was founded in the country by members of the IOOF from Denmark and Norway in 2002.
Although some ancient form of an Order of Odd Fellows may have existed in the country, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows was first established in Malmo, Sweden, in 1884, and a Grand Lodge of the Kingdom of Sweden was instituted in 1895. In 2012, Sweden held the strongest membership in IOOF with more than 174 Odd Fellow Lodges, 113 Rebekah Lodges, and over 40,000 members.
The Independent Order of Odd Fellows was first established in Switzerland on June 19, 1871, when Helvetia Lodge no.1 was instituted in Zurich by Dr. Morse of California and Mr. Schaettle and Bernheim, members of the fraternity in Germany. The I.O.O.F Grand Lodge of Switzerland was established on April 22, 1874.
- United Kingdom
There were many Oddfellows organizations in the United Kingdom starting in the 1700s and 1800s. The Independent Order of Oddfellows (Manchester Unity), commonly called Manchester Unity, was founded in 1810 when it separated from the Grand United Order of Oddfellows. Manchester Unity chartered the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in North America in 1820 and is the sister organization of the IOOF. In January 2012, it had about 200,000 members in the UK.
The first Lodge under the Independent Order of Odd Fellows was established in Uruguay on February 9, 1966, known as Artigas Lodge no.1. The Rebekahs was also established on November 19, 1966, known as Amanecer Rebekah Lodge no.1. Additional lodges, Uruguay Lodge no.2, Horizontes Rebekah Lodge no.2 and El Ceibo Lodge have been instituted and 5 lodges meet in the same hall in Montevideo.
The first lodge under the Independent Order of Odd Fellows was founded in the City of Caracas, Venezuela, on August 2, 1986, known as Pakritti Lodge no.1.
The Great Depression and the introduction of Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal brought a decline in membership. During the depression, people could not afford Odd Fellows membership fees, and when the New Deal's social reforms started to take effect, the need for the social work of the Odd Fellows declined.
In 1971 the IOOF changed its constitution, removing its whites only clause. In 1979 the Order had 243,000 members.
Some branches of the order (i.e., some countries) have allowed women to join the Odd Fellows itself, leading to the Rebekahs' decline in importance. Also, the higher branches and their degrees are, in some countries, becoming regarded as less important or too time-consuming, and (in those countries) are gradually being abandoned.
Although there was a decline in membership in fraternal organizations in general during the 20th century, membership in the 21st century has started to increase. The IOOF continues in the 21st century with lodges around the world, and is claimed to be the "largest united international fraternal order in the world under one head", with every lodge working with the Sovereign Grand Lodge located in the United States. Also, the British "Independent Order of Oddfellows, Manchester Unity", and the IOOF have recognized each other inter-fraternally; members of the Manchester Unity and the IOOF can visit each other's lodges, and are welcome as brothers and sisters. Currently, there are about 12,000 lodges with nearly 600,000 members.
Units of the Order in the U.S.A. include:
- Odd Fellows Lodge
- Rebekahs Lodge
- Ladies Encampment Auxiliary (LEA)
- Patriarchs Militant
- Ladies Auxiliary Patriarchs Militant (LAPM)
- Junior Odd Fellows Lodge
- Theta Rho Girls Club
- United Youth Groups
- Zeta Lambda Tau
Summary of Grand Lodges by region
|Ref||Regions / Jurisdictions / Countries (Date established)||Ref|
|Liberia (1874)*, Nigeria (2008)*,||
|Australasia||6||Australasia, New South Wales (1836), New Zealand (1843), South Australia, Tasmania, Western Australia|
|Canada||8||Canada (1843), Alberta, Atlantic Provinces, British Columbia (1864), Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec (1878), Saskatchewan|
|Europe||13||Europe (2006), Austria, Czech Republic (1877)*, Denmark (1878), Estonia (1993)*, Finland (1925), France (1884)*, Germany (1870), Iceland (1897), Netherlands & Belgium (1911), Norway (1898), Poland (1938)*, Spain*, Sweden (1895), Switzerland (1871)|
|Central America||2||Belize*, Dominican Republic*, Cuba (1883), America Latina (Cuba), Mexico (1882), Puerto Rico (1999)*,|
|South America||1||Chile (1874), Uruguay*, Venezuela,|
|United Kingdom||0||(The IOOF in United Kingdom is under the mother chapter, Manchester Unity.)|
|United States of America||51||Sovereign Grand Lodge (1819), Alabama, Arizona (1884), Arkansas, California (1847), Colorado (1860), Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii (1846), Idaho, Illinois (1838), Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri (1834), Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York (1806), North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma (1875), Oregon, Pennsylvania (1821), Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington (1878), West Virginia, Wisconsin (1835), Wyoming|
Symbols, lodges, officers, positions and degrees
In order to fully understand the purposes and principles of Odd Fellowship, instruction in ceremonial form is divided into degrees. These degrees are dramatic in form and aim to emulate and impart the principles of the fraternity: Friendship, Love, Truth, Faith, Hope, Charity and Universal Justice. Each degree consists of symbols that aim to teach a practical moral code and encourages members to live and act upon them to act positive change upon the world. In the past, when most Odd Fellows lodges offered financial benefits for the sick and distressed members, such symbols, passwords and hand signs were used as proof of membership and to protect the lodge funds from impostors. These symbols, signs and passwords have been carried forward to modern times as a tradition. The most widely encountered symbol of the IOOF – on signs, buildings and gravemarkers – is the three-link chain ("the Chain With Three Links", the "Triple Links") with three initials, 'F', 'L' and 'T', one each inside each link, signifying Friendship, Love and Truth.
The Independent Order of Odd Fellows in the US has three levels of "Lodge": the Lodge, the Encampment, and the Patriarchs Militant. In addition, there is a private club named The Ancient Mystic Order of Samaritans (AMOS). In Australia, this system has been implemented in a slightly different, but largely similar manner.
The Lodge is assigned to new initiates. The initials of the subordinate lodge are "FLT" which stands for Friendship, Love and Truth as the basic guides to live by as an Odd Fellow. Once a member has made their way through all the degrees and has had the 3rd degree (truth) bestowed upon them, they are entitled to hold an officer position in their lodge, and are also eligible to go on further in Odd Fellowship through the higher degree branches such as the Encampment and the Patriarchs Militant (aka the Canton).
- Lodge Officer Positions
|Noble Grand||Elected||Sits as Chair for Meetings, Official Representative of lodge to outside persons and organizations and see that the lodge program is planned in advance|
|Vice Grand||Elected||Exercise power to assist Noble Grand in Presiding Meetings. Assume the duties and responsibilities of the NG in times of absence or if necessary|
|Past Grand||Elected||Assist Noble Grand and lodge officers in every way possible. May act as NG or VG when legally called thereto|
|Secretary||Elected||Records minutes at meetings, files necessary paper work, sends and receives communications.|
|Financial Secretary||Elected||Notify and collect to members their dues and financial obligations|
|Treasurer||Elected||Keeps an accurate file of all finances and receipts of the lodge and writes all checks ordered|
|Warden||Appointed||Responsible for the general welfare of the applicant, examines all present before the lodge is opened, give charge of office during initiations, in-charge of regalia and lodge room property and will place regalia in the lodge room before and removing it on closing|
|Conductor||Appointed||Receives the candidates when they enter the lodge room, perform all duties assigned in conferring the degrees and assist the Warden while in the lodge|
|Chaplain||Appointed||Leads the opening the closing ceremonies and performs all functions assigned during conferral of degrees|
|Right Supporter of Noble Grand||Appointed||Supports the NG in keeping order, execute commands, open and close the lodge in due form, see that signs are given correctly and occupy chair of NG when vacated temporarily during lodge hours.|
|Left Supporter of Noble Grand||Appointed||See that members who enter the room are in proper regalia and give the signs correctly and to officiate for the Right Supporter when absent|
|Right Supporter of Vice Grand||Appointed||Observe that members give the signs correctly, report to the Noble Grand members that do not conduct themselves according to the regulations of the Order.|
|Left Supporter of Vice Grand||Appointed||Assist the Right Supporter and officiate for that officer when absent|
|Color Bearer||Appointed||Oversees flags and proper presentation of such|
|Right Scene supporter||Appointed||Assist at initiations and perform roles specified in the charge book|
|Left Scene Supporter||Appointed||Assist at initiations and perform roles specified in the charge book|
|Inner Guardian||Appointed||Guards the inner door|
|Outer Guardian||Appointed||Guards the outer door|
|Musician (Optional)||Appointed||Play all required music and accompaniment during meetings and ceremonies.|
- Subordinate Lodge Degrees
2 Brotherly/Sisterly Love
The Encampment is a higher branch in the IOOF and is open to third degree members in good standing. This branch is based on the principles of Faith, Hope and Charity. One must go through the Encampment first before seeking entrance into the highest branch, the Patriarchs Militant. Once one has accomplished the Royal Purple degree of the Encampment, one is eligible to hold an officer position in the Encampment and is also eligible for the Patriarchs Militant.
The initials of the Encampment are FHC which stands for Faith, Hope and Charity. The Encampment's seal is a purple tent with golden trim, the triple links above the tent door and crossed shepherds crooks. These symbols can be seen on the purple fez that American members of this branch wear. One must retain their membership and remain in good standing within their own subordinate lodge while in the Encampment.
- Encampment Officers
|Chief Patriarch (male)/Chief Matriarch (female)||Elected||Sits as Chair for Meetings, Official Representative of Encampment to outside persons and organizations and see that the program is planned in advance|
|Senior Warden||Elected||Exercise power to assist Chief Patriarch and High Priest in Presiding Meetings. Assume the duties and responsibilities of the CP in times of absence or if necessary|
|Junior Warden||Elected||Examine members prior to opening and assist Chief Patriarch and High Priest|
|High Priest||Elected||Provide counsel to members|
|Scribe||Elected||Records minutes at meetings, files necessary paper work, sends and receives communications.|
|Financial Scribe||Elected||Notify and collect to members their dues and financial obligations|
|Treasurer||Elected||Keeps an accurate file of all finances and receipts of the lodge and writes all checks ordered|
|Chaplain||Appointed||Leads the opening the closing ceremonies and performs all functions assigned during conferral of degrees|
|Color Bearer||Appointed||Oversees flags and proper presentation of such|
|Guide||Appointed||Assist at initiations and perform roles specified in the charge book|
|Instructor||Appointed||Assist at initiations and perform roles specified in the charge book|
|First, Second, Third, Fourth Guardian of the Tent||All Appointed||Assist at initiations and perform roles specified in the charge book|
|First, Second, Third, Fourth Watch||All Appointed||Assist at initiations and perform roles specified in the charge book|
|Inside Sentinel||Appointed||Guards the inner door|
|Outside Sentinel||Appointed||Guards the outer door|
|Musician (Optional)||Appointed||Play all required music and accompaniment during meetings and ceremonies.|
- Encampment Degrees
2 Golden Rule
3 Royal Purple
Again, in legal terminology, American Encampments are also considered U.S. I.R.S. 501(c)(8) Mutual Benefit Corporations.
Founded during the American Civil war, the Patriarchs Militant (PM) is Odd Fellowship's uniformed branch, and is the branch which offers the highest degree of the IOOF. It is purely semi-military in its character, organized for chivalric display and is admirably fulfilling its mission through the annual 'Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers' ceremony held in Washington, DC, Canada and other public ceremonies conducted in several countries such as Cuba.
There is only one degree, the Chevalier degree. Upon completion of this degree, one is entitled to hold office in the Canton. Sometimes the Patriarchs Militant is referred to as "the Canton", due to the Canton being the name used in lieu of "Lodge". The seal of the PM is a gold and jeweled crown, within which is a shepherds crook crossed with a sword and the triple links of Odd Fellowship connecting the two at the bottom. One must retain their membership and remain in good standing within both the subordinate lodge and Encampment while a member of the PM.
- Canton Officers
|Commandant||Elected||Sits as Chair for Meetings, Official Representative of Canton to outside persons and organizations and see that the program is planned in advance|
|Ensign||Elected||Examine members prior to opening and assist Commandant and Lieutenant|
|Clerk/Accountant||Elected||Records minutes at meetings, files necessary paper work, sends and receives communications.|
|Chaplain||Appointed||Leads opening and closing prayer|
|Color Bearer||Appointed||Oversees flags and proper presentation of such|
|Musician (Optional)||Appointed||Play all required music and accompaniment during meetings and ceremonies.|
- Patriarch Militant Degree
American Cantons are also considered US IRS 501(c) (8) Mutual Benefit Corporations.
The Ancient Mystic Order of Samaritans (AMOS)
AMOS was preceded by a number of independent clubs, such as the OOH&P (Oriental Order of Humility and Perfection) and the Imperial Order of Muscovites. These were disbanded in the first two decades of the 20th Century, and melded together to form the AMOS. The Ancient Mystic Order of Samaritans is not an officially recognized body within Odd Fellowship; it is a private club to which only those who are Odd Fellows may belong. A brother who holds the third degree and is in good standing within his subordinate lodge (i.e. he has not been expelled or in arrears of dues, etc.) is eligible to make an application to join.
The brothers who belong to the AMOS, much like the Shriners, wear a red fez, but the tassel which hangs from the fez is of different colors depending on the degree attained or the office held. The seal of the AMOS is an owl sitting upon a pyramid. Above the owl are the words "WE NEVER SLEEP"; at the base of the pyramid is the word Xerxes, and below the pyramid is the Arabian sword called a scimitar. The word Xerxes alludes to the password of the first degree of the AMOS.
- The Ancient Mystic Order of Samaritans (AMOS) Degrees
- Humility (or Samaritan) [Red fez with a yellow tassel]
- Perfection (or Sheik) [Red fez with a red tassel]
The Junior Lodge was created in 1921. Its original name was apparently the Loyal Sons of the Junior Order of Odd fellows. It was created for young males who were interested in joined the Oddfellows upon reaching adulthood. The ritual and ceremonies were supervised by a member of the senior order. There were 4,873 members in 1970.
Grand United Order of Odd Fellows in America
The Grand United Order of Odd Fellows is a fraternal organization founded in 1843 for black members. The GUOOF was founded by Peter Ogden, an African American sailor, who obtained its charter directly from the Grand United Order of Odd Fellows in Great Britain. Although still in existence, membership in the US has declined, due to the mainstream IOOF no longer being segregated and the decline in fraternal membership in general.
Notable members of the IOOF
"Odd Fellowship, unlike many other organizations, makes no special effort to attract 'name' members. Ours is a warm, personal type of affiliation that doesn't rely on 'rubbing elbows' with the famous to give us satisfaction." Below are some of the notable men and women who were members of the fraternity:
- James Ashman, Los Angeles City Council
- Warren Austin, Mayor, Senator (Vermont 1931-1946), Ambassador to the UN
- Hugo Black, politician and jurist
- Owen Brewster, lawyer, politician, Governor, Senator
- Wilber M. Brucker, Governor of Michigan (1931–1932)
- Elwood Bruner, California state legislator in the 1890s
- William Jennings Bryan, U.S. Secretary of State (1913–1915)
- Robert C. Byrd, U.S. Senator (1959–2010)
- Edwin Hubbell Chapin, Universalist minister, author, lecturer, and social reformer
- Charlie Chaplin, comedic actor and film director
- Parley P. Christensen, Utah and California politician, Esperantist
- Ernest E. Cole, Commissioner of Education for New York State (1940–1942)
- Schuyler Colfax, U.S. Vice President (1869–1873)
- John J. Cornwell, Governor (WV) and Senator (MD)
- Wyatt Earp, law officer in the American Old West
- Ulysses S. Grant, 18th U.S. President (1869–1877)
- Warren Harding, 29th U.S. President (1921–1923)
- Rutherford Hayes, 19th U.S. President (1877–1881)
- Thomas Hendricks, 21st Vice President of the United States
- Anson Jones, Last President of the Republic of Texas 
- Nathan Kelley, architect of Ohio State House
- Goodwin Knight, Governor of California
- Charles Lindbergh, American aviator, author, inventor, explorer, and social activist
- William McKinley, 25th U.S. President (1897–1901)
- William Marsh Rice, Founder of Rice University
- Franklin Roosevelt, 32nd U.S. President (1933–1945)
- Levi and Matilda Stanley, considered as King and Queen of the Gypsies
- Lucy Hobbs Taylor, first U.S. female dentist
- Earl Warren, U.S. Chief Justice (1953–1969)
- Thomas Wildey, Founder of Odd Fellows in the U.S.
- Albert Winn, Major General of the U.S. Military (1810–1883)
Although in Britain the Odd Fellows tended to meet in pubs, in the US the lodges often built their own facilities. Many of these are now on the US National Register of Historic Places:
- Arroyo Grande IOOF Hall (Arroyo Grande, California)
- Hardman IOOF Lodge Hall (Hardman, Oregon)
- IOOF Building (Kingman, Arizona)
- IOOF Building (Ashland, Oregon)
- I.O.O.F. Building (Woodland, California)
- I.O.O.F. Building (Idaho Falls, Idaho)
- I.O.O.F. Building of Buffalo (Buffalo, Oklahoma)
- Odd Fellows Building (Red Bluff, California)
- Odd Fellows Building (Inez, Kentucky)
- Odd Fellows Building (Owensboro, Kentucky)
- Odd Fellows Building (Pikeville, Kentucky)
- Odd Fellows Building (Malden, Massachusetts)
- Odd Fellows Building (Raleigh, North Carolina)
- Odd Fellows Building (Portland, Oregon)
- Odd Fellows Building (Gary, South Dakota)
- Independent Order of Odd Fellows Building (Benton, Arkansas)
- Independent Order of Odd Fellows Building (San Diego, California)
- Odd Fellows Building and Auditorium (Atlanta, Georgia)
- IOOF Hall (De Beque, Colorado)
- I.O.O.F. Hall (Mokelumne Hill, California)
- I.O.O.F. Hall (Woodbridge, California)
- Independent Order of Odd Fellows Hall (Ashton, Idaho)
- Independent Order of Odd Fellows Hall (Salt Lake City, Utah)
- Odd Fellows Hall (Eureka, California)
- Odd Fellows Hall (La Grange, California)
- Odd Fellows Hall (Santa Ana, California)
- Odd Fellows Block (Grand Forks, North Dakota)
- Odd Fellows Block (Lewiston, Maine)
- Odd Fellows Lodge (Bel Air, Maryland)
- Odd Fellows Lodge (Goldsboro, North Carolina)
- IOOF Lodge (Alton, Kansas)
- IOOF Lodge (Thompson Falls, Montana)
- Odd Fellows Temple (Pasadena, California)
- Odd Fellows Temple (Lexington, Kentucky)
- Odd Fellows Temple (Waterville, Maine)
- Odd Fellows Temple (East Liverpool, Ohio)
- Odd Fellows Temple (Waterbury, Connecticut)
- Odd Fellows Hall (Portsmouth, Ohio)
- Odd Fellows
- Imperial Order of Muscovites
- Oddfellows - the British orders, and
- Independent Order of Odd Fellows Sweden
- Independent Order of Odd Fellows Philippines
- International Association of Rebekah Assemblies
- Theta Rho Girls
- Junior Odd Fellows
- Manchester Unity of Odd Fellows
- Independent Order of Oddfellows (Manchester Unity)
- Category: Odd Fellows
- "About us". IOOF. Retrieved 2013-05-11.
- History, IOOF Grand Lodge of South Australia.
- Most statements here can be found in Weinbren, D. (2010). "The Oddfellows: 200 years of making friends and helping people". United Kingdom: Carnegie Publishing
- : Historical Contributions and Achievements of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Louie Blake Sarmiento blog
- IOOF brochure, The Independent Order of Odd Fellows & Rebekahs. Retrieved 2009-04-29.
- Activities, IOOF Philippines. Retrieved 2010-01-30.
- "The first Sunday of May each year has been designated for the Annual Odd Fellow Pilgrimage to the Tomb of the Unknowns. Permission for this date has been granted by the Department of the Army, official custodian of Arlington National Cemetery. The first pilgrimage was in 1934 with the purpose of not only honoring the Unknown Soldier and the Nation’s war dead, but also, the members of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows who made the supreme sacrifice during World War I. On this day each year, Odd Fellows and Rebekahs pay tribute and homage to fallen heroes who sacrificed their lives in defense of our country. A lone Army Sentinel guards the Tomb of the Unknown, day and night, the sentinel paces and guards. He stops pacing at the observance of the Odd Fellows and Rebekahs in the placing of wreaths at the Tombs. Each Unknown Soldier has been presented with the Grand Decoration of Chivalry, the highest decoration that can be bestowed on an Odd Fellow. These jewels are prominently displayed by the U.S. Army in the Hall of Trophies. On this same day, a wreath is also placed at the Canadian War Memorial in Arlington Cemetery. On the first Sunday in June, the ceremony is repeated at the Canadian War Memorial in Ottawa, Canada." http://ioofphilippines.yolasite.com/news.php
- Frequently Asked Questions, "Odd Fellowship Is", ioof.org Retrieved 2009-04-29.
- With over 12,000 lodges and nearly 600,000 members in more than 26 countries, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows is one of the largest and strongest fraternal organizations in the world.
- Müller, Stephanie (2008): The name Odd Fellows, from Concept and contents of Odd Fellowship, Chapter 4 of Visit the Sick, Relieve the Distressed, Bury the Dead and Educate the Orphan: The Independent Order of Odd Fellows. A scientific work in the field of cultural studies, Volume 10 of the "Cultural Studies in the Heartland of America" project, Wissenschaftlicher Verlag, Trier, Germany. ISBN 978-3-86821-093-4. Retrieved on 2009-10-14.
- Burkley M. Gray (n.d.) Fraternalism in America (1860 - 1920), Phoenixmasonry Masonic Museum, www.phoenixmasonry.org. (See also Odd Fellow Service Jewels.)
- History and Traditions, Manchester Unity (U.K.), www.oddfellows.co.uk. Retrieved 2009-11-11.
- Oddfellows in Australia 100 years, p.5.
- "What is Odd Fellowship" slideshow by Sovereign grand Lodge
- Frequently Asked Questions, Manchester Unity, www.oddfellows.co.uk
- The website of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in Sweden mentions that historians believe there are records in Scotland which show its original form sometime in the 1500s. http://www.oddfellow.org/storlogen/historia.asp
- The website of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in Australia states that "The exact origin of the Odd Fellow fraternities is unknown. The earliest written record is in a public museum in Scotland and is a Charter granted to a “Society of Odd Fellows” under seal dated May 6, 1557."
- Historian Greer[who?] claimed that Oddfellowship dates from sometime before 1650.
- Birdely, G. "The origin, rise and progress of Oddfellowship. Manx Quarterly, 7, 1909.
- History, Manchester Unity, www.oddfellows.org.uk
- About the Odd Fellows Fraternity, ioofphilippines.yolasite.com
- History, G.U.O.O.F.S Friendly Society
- GUOOFS, Grand United Order of Oddfellows Friendly Society (U.K.), www.uk.guoofs.com
- Oddfellows Magazine, Oct 1838, p.171
- From a review of '"A Sermon, delivered in the Parish Church of Sheffield, to the Original United Order of Oddfellows", on Monday, July 9, 1798, by George Smith MA, curate of the said Church, and late of Trinity College, Cambridge' in Gentleman's Magazine, September, 1798, pp.785-6.
- Mark A. Tabbert (2003) The Odd Fellows, Masonic Papers, first published Dec. 2003, "The Northern Light", Scottish Rite Freemasonry, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, USA.
- "The Oddfellows", (Manchester Unity), were established in 1810 and celebrated their bi-centenerary in 2010.
- History of Odd Fellowship, www.caioof.org
- Volume four, p. 150, Encyclopedia of Newfoundland and Labrador, ISBN 0-9693422-1-7.
- GUOOF, (Grand United Order of Odd Fellows, USA), www.guoof.com[dead link]
- Barry, Dan (August 26, 2007). "A Grand Gathering, but One With a Solemn Note". New York Times. "As with most matters of Odd Fellowship, nearly every aspect of the annual convention of the Sovereign Grand Lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows must adhere to protocol. The dais for the officers’ banquet, for example, must be two-tiered and able to accommodate 50 people, important on the bottom, really important on the top. Seats for the sovereign grand master, the deputy sovereign grand master, the sovereign grand warden, the sovereign grand secretary and the sovereign grand treasurer. Seats for the leaders of the two uniformed branches, the Patriarchs Militant and its Ladies Auxiliaries. A seat for the president of the International Association of Rebekah Assemblies, established when the Odd Fellows long ago recognized “the need for a woman’s touch.”"
- Patriarchs Militant & Ladies Auxiliary Association: "The Patriarchs Militant are the uniformed branch of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF), one of the oldest and largest fraternal orders in the world today. The Patriarchs Militant were established by the Sovereign Grand Lodge - the international governing body of Odd Fellowship - in 1886."
- PM Park, Clear Lake, Iowa contains a section summarizing the history of IOOF children's summer holiday camps established by the Patriarchs Militant.
- Müller, Stephanie (2008): History of the Odd Fellows, from Concept and contents of Odd Fellowship, Chapter 2 of Visit the Sick, Relieve the Distressed, Bury the Dead and Educate the Orphan: The Independent Order of Odd Fellows. A scientific work in the field of cultural studies, Volume 10 of the "Cultural Studies in the Heartland of America" project, Wissenschaftlicher Verlag, Trier, Germany. ISBN 978-3-86821-093-4. Retrieved on 2009-10-14.
- History of the IOOF in Marin County. Illustrates the spread of Oddfellowship in California in the 19th century. Also contains a section titled: Background, History, Ritual and Emblems.
- The Morals of Odd-fellowship : a Discourse. Reproduction of the 1853 publication from the Grand Lodge of Northern New York. Demonstrates the influence of the Odd Fellows in the mid 19th century.
- IOOF History, Grand Lodge of Belgium and the Netherlands. www.stichtingargus.nl (in English).
Note: Some of the "facts" quoted are inaccurate, and there are no supporting references, so the reliability of this source is unknown.
- Rasmussen, V. (1998) "IOOF and Concordant Societies"
- Stillson, H.L. (1900) "The official history of Odd Fellowship: The Three Link Fraternity". MA: The Fraternity Publishing Company
- Library and Archives Canada, Sheetmusic from Canada's past AMICUS No. 5379227
- Journal of Proceedings of the Sovereign Grand Lodge in 1879
- Sovereign Grand Lodge Records. Sovereign Grand Lodge Headquarters. Winston-Salem, NC, U.S.A.
- Summary of the History of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in Finland by Grand Sire Tapio Katajamäki
- Journal of Proceedings of the Sovereign Grand Lodge in 2009
- Sovereign Grand Lodge Data Base, Sovereign Grand Lodge Headquarters, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, U.S.A.
- Coursey, O.W. (1903). History and Geography of the Philippine Islands. Educator School Supply Company.
- Sovereign Grand Lodge (1898–1899). Journal of Proceedings. Independent Order of Odd Fellows
- Sovereign Grand Lodge (2009–2010). Journal of Proceedings. Independent Order of Odd Fellows
- Sovereign Grand Lodge Journal of Proceedings
- Schmidt, Alvin J. Fraternal Organizations Westport, CT; Greenwood Press p.244-5
- Grand Lodge of California, IOOF (n.d.) A brief sketch of Odd Fellowship, RealStockCertificates.com. Retrieved on 2009-09-18
- IOOF International Network, IOOF Grand Lodge of South Australia, www.keyinvest.com.au/ioofsa
- Geschichte des Ordens (About the Order), Deutscher Odd Fellow-Orden (German Orders of Odd Fellows)
- IOOF News, Volume 12, Issue 2, March–April 2009, pg.1 Editor: Richard G. ‘Dick’ Proulx, Publisher: The Sovereign Grand Lodge, I.O.O.F., Winston-Salem, NC, U.S.A. Retrieved 2009-11-11.
- A lodge was instituted in Nigeria 2008, and a lodge was instituted in the Philippines on November 21, 2009, making a total of 29 countries with lodges.
- "Jurisdictions". http://www.ioof.org. Winston-Salem, North Carolina: The Sovereign Grand Lodge Independent Order of Odd Fellows. 2010. Retrieved 2006-06-28.
- "World portal Grand Lodges I.O.O.F.". http://www.oddfellows.nl. Grootloge voor Nederland en België (Grand Lodge of The Netherlands and Belgium). Retrieved 2010-06-28.
- "International Jurisdictional Websites". http://ioofbc.org. Esquimalt, British Columbia: IOOF Grand Lodge of British Columbia. 2010-05-29. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
- There are no Independent Order of Odd Fellows lodges in the United Kingdom under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Sovereign Grand Lodge of the IOOF. The IOOF in United Kingdom is under the mother chapter, Manchester Unity IOOF. The British lodges are listed on the Odd Fellows page; none of the references to "Independent" Orders in the UK are to lodges in the jurisdiction of the U.S. Sovereign Grand Lodge. The U.S. Sovereign Grand Lodge's web site makes no mention of the United Kingdom on its jurisdiction pages.
- Note: Grand Lodges marked '*' do not (yet) appear on the Sovereign Grand Lodge "Jurisdictions" web page.
- IOOF in Nigeria. There are four Odd Fellows lodges in Nigeria.
- Republic of the Philippines Watchdog Lodge no.1 is a subordinate lodge, not a Grand Lodge. There are currently (May 2012) 5 regular lodges in the Philippines and some interest groups soon to be lodges - refer to http://ioofmindanaonlodge.webs.com and http://www.ioofphilippines.yolasite.com
- BORIKEN #1 LODGE of PUERTO RICO is a subordinate lodge, not a Grand Lodge.
- IOOF Chile, www.ioofchile.cl
- Membership Manual of Odd Fellowship
- In passed years, there were no telephones, and communication was very slow. It was through these passwords, handshakes and symbols that a member from another lodge can prove his membership to the lodge he is visiting, and may be qualified to ask for any financial assistance.
- The term subordinate lodge is no longer used and it is just lodge according the Code of General Laws of the Sovereign Grand Lodge
- In Australia, the system of lodges, officers, positions and degrees has been implemented in a similar but slightly different manner. For example, this page describes the systems used in the jurisdictions of the Grand Lodge of South Australia, and the Grand Lodge of Australasia.
- The Subordinate Lodge is Odd Fellowship's equivalent of the Free Mason's Blue / Symbolic Lodge. (Refer Tabbert (2003))
- Greer, J.M. (1998). Inside a magical lodge: group ritual in western the tradition. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications.
- The Encampment is the Odd Fellows' equivalent to Freemasonry's "Scottish Rite", as they both offer the most degrees outside the Subordinate Lodge. Unlike Freemasonry, where one can choose either the Scottish or York Rite branches, in Odd Fellowship one must go through the Encampment first before seeking entrance into the highest branch, the Patriarchs Militant. (Refer Tabbert (2003))
- The Patriarchs Militant (PM) is Odd Fellowship's uniformed branch, and is the equivalent of Freemasonry's "York Rite". (Refer Tabbert (2003))
- Every year, Odd Fellows and Rebekahs go to Washington, DC, and Canada to bestow honor to soldiers who died in war. In Cuba, Patriarchs Militants or Canton march and conduct ceremonies to honor their founding anniversary, independence and their national hero.
- The Ancient Mystic Order of Samaritans (AMOS) is the Odd Fellows' equivalent of Freemasonry's Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (Shriners). (Refer Tabbert (2003))
- Schmidt p.245
- Black Fraternal Orders at nathanielturner.com. Retrieved 2007-09-15.
- International Encyclopedia of Secret Societies and Fraternal Orders New York; Facts on File, inc 1997 pp. 187–8
- "Grand Encampment, I.O.O.F.," Los Angeles Herald, October 18, 1897, page 2
- Odd Fellow politicians from Vermont, politicalgraveyard.com. Retrieved on 2010-09-01.
- Odd Fellow politicians from Alabama, politicalgraveyard.com. Retrieved on 2010-09-01.
- Odd Fellow politicians from Maine, politicalgraveyard.com. Retrieved on 2010-09-01.
- Odd Fellow politicians from Michigan, politicalgraveyard.com. Retrieved on 2009-09-20.
- References are in the Bruner article.
- Stephanie Müller (2008): Famous Odd Fellows, Chapter 5 of Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Volume 10 of the "Cultural Studies in the Heartland of America" project, Wissenschaftlicher Verlag, Trier, Germany. Retrieved on 2009-09-18.
- Odd Fellow politicians from North Carolina, politicalgraveyard.com. Retrieved on 2010-09-01.
- Edwin Chapin, The Dictionary of Unitarian and Universalist Biography, www25.uua.org
- Gabe Meline (2009)The New Fraternals, www.metroactive.com
- "Death Takes Ex-Councilman Christensen, 84," February 11, 1954, page 26
Library card required
- Odd Fellow politicians from New York, politicalgraveyard.com. Retrieved on 2010-09-01.
- Odd Fellow politicians from West Virginia, politicalgraveyard.com. Retrieved on 2010-09-01.
- Odd Fellow politicians from Maryland, politicalgraveyard.com. Retrieved on 2010-09-01.
- Odd Fellow politicians from Indiana, politicalgraveyard.com. Retrieved on 2009-09-20.
- Anson Jones, Pp.311-312 in William R. Denslow, Harry S. Truman (1957). 10,000 Famous Freemasons from A to J Part One, Kessinger Publishing's Rare Reprints, 2004, ISBN 1-4179-7578-4, ISBN 978-1-4179-7578-5 Retrieved on 2009-09-20.
- Rice, William Marsh in The Handbook of Texas History Online, Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved: 2009-09-09.
- Madelein B Stern (1971). Lucy Hobbs Taylor, Pgs. 433-434 in Notable American women, 1607-1950: a biographical dictionary, Volume 3, Eds. Edward T. James, Janet Wilson James, Paul S. Boyer, Harvard University Press, 1971, ISBN 0-674-62734-2, ISBN 978-0-674-62734-5.
- Ken Knott (n.d.) Major General Albert Winn, California State Military Museum. Retrieved on 2009-09-18.
- Ross, Theodore (2003): History and Manual of Odd Fellowship. Whitefish: Kessinger Publishing. ISBN 0-7661-4557-3
- Smith, Don and Roberts, Wayne (1993): The Three Link Fraternity – Odd Fellowship in California. Linden: Linden Publications.
- Coursey, Oscar William. History and Geography of the Philippine Islands. 1903. ISBN 1-151-70112-2
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Independent Order of Odd Fellows.|
|Wikisource has the text of a 1920 Encyclopedia Americana article about Independent Order of Odd Fellows.|
- Main Independent Order of Odd Fellows web site
- IOOF jurisdictions - Worldwide
- Worldwide lodge portal
- Politician Members
- "History of the Oddfellows", Manchester Unity (U.K.)
- "History and Traditions, Manchester Unity (U.K.)
- "History of the Society", GUOOFS (U.K.)
- Album of Odd Fellows Homes.
- German Independent Order of Odd Fellows web site