On January 1, 2011,I was installed as the LEO for Monticello Lodge #16. It is my goal to have a presentation for every meeting I attend. I plan on reading and doing research on topics I don't know the answers. This way everyone, including myself will learn something new,hopefully. It is with this interest I will post all of my LEO talks on my blog.
Please feel free to contact me at my email address with comments.
AF & AM vs F & Am vs AFM vs FAAM What do these letters represent, which states belong to which groups, and what are the differences between them? Does it matter which one I belong to and will I be accepted by the others?
AF & AM – Ancient Free and Accepted Masons - Includes 25 states as follows: Co, CT, DE, ID, IL, IA, KS, ME, MD, MN, MO, MT, NE, NH, NM, NC, ND, OK, OR, SD, TX, VA, WV, AND WY.
F and AM - Free and Accepted Masons – Includes 24 states as follows: AL, AK, AR, AZ, CA, FL, GA, HI, IN, KY, LA, MI, MS, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, TN, UT, VT, WA, AND WI.
AFM – Ancient Free Masons – Includes 1 state as follows: SC
FAAM – Free and Accepted Masons - Includes the District of Columbia.(1)
Each state is under its own jurisdiction in the US. Therefore, each state Grand Lodge is its own headquarters and does not have to report to anyone else since there is no one headquarters for the entire US.
All four different groups of Freemasons trace their allegorical history back to the building of King Solomon’s Temple in the Holy Scriptures.(2)
After the foundation of the first Grand Lodge in England in 1717, a rival Grand Lodge arose less than two decades later, calling itself the Antients (or Ancients), whereby it intended to assert greater authenticity than the rival “modern” Grand Lodge. The Antients were also known as Athol Masons, from their first Grand Master, the Duke of Athol. Some authors (e.g., Carl Claudy) say the Antients were schismatic—i.e., had split off from the “modern” Grand Lodge; others (e.g., Allen Roberts)of more recent vintage say that the Antients were founded independent by Lodges deriving from Scottish and Irish traditions who were excluded by the English “Moderns.” The Moderns were the F and AM while the “Antients” became the “Ancients” in the AF and AM.
Freemasonry was exported to the British Colonies in North America in the 1730’s, with the “Antients” and the “Moderns” (as well as the Grand Lodges of Ireland and Scotland) which chartered offspring (daughter) lodges, and organized various Provincial Grand Lodges. After the American Revolution, Independent US Grand Lodges formed within the states.
The disagreement between the two Grand Lodges in England was later healed around 18980, but by that time, there were Grand Lodges all over the US that were descended from one group or another, so each group kept their own corresponding initials with which they were formed. This is the reason for the small differences between the states within the ritual wording and Grand Lodge By-Laws and procedures.
The minimal differences are not important, since there is shared brotherhood amongst all freemasons within the fraternity. A brother is accepted by all when visiting other jurisdictions, when proving him to be current in his dues, and proving him to be a mason. One would have to be careful when buying items with Masonic Emblems in other jurisdictions based on the letters of their groups.
1. AF and AM vs F and AM States. Masonic Lodge of Education
2. What is the Difference between AF & AM and F & AM Lodges. Author Roger M. Firestone.