South Dakota, Grand Army of the Republic Membership Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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South Dakota, Grand Army of the Republic Membership Records,1861-1941 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
South Dakota, United States
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Flag of South Dakota
US Locator South Dakota.png
Location of South Dakota
Record Description
Record Type Military
Collection years 1861-1941
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites


What is in the Collection?

The collection consists of images of G.A.R post records from the Dakota and South Dakota Departments for the years 1861-1941. The collection includes

  • Membership rosters
  • Attendance registration books of various encampments (some include Women's Relief Corps.)
  • Post descriptive books
  • Member deaths
  • Adjutant reports
  • Muster rolls
  • Lists of officers
  • Applications to form a post
  • Reunion rosters

The descriptive books are arranged by post name and number. Most records include item number, name, post name and number. The collection was acquired from the South Dakota State Historical Society in Pierre.

To Browse This Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for South Dakota, Grand Army of the Republic Membership Records, 1861-1941.

Collection Content

Sample Image

What Can this Collection Tell Me?

Descriptive books may list any of the following:

  • Member's name
  • Age
  • Residence
  • Birthplace
  • Occupation
  • Enlistment or muster in date
  • Discharge date
  • Rank
  • Company
  • Regiment
  • Cause of discharge
  • Death date
  • Organization served in
  • Remarks

How Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search it is helpful to know:

  • The name of the soldier.
  • The birthplace of the soldier.
  • The organization in which the soldier served.

Fill in the requested information in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information in the list to what you already know about your ancestor to determine if it is the correct family or person. You may need to compare several persons in the list before you find your ancestor.

Search by Name by visiting the Collection Page.

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page then select the appropriate Box number and Record description.


For tips about searching on-line collections see the wiki article FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.

What Do I Do Next?

Whenever possible, view the original records to verify the information and to find additional information that might not be reported. These pieces of information can lead you to additional records and family members.

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

  • Use the name, enlistment date and organization to find the soldier’s military records.
  • Use the age to calculate a birth date and to find other records such as birth, christening, census, land and death records.
  • Use the information to find additional family members. Witnesses or bondsmen were usually relatives.
  • Repeat this process with additional family members found, to find more generations of the family.
  • Church Records often were kept years before government records were required and are a good source for finding ancestors before 1900.

I Can’t Find Who I’m Looking for, What Now?

  • Try viewing the original record to see if there were errors in the transcription of the name, age, residence, etc. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • Collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you identify possible relations that can be verified by records.
  • If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, then try searching records of a nearby locality in an area search.
  • Standard spelling of names typically did not exist during the periods our ancestors lived in. Try variations of your ancestor’s name while searching the index or browsing through images.
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names. Try searching for these names as well.
  • Search the indexes and records of South Dakota, United States Genealogy.
  • Search in the South Dakota Archives and Libraries.

Citing this Collection

Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.  

Collection citation:

“South Dakota, Grand Army of the Republic Membership Records, 1861-1941.” Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Citing South Dakota State Historical Society, Pierre, South Dakota

Record citation (or citation for the index entry):

The citation for a record is available with each record in this collection, at the bottom of the record screen. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for South Dakota, Grand Army of the Republic Membership Records,1861-1941.


Image citation:

The image citation is available by clicking on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for South Dakota, Grand Army of the Republic Membership Records, 1861-1941.

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How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.