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Thread: Odd Fellows

  1. #1

    Default Odd Fellows

    I have found an entry in Dronfield in 1851 of a James Harvey who gives his occupation as 'Member of the Odd Fellows Society'.

    What exactly would he do ? I remember hearing about the Odd Fellows years ago but never thought of it as an occupation, more of a male get-together for a booze up.


  2. #2
    Famous for offering help & advice
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Monkton, Kent


    I got this from Wikipedia:

    This article refers mainly to the Oddfellows in the United Kingdom. For other countries, refer to Odd Fellows The Oddfellows refers to a number of friendly societies operating in the UK. It also refers to a number of Lodges with histories dating back to the 1700s, and origins dating back to Biblical times.
    These various organisations were set up to protect and care for their members at times when there was no welfare state, trade unions or National Health Service. The aim was (and still is) to provide help to members when they need it.
    The friendly societies are non-profit organisations "owned" by their members, not by shareholders. All income is passed back to the members in the form of services and benefits.
    The Oddfellows are fundraisers for both local and national charities. Branches raise money for local good causes and the Societies as a whole raise large amounts for charities.

  3. #3


    Hello Eileen
    Hope you are well.
    The Odd Fellows are based in Manchester
    They are still going strong and my mother is still a member. They are a little slow responding to emails through, I am still waiting unless it got lost in the spam.

  4. #4


    Thank you both - I had no idea they still existed and no idea that they performed a serious function. This man then was perhaps an officer of the Society engaged in organisation and fund raising and so could be called an occupation. I do recall a seaside postcard, something about holding an Oddfellow's Ball !!! Which is perhaps why I thought it was something of a joke.

    I am quite well, Neil, thank you for asking. No return of the gout (God be praised) and just entering my winter hibernation. I'm sorry the Chesterfield web site did not attract more members, it must be very disheartening for you after you set it up.


  5. #5
    A very furry Feen! Feen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008


    While searching A******y for some Fellows rellies, I found an Odd Fellows on the 1861 census in West Bromwich. His parents seem to have favoured exotic names and his siblings are called things like Naththali, Silena, Josepha and Gessope - all pretty unusual, even allowing for unreliable transcriptions! And this little 8 year old boy sits Oddly (sorry that's just too irresistible ) at the end of such a curious string of names.

    He is clearly there in the birth index a few years earlier, and then nothing until 1924 when an Odd Fellows appears in the marriage index. Did he perhaps - understandably - adopt a different first name for most of his career but have to declare Odd when he married late in life, assuming that IS the same person?

    And why Odd? If the family were hard-up and received help from an Odd Fellows society, might they have named their new baby after the society as a tribute? Odd's father is likely dead by 1861 as he doesn't appear on the census and an older brother is listed as a miner. No occupation is listed for his mother.

    It's possible that Odd and his family are connections of mine, but I need to do some more digging to be sure of that. Meanwhile it would be good to hear if anyone else here knows anything about Odd, or has any theories about how he came by his name!

  6. #6
    Knowledgeable and helpful
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    East Midlands


    Hi Feen,

    He is there on the 1891 census under Odd Fellowes also on the 1901 census and there is another one called Odd Fellows Hall.

  7. #7
    Starting to feel at home.
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Essex UK



    My aunt and uncle who both died within the last ten years were members of the Odd Fellows and they lived in East London.

    My aunts parents were also members. I can remember, in the 60's, a photo of her father with a 'chain of office' around his neck and being told that the chain was to do with his position in the Odd Fellows(?)


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