Last night I stumbled onto the Knights of Pythius website. What’s a “Knights of Pythius”, you say?
The Order of Knights of Pythias is an international, non-sectarian fraternal order, established in 1864 in Washington, DC, by Justus H. Rathbone and was the first fraternal order to be chartered by an Act of Congress.
The Fraternal Order of Knights of Pythias and its members are dedicated to the cause of universal peace. Pythians are pledged to the promotion of understanding among men of good will as the surest means of attaining Universal Peace. We believe that men, meeting in a spirit of goodwill, in an honest effort of understanding, can live together on this earth in peace and harmony.
My third great-grandfather Dr Nathan Blunt Kennedy was a member in good standing of the Knights of Pythius. Lodge 48 of Hillsboro, TX even conducted his funeral in 1897.
The obvious next logical step was to contact the Knights of Pythius to see if they might have any information on Dr Kennedy. And the Knights are apparently very willing to help with genealogical research:
“Although there is no central registry of deceased members, If you are interested in genealogical information, please use the “Ask Us a Question” link, and we will do our best to direct you to someone who may be able to help.”
So this morning I sent an email to the Knights. I am very fortunate because I have really been able to find a great deal of information on Dr Kennedy, including many original documents and even a photograph of the good doctor and his wife. I have a pretty clear timeline of the events of his life. From those documents I have learned that his association with the Knights of Pythius was very important to him, so any information that they could provide would certainly reveal even more about this man’s life and legacy.