I am happy to hear from you concerning the Ladies of the G.A.R.I'll try to keep this short but thorough.
When the Grand Army of the Republic, the largest Union veterans organization, formed, several womena's groups sprang up all trying to be "THE" official auxiliary.Since the G.A.R. members knew they couldn't afford to make ANY of the women made, they came up with a compromise.The Woman's Relief Corps, which had not lineage requirement, was named the official auxiliary to the G.A.R.The Loyal Ladies' League (as it was first called) was allowed to take the name of the G.A.R. and thus changed its name to the Ladies of the G.A.R.
Membership in the Ladies of the G.A.R. is open to any female age 12 or older that has either a direct Union ancestor OR a blood- related uncle who was a Union veteran.You obviously qualify.
Local chapters of the Ladies of the G.A.R. are called "circles".State-leveel organi- zations are called "departments".
There is a circle currently at Bridgeport, which I believe is in your county.It is called Mother McKinley Circle #4 of Bridge- port.
I can send you the application, brochure, and ancestor sheet.You can fill out the application and ancestor sheet and submit it along with documentation showing your Union ancestor's service and your blood relation- ship to the Union ancestor.Any kind of documentation is fine--birth record, death record, marriage record, will, census, family Bible, obituary, printed family gene- alogy, etc.
OR you can contact Nancy Conaway, 846 Main Street, Bridgeport, OH 43912.He is a member of the Mother McKinley Circle.Tell her that you were referred by Keith Ashley.She knows me.
If you prefer, you can give me your address and I can send you the membership materials. Whichever you decide, would you be so kind as to let me know your decision?
Keith Ashley, Past Commander Ohio Dept. Sons of Union Veterans of the C.W.