Union Veterans' and Lineage Society Records
The Grand Army of the Republic (GAR).
This was the major veterans’ organization after the war. It reached its largest membership in the 1890s with about 400,000 members. Below is a published history of the organization with biographical sketches of national and state officials:
By 1890, about 40 percent of Union veterans were members of the Grand Army of the Republic. The descriptive books of each GAR post usually indicate each member’s name, age, birthplace, residence, occupation, and enlistment and discharge information. Records of GAR posts and of other veterans’ organizations may be found in historical societies, state archives, and state libraries. The Family History Library has records for:
- Iowa Explore Iowa GAR records.
- Michigan (FHL 76 films).
- Nebraska (FHL 2 films).
- Oregon FHL film 2167206
- South Dakota FHL film 1598224,item 1
- Utah (FHL 2 films).
GAR unit records may be found at local, county or state levels in the Family History Library Catalog. Explore how to do a place-name search of the FamilySearch Catalog. In addition, some records may be found by doing a keyword search of theFamily History Library Catalog, using the the keyword "Grand Army of the Republic".
Illinois GAR unit records are held by the Lincoln Presidential Library, but they are not “complete.” In general, they are the quarterly reports sent to the headquarters by each post. They vary widely in what they contain. Some of the older posts have more extensive records. The earlier ones may include a charter, lists of members with age, occupation, and war service information. Possibly also place of birth. Some records include new members and the deaths of members. Most include a list of the current officers. In almost all cases, later records are much less informative than the earlier ones. Many posts have notices of closing. For a few posts we have some minutes or others papers. The date span of the collection is 1866-1939, but most of the post records do not begin until at least the mid-1870s. Search the online catalog of the Lincoln Presidential Library for GAR titles.
Other Civil War lineage societies can be found by using a Place-Name Search of the Family History Library Catalog and then looking for military history or records (1861–1865) or societies. Explore how to use the Family History Library Catalog.
Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War, 1861–65
This organization was established in 1885. The address of their library and museum is:
Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War
503 South Walnut Street
Springfield, IL 62704
Website: Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War
Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War
Established in 1881, the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War has no permanent headquarters. The society has a grave registration committee. Check the current edition of the "Encyclopedia of Associations" (Worldcat) for contact information.
This site includes a history of the organization, membership information, coming events, a Civil War ancestor registration project, grave registration project, state department (chapter) web sites, and links to other related genealogical web sites.
The society publishes the following:
- The Banner: The Journal of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War
- Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War- A history of the society and a roster of some current members.
Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States (MOLLUS)
This society was organized by officers of the Union Army in 1865. Their website has announcements, membership requirements, and national and state organization information.
1805 Pine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
A roster of the society members are located in:
- Register of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States
Arranged alphabetically by name of officer, rank, unit of service, state, commandery or relationship to officer if heredity member
The following publications contain deaths of GAR members:
- Grand Army of the Republic, Missouri Division, Index to Death Rolls 1882–1940...
Entries list name, post number and location, age at death, and the year and page numbers in which the death was reported.
- Honor roll of Oregon Grand Army of the Republic, 1881-1935...
Alphabetically arranged. Entries contain the name of the veteran, company, regiment, date of death, and GAR post number in Oregon.