United States, Civil War Widows Pension Files (Family Search Historical Records)Edit This Page

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.

Contents

Collection Time Period

The collection covers the years 1861 to 1934.

Record Description

The collection consists of approved pension case files of widows and other dependents of soldiers submitted between 1861 and 1934 and sailors between 1910 and 1934. Some files may be from service in the War with Spain.

The files are arranged numerically by certificate number. The orginal files are located at the National Archives in Record Group 15, Records of the Veterans Administration; the index is courtesy of www.fold3.com (previously known as Footnote.com). Additional records will be added to this collection as they become available.

Citation for This Collection

The citation below refers to the original source of the data and images published on FamilySearch.org Historical Records. It may include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.

Fold3.com. Civil War "Widows' Pensions". Fold3.com, www.fold3: 2012.

Suggested citation format for a record in this collection.

Record Content

The records generally contain the following information:

  • Pensioner's name
  • Veteran's name
  • Relationship to veteran
  • Application number
  • State or country of birth
  • Year of birth or age
  • Branch of service (Infantry, Cavalry, or Artillery)
  • Regiment number
  • Enlistment date
  • Discharge date
  • Date pension was filed
  • Application number
  • Certificate number
  • May also contain additional service information, including company and regiment

How to Use the Record

To begin your search you will need to know the following:

  • Full name
  • Approximate dates of service

If you are having difficulty finding your ancestor, look for variations in the spelling of the name. If your ancestor used an alias or a nickname, be sure to check for those alternate names.

Compare the information in the record to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct person. You may need to compare the information of more than one person to make this determination.

When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family. This information will often lead you to other records.

For example:

  • Use the age to calculate an approximate birth date.
  • Use the birth date or age along with the residence or place of birth of the deceased to locate census, church, and land records.

You may also find these search tips helpful:

  • Compile the entries for every person who has the same surname as the deceased; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
  • Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have been seeking the pension.
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.

Record History

The index was produced to provide easier access to the full pension application files.

Why the Record Was Created

Pensions were issued to compensate Civil War veterans and their widows and minor children for their service.

Record Reliability

Pension applications are usually reliable.

Related Websites

Related Wiki Articles

Contributions to This Article

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. Guidelines are available to help you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide. If you would like to get more involved join the WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.


Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection

  • United States. Bureau of the Census. 12th census, 1900, digital images, From FamilySearch Internet (www.familysearch.org: September 29, 2006), Arizona Territory, Maricopa, Township 1, East Gila, Salt River Base and Meridian; sheet 9B, line 71.
  • Mexico, Distrito Federal, Catholic Church Records, 1886-1933, digital images, from FamilySearch Internet (www.familysearch.org: April 22, 2010), Baptism of Adolfo Fernandez Jimenez, 1 Feb. 1910, San Pedro Apóstol, Cuahimalpa, Distrito Federal, Mexico, film number 0227023.

 

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  • This page was last modified on 10 June 2014, at 18:12.
  • This page has been accessed 936 times.