Masonic proceedings contain considerable information, and provide a good snapshot of what went on within the organization that published proceedings for any given year.
Part of my research on my current project(s) required me to read a number of proceedings for the Grand Lodge of West Virginia (1863-2014). Of those proceedings, the portion that I find most interesting are the Reports of Foreign Correspondence, whereby commentary is offered about notes of interest regarding other Masonic jurisdictions.
For anyone interested, those proceedings can be viewed at http://gwmemorial.org/archives/
Of the many lodges in West Virginia, there is one lodge in particular that I made particular point to really scrutinize. That lodge is Marshall-Union No. 8 located in Moundsville, West Virginia.
Prior to 1863, the older masonic lodges in what is now the State of West Virginia were originally warranted under the Grand Lodge of Virginia until a disagreement over the issue of slavery caused a split, and that was only one issue.
There is also a book on the market now that contends the State of West Virginia was illegally formed, a book I have yet to read. For those interested, that book can be purchased through the following link on Amazon.com
Marshall-Union Lodge No. 8 is located in a town that my own Walters family has resided in since at least 1850-51. Needless to say, a lot of history has been witnessed (and recorded in personal journals) by my family prior to myself coming on the scene. I AM now in possession of a number of older books, proceedings, and personal journals passed over to myself since the death of my mother in 2011. I have been reading through these slowly and making many notes of my own.
Research can be tedious and demanding, but the time taken to gather as many of the facts as possible is imperative before attempting to write about them.