Ethel THOMPSON who was initiated into the Golden Dawn in September 1900, taking the Latin motto ‘Omnia expertum facto’. By this stage, GD record-keepers were not noting down the addresses of the members.
The census nearest to the date of the initiation was a favourite starting point for me, when attempting to identify the GD members. There were 846 women called Ethel Thompson on the 1901 census in England alone. And of course, the particular Ethel Thompson I was after might not have been any of those; quite likely not, in fact - the day of the 1901 census fell during the Easter school and college vacation, so even GD members who lived in England and whom I’d identified very easily on other censuses were not on the 1901 one, because they were away from home.
BASIC SOURCES I USED for all Golden Dawn members.
Membership of the Golden Dawn: The Golden Dawn Companion by R A Gilbert. Northampton: The Aquarian Press 1986. Between pages 125 and 175, Gilbert lists the names, initiation dates and addresses of all those people who became members of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn or its many daughter Orders between 1888 and 1914. The list is based on the Golden Dawn’s administrative records and its Members’ Roll - the large piece of parchment on which all new members signed their name at their initiation. All this information had been inherited by Gilbert but it’s now in the Freemasons’ Library at the United Grand Lodge of England building on Great Queen Street Covent Garden.
Family history: freebmd; ancestry.co.uk (census and probate); findmypast.co.uk; familysearch; Burke’s Peerage and Baronetage; Burke’s Landed Gentry; Armorial Families; thepeerage.com; and a variety of one-family genealogy websites.
Famous-people sources: mostly about men, of course, but very useful even for the female members of GD. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Who Was Who. Times Digital Archive.
Catalogues: British Library; Freemasons’ Library.
Wikipedia; Google; Google Books - my three best resources. I also used other web pages, but with some caution, as - from the historian’s point of view - they vary in quality a great deal.
Copyright SALLY DAVIS
24 April 2012