Bro. David McGregor holds for the second quarter of this Century in the United States a record for the brilliancy of his coups in Masonic research, two or three of them of fundamental importance. He was born in Dunfermline, Scotland, September 7, 1864; was educated in Lisburn, Ireland; came to New York City in 1889; was for thirty years chief engineer in the Sprague Electric Company and helped set up electric street car systems in New Jersey. He was raised in Union Lodge, No. 11 (N. J.), Dec. 22, 1916; was Master in 1931; Grand Historian after 1928; Chairman of Committee on Foreign Correspondence from 1935; was 3 member of the National Masonic Research Society, and published reports of his first discoveries in The Builder.
Among his discoveries: That John Skene, who came to Jersey in 1682, was a Freemason, a member of the Aberdeen Lodge in Scotland. (See under ABERDEEN 1'e', LODGE OF; see also New York Masonic Outlook; September, 1926; page 13). That Earl Perth, Jersey Proprietor, was a Freemason; and that a number of members of Aberdeen Lodge came to Jersey at same time as Skene but did not remain. That a pre1730 Lodge met in New York in the Black Horse Tavern. That the New York Weekly Journal announced on Jan. 24, 1737 (N. S. 1738) that Mr. Provoost, about to move away, at a Lodge on January 19, 1737, had resigned as Master, and Cap. Matthew Norris, son of Admiral Norris, had been elected in his place. That on November 26, 1737, the New York Gazette published a letter to the effect that a "new and unusual sect of society at last has extended to these parts," etc. (See GouZ's History of Freemasonry; New York; 1936; Vol. 6; page 41.)
Most important was Bro. McGregor's discovery of the records of Col. Daniel Coxe. In 1730 this eminent citizen of New Jersey was by the Grand Lodge of England appointed to be Provincial Grand Master of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. But since no documents could be found to show that he had put his authority into effect, save an entry in the Minutes of the Grand Lodge of England to show that he visited it in 1731 as Prov. Grand Master, it was generally believed that he had been inactive, and had "been out of the country."
In old court and other civil records of New Jersey Bro. McGregor found abundant evidences of the presence and great activity of Coxe in America during the years in question. (See Early Freemasonry in Pennsylvania--a magnificent book--by Henry S. Borneman; Grand Lodge of Pa; Philadelphia; 1931; page 56. See Chapters in Gould's History, above cited, Vol. VI, on New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. History of Freemasonry in New Jersey, by David McGregor; cloth; 164 pages; contains chapters on Pre-Grand Lodges in New Jersey; chapter on Daniel Coxe; Military Lodges; the Morristown Convention.)
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