United States, Veterans Administration Pension Payment Cards (FamilySearch 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

Record Description

The collection consists of an index and images of cards used by the Bureau of Pensions and Veterans Administarion to record the payment of pensions to veterans, widows and other dependents. The collection is part of RG 15 Records of the Veterans Administration and is NARA microfilm publication M850. The collection covers the years from 1907 to 1933.

A pension card was created for every veteran or veteran’s widow who received a pension. There were four types of cards kept. which are referred to as:

  • Army invalids
  • Army widows
  • Navy invalids
  • Navy widows

The form for the four types of cards is practically identical. On the front of the cards for invalid veterans are recorded the name of veteran, his certificate number, his unit or arm of Service, the disability for which pensioned, the law or laws under which pensioned, the class of pension or certificate, the rate of pension, the effective date of pension, the date of the certificate, any fees paid, the name of the pension agency or group transferred from (if applicable), the date of death, the date the Bureau was notified, the former roll number, and 'home.' On the reverse side of the form appears the name of the veteran, his certificate number, and the record of the individual payments. The army and navy widow’s cards are similar to the invalids’ cards with the addition of the widow’s name and occasionally information regarding payments made to minors, but they do not indicate if the veteran had a disability.

For a list of records by surnames currently published in this collection, select the Browse.

Record Content

Information found in the collection are listed below:

  • Name of pensioner
  • Name of veteran
  • Veteran’s military unit
  • Commencement date of pension
  • Certificate number
  • Veteran’s death date
  • Veteran’s “home”
  • Name of widow (only on widows cards)

Additional information about these cards is available in the Wiki Article: Veterans Administration Pension Payment Cards, 1907–1933.

How to Use the Record

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

If you did not find the person you were looking for, you may need to search the collection image by image.
⇒Select "Browse" link on the initial search page
⇒Select "Surname range" category which takes you to the images.

Search the collection by image. Again you will need to compare the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor.

Be aware that with either search you may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination. Keep in mind:

  • There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
  • Your ancestor may have used different names or variations of their name throughout their life.
  • If your ancestor used an alias or a nickname, be sure to check for those alternate names.
  • Even though these indexes are very accurate they may still contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.

For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line video at FamilySearch Search Tips.

Using the Information

Use pension payment cards to discover information about the veteran’s military service, i.e. his unit, the dates of service, etc., information regarding the veteran’s family, his place of residence, and any disabilities he may have had. The cards can lead to other military service records, and provide clues for further research on the veteran’s family.

General Information About These Records

In 1907 the Bureau of Pensions and Veterans Administration began recording payments of pension with a card system. Pensions were granted to army invalids, army widows, navy invalids and navy widows. The nearly 2 million 5x8 cards are arranged alphabetically by the surname of the veteran or widow. In 1923 payments were changed from monthly to quarterly. Payments that extended through this period were recorded on a second card. 

The payment cards were created as a method for the government to keep track of the pensions being distributed. The information in these cards is generally reliable.

Known Issues with This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to support@familysearch.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.

Related Websites

National Archives and Records Administration

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

Citations for individual image records are available for this collection. Browse through images in this collection and click on the "Show Citation" box: United States Veterans Administration Pension Payment Cards, 1907-1933

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 for This Collection

The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.

"United States, Veterans Administration Pension Payment Cards, 1907-1933." Index and Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing NARA microfilm publication M850. Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.

A full bibliographic record is available in the FamilySearch Catalog.


 

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  • This page was last modified on 6 August 2014, at 17:26.
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