Scotch Irish

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Register of the Records of the


1883 - 1974

1 ft.

MSS 103


Richard D. Chicko

August 1991



The Loyal Orange Institution originated in Ireland in 1795, as a fraternal society among the Protestants of County Armagh.  Named in honor of King William III of England, Prince of Orange, lodges were established in most Protestant centers of Ireland by 1800, England and Canada by 1808, and among Ulster immigrants in New York City by 1867.  Rapid growth in the society led to the establishment of a Grand Lodge for the United States in 1870.  By 1873 there were 100 lodges claiming a national membership of 10,000, growing to 364 lodges and 30,000 members by 1914.

The society was founded on the principles of Protestantism, patriotism, and preservation of the concept of separation of church and state.  Originally organized as a fraternal secret society, the Loyal Orange Institution in the U.S. has become philanthropic in practice.

Membership was restricted to Protestant men eighteen years of age and older, who professed a life of temperance.  Though not exclusive to a particular ethnic group, most members are Scotch-Irish or of Scotch-Irish ancestry.

The Orange Hall and Library Association of the City of Philadelphia was organized in 1884, among members of the local lodges of the Loyal Orange Institution.  A few years later members revised name to the Orange Hall Association of Philadelphia.  In 1902, the Orange Home was founded in Hatboro, Pennsylvania, as a residence for orphans.  It became a retirement home in 1948, with renovations and additions being made in 1964 and 1974.


The records of this collection were donated to the Balch Institution in 1991 by Mr. Wilson Browne.  The collection was processed by Richard D. Chicko with the assistance of Balch archivist Monique Bourque. Access is restricted to accredited genealogists and historians.


The records of this collection are primarily transfer certificates between lodges in Scotland, England, British America, or Ireland and local lodges during the years 1883 and 1933.  The collection also contains transfer certificates generated among lodges under the authority of the Supreme Grand Lodge of the United States from 1908 to 1974.  It is not clear whether these are national office records or not.

The box list of the register of the records of the Loyal Orange Institution of the United States of America is two pages long.