Union Pension Records

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The pension law governing claims based on death or disability from military service was passed on 14 July 1862. Later pension laws were based on length of service and disability not necessarily incurred in the service. Beginning in 1892 women who were employed as nurses by the government were also eligible for pensions.  
 
The pension law governing claims based on death or disability from military service was passed on 14 July 1862. Later pension laws were based on length of service and disability not necessarily incurred in the service. Beginning in 1892 women who were employed as nurses by the government were also eligible for pensions.  
  
=== Civil War Pension Index Cards ===
+
=== Civil War Pension Index Cards ===
  
 
An Index to Pension Applications of veterans who served in the US Army between 1861-1917 is available on FamilySearch. Officially called the "Organization Index to Pension Files of Veterans Who Served Between 1861 and 1900" (NARA T289). Despite the name, the records actually cover 1861-1917. These Civil War Pension Index Cards are also known as the "[http://linealarboretum.blogspot.com/2010/03/determining-if-your-ancestor-had-civil.html Organization Index]". Each card gives the soldier’s name, application and certificate numbers, state of enlistment, and might include rank and death information. The majority of the records are of Civil War veterans, but the collection also includes records for veterans of the [[Spanish-American War, 1898|Spanish-American War]], the [[Philippine Insurrection, 1899 to 1902|Philippine Insurrection]], the [[United States Indian Wars, 1780-s-1890-s|Indian Wars]], and [[World War I United States Military Records, 1917 to 1918|World War I]].  
 
An Index to Pension Applications of veterans who served in the US Army between 1861-1917 is available on FamilySearch. Officially called the "Organization Index to Pension Files of Veterans Who Served Between 1861 and 1900" (NARA T289). Despite the name, the records actually cover 1861-1917. These Civil War Pension Index Cards are also known as the "[http://linealarboretum.blogspot.com/2010/03/determining-if-your-ancestor-had-civil.html Organization Index]". Each card gives the soldier’s name, application and certificate numbers, state of enlistment, and might include rank and death information. The majority of the records are of Civil War veterans, but the collection also includes records for veterans of the [[Spanish-American War, 1898|Spanish-American War]], the [[Philippine Insurrection, 1899 to 1902|Philippine Insurrection]], the [[United States Indian Wars, 1780-s-1890-s|Indian Wars]], and [[World War I United States Military Records, 1917 to 1918|World War I]].  
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*{{RecordSearch|1471019|Civil War Pension Index Cards}} (FamilySearch) - transcription of index cards
 
*{{RecordSearch|1471019|Civil War Pension Index Cards}} (FamilySearch) - transcription of index cards
  
=== Civil War ‘Widows’ Pensions ===
+
=== Civil War ‘Widows’ Pensions ===
  
 
The actual pension records that the "Organization Index" and "General Index" refer to are currently only available through the National Archives. Fold3.com is in the process of digitizing records of approved pension applications for the years 1861-1910, the "Civil War "Widows' Pensions". These records have never been microfilmed and are being digitized directly from the original documents. The process is very slow and may take quite some time. You can check their progress at [http://www.fold3.com/title_24/civil_war_widows_pensions Fold3.com]. For information on how to order pension records from the National Archives see [[Requesting copies of Civil War service and pension records|requesting copies of Civil War service and pension records]].  
 
The actual pension records that the "Organization Index" and "General Index" refer to are currently only available through the National Archives. Fold3.com is in the process of digitizing records of approved pension applications for the years 1861-1910, the "Civil War "Widows' Pensions". These records have never been microfilmed and are being digitized directly from the original documents. The process is very slow and may take quite some time. You can check their progress at [http://www.fold3.com/title_24/civil_war_widows_pensions Fold3.com]. For information on how to order pension records from the National Archives see [[Requesting copies of Civil War service and pension records|requesting copies of Civil War service and pension records]].  
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*{{RecordSearch|1922519|United States, Civil War Widows and Other Dependents Pension Files}} (FamilySearch) - Index only
 
*{{RecordSearch|1922519|United States, Civil War Widows and Other Dependents Pension Files}} (FamilySearch) - Index only
  
=== 1883 Pension Roll ===
+
=== 1883 Pension Roll ===
  
 
The 1883 Pension Roll is available online. On December 8, 1882, the U.S. Senate required the Secretary of Interior to submit a list of pensioners on the roll January 1, 1883. The Secretary of Interior submitted the completed list to the Senate on March 1, 1883.<ref>United States. Pension Bureau. ''[http://books.google.com/books?id=prgqAAAAMAAJ List of Pensioners on the Roll January 1, 1883: giving the name of each pensioner, the cause for which pensioned, the post-office address, the rate of pension per month, and the date of original allowance, as called for by Senate resolution of December 8, 1882, Volume One]''. Washington, Government Printing Office, 1883.</ref> The 1883 Pension Roll was published that year in five volumes as "List of Pensioners on the Roll, January 1, 1883...". The majority of pensioners listed were from the Civil War. However, there were pensioners from other wars, including the War of 1812.  
 
The 1883 Pension Roll is available online. On December 8, 1882, the U.S. Senate required the Secretary of Interior to submit a list of pensioners on the roll January 1, 1883. The Secretary of Interior submitted the completed list to the Senate on March 1, 1883.<ref>United States. Pension Bureau. ''[http://books.google.com/books?id=prgqAAAAMAAJ List of Pensioners on the Roll January 1, 1883: giving the name of each pensioner, the cause for which pensioned, the post-office address, the rate of pension per month, and the date of original allowance, as called for by Senate resolution of December 8, 1882, Volume One]''. Washington, Government Printing Office, 1883.</ref> The 1883 Pension Roll was published that year in five volumes as "List of Pensioners on the Roll, January 1, 1883...". The majority of pensioners listed were from the Civil War. However, there were pensioners from other wars, including the War of 1812.  
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*Family History Library {{FHL|973 M2Lp}}
 
*Family History Library {{FHL|973 M2Lp}}
  
=== Veterans Administration Pension Payment Cards, 1907–1933 ===
+
=== Veterans Administration Pension Payment Cards, 1907–1933 ===
  
 
The ''Veterans Administration Pension Payment Cards, 1907–1933'' (NARA M850) ([http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/32300060 Worldcat]) collection is useful for veterans who were on the pension rolls between 1907 and 1933, except World War I pensioners. About two million cards record payment to veterans and widows. The veteran’s name, unit or branch of service, certificate number, law under which pensioned, rate of pension, pension date, date of certificate, place of residence, death date, former roll number, and widow’s name may be included on the cards.  
 
The ''Veterans Administration Pension Payment Cards, 1907–1933'' (NARA M850) ([http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/32300060 Worldcat]) collection is useful for veterans who were on the pension rolls between 1907 and 1933, except World War I pensioners. About two million cards record payment to veterans and widows. The veteran’s name, unit or branch of service, certificate number, law under which pensioned, rate of pension, pension date, date of certificate, place of residence, death date, former roll number, and widow’s name may be included on the cards.  
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*{{RecordSearch|1832324|United States, Veterans Administration Pension Payment Cards, 1907-1933}} (FamilySearch)
 
*{{RecordSearch|1832324|United States, Veterans Administration Pension Payment Cards, 1907-1933}} (FamilySearch)
  
=== Index to General Correspondence, 1889-1904 ===
+
=== Index to General Correspondence, 1889-1904 ===
  
The "Index to General Correspondence of the Record and Pension Office, 1889-1904" (NARA M686) contains index cards to the correspondence received at the Record and Pension Office. Abstracts of the communications and copies or drafts of replies to them were recorded on cards, which were given the same number as the incoming correspondence. The cards generally include the name of the soldier, the organization in which he served, the name of the person or office who made the inquiry, the subject of the inquiry, and the file number.<ref> United States. National Archives and Records Service. ''Pamphlet Describing M686: Index to General Correspondence of the Record and Pension Office, 1889-1904''. Washington, D.C., National Archives And Record Service, 1967.</ref>
+
The "Index to General Correspondence of the Record and Pension Office, 1889-1904" (NARA M686) contains index cards to the correspondence received at the Record and Pension Office. Abstracts of the communications and copies or drafts of replies to them were recorded on cards, which were given the same number as the incoming correspondence. The cards generally include the name of the soldier, the organization in which he served, the name of the person or office who made the inquiry, the subject of the inquiry, and the file number.<ref> United States. National Archives and Records Service. ''Pamphlet Describing M686: Index to General Correspondence of the Record and Pension Office, 1889-1904''. Washington, D.C., National Archives And Record Service, 1967.</ref>  
  
 
'''Online'''  
 
'''Online'''  
  
*[http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=1268 U.S. Index to General Correspondence of the Record and Pension Office, 1889-1904](Ancestry)&nbsp;($)
+
*[http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=1268 U.S. Index to General Correspondence of the Record and Pension Office, 1889-1904](Ancestry)&nbsp;($)  
 
*{{RecordSearch|1834308|United States, Index to General Correspondence of the Pension Office, 1889-1904}} (FamilySearch)
 
*{{RecordSearch|1834308|United States, Index to General Correspondence of the Pension Office, 1889-1904}} (FamilySearch)
  
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'''Libraries'''  
 
'''Libraries'''  
  
*Locate these records at a library using [http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/19342463 Worldcat].
+
*Locate these records at a library using [http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/19342463 Worldcat].  
*Family History Library {{FHL|1527667|FHL films 1527667–8051}}  
+
*Family History Library {{FHL|1527667|FHL films 1527667–8051}}
  
 
=== Navy Pension Records  ===
 
=== Navy Pension Records  ===
  
==== Navy Widows' Certificates ====
+
==== Navy Widows' Certificates ====
  
 
The "Navy Widows' Certificates" or "Case Files of Approved Pension Applications of Widows and Other Dependents of Civil War and Later Navy Veterans, ('Navy Widows' Certificates'), 1861-1910" (NARA&nbsp;M1279) consists of approved pension applications of widows and other dependents of U.S. Navy veterans who served between 1861 and 1910. Applications prior to approval were referred to as "originals", after approval a new file number was issued and they then became known as "certificates".  
 
The "Navy Widows' Certificates" or "Case Files of Approved Pension Applications of Widows and Other Dependents of Civil War and Later Navy Veterans, ('Navy Widows' Certificates'), 1861-1910" (NARA&nbsp;M1279) consists of approved pension applications of widows and other dependents of U.S. Navy veterans who served between 1861 and 1910. Applications prior to approval were referred to as "originals", after approval a new file number was issued and they then became known as "certificates".  
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*[http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=1357 U.S. Navy Pensions Index, 1861-1910] (Ancestry) ($) (note: Index only - includes M1279, M1274, M1469, M1408. Name search can be done for free.)
 
*[http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=1357 U.S. Navy Pensions Index, 1861-1910] (Ancestry) ($) (note: Index only - includes M1279, M1274, M1469, M1408. Name search can be done for free.)
  
==== Navy Survivors' Certificates ====
+
==== Navy Survivors' Certificates ====
  
 
The "Navy Survivors' Certificates" or "Case files of approved pension applications of Civil War and later Navy veterans (Navy Survivor's Certificates), 1861-1910" (NARA&nbsp;M1469) consists of approved pension applications of U.S. Navy veterans who served between 1861 and 1910. Applications prior to approval were referred to as "originals", after approval a new file number was issued and they then became known as "certificates'.  
 
The "Navy Survivors' Certificates" or "Case files of approved pension applications of Civil War and later Navy veterans (Navy Survivor's Certificates), 1861-1910" (NARA&nbsp;M1469) consists of approved pension applications of U.S. Navy veterans who served between 1861 and 1910. Applications prior to approval were referred to as "originals", after approval a new file number was issued and they then became known as "certificates'.  
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*[http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=1357 U.S. Navy Pensions Index, 1861-1910] (Ancestry) ($) (note: Index only - includes M1279, M1274, M1469, M1408. Name search can be done for free.)
 
*[http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=1357 U.S. Navy Pensions Index, 1861-1910] (Ancestry) ($) (note: Index only - includes M1279, M1274, M1469, M1408. Name search can be done for free.)
  
==== Other Navy Pension Records ====
+
==== Other Navy Pension Records ====
  
 
*Navy Widows' Originals (M1274). Disapproved pension applications of widows and other dependents of U.S. Navy veterans. ({{FHL|6333626|disp=FHL fiche 6333626-802}})
 
*Navy Widows' Originals (M1274). Disapproved pension applications of widows and other dependents of U.S. Navy veterans. ({{FHL|6333626|disp=FHL fiche 6333626-802}})
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With the exception of the FHL microfiche for the Navy Widows' Originals, the Navy Widows' Originals and the Navy Survivors' Originals collections are currently only available from the National Archives.  
 
With the exception of the FHL microfiche for the Navy Widows' Originals, the Navy Widows' Originals and the Navy Survivors' Originals collections are currently only available from the National Archives.  
  
=== Other Union Pension Collections ===
+
=== Other Union Pension Collections ===
  
 
'''General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934'''  
 
'''General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934'''  
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*Family History Library {{FHL|540757|disp=FHL&nbsp;540757-541300}}
 
*Family History Library {{FHL|540757|disp=FHL&nbsp;540757-541300}}
  
=== Additional Resources ===
+
=== Additional Resources ===
  
 
Additional pension records are available at state archives and historical societies.  
 
Additional pension records are available at state archives and historical societies.  
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[https://fch.ldschurch.org/WWSupport/Courses/FamilyHistoryLibraryExport/U.S._Military_Records__Pre-WWI_Pension_Application/Player.html Military Records: Pre-WWI Pension Applications] (16 minute online video) [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/education/frameset_education.asp?PAGE=education_research_series_online.asp%3FActiveTab=2 FamilySearch Research Classes Online], 2010.  
 
[https://fch.ldschurch.org/WWSupport/Courses/FamilyHistoryLibraryExport/U.S._Military_Records__Pre-WWI_Pension_Application/Player.html Military Records: Pre-WWI Pension Applications] (16 minute online video) [http://www.familysearch.org/eng/library/education/frameset_education.asp?PAGE=education_research_series_online.asp%3FActiveTab=2 FamilySearch Research Classes Online], 2010.  
  
=== References ===
+
=== References ===
 +
 
 +
'''A wiki article describing an online collection is found at:'''
 +
 
 +
[[United_States_Navy_Widows'_Certificates(FamilySearch_Historical_Records)|United States Navy Widows' Certificates (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]
 +
 
 +
 
  
 
<references />  
 
<references />  

Revision as of 22:29, 27 January 2012

United States Gotoarrow.png U.S. Military Gotoarrow.png U.S. Civil War Gotoarrow.png Pension Records

The pension law governing claims based on death or disability from military service was passed on 14 July 1862. Later pension laws were based on length of service and disability not necessarily incurred in the service. Beginning in 1892 women who were employed as nurses by the government were also eligible for pensions.

Contents

Civil War Pension Index Cards

An Index to Pension Applications of veterans who served in the US Army between 1861-1917 is available on FamilySearch. Officially called the "Organization Index to Pension Files of Veterans Who Served Between 1861 and 1900" (NARA T289). Despite the name, the records actually cover 1861-1917. These Civil War Pension Index Cards are also known as the "Organization Index". Each card gives the soldier’s name, application and certificate numbers, state of enlistment, and might include rank and death information. The majority of the records are of Civil War veterans, but the collection also includes records for veterans of the Spanish-American War, the Philippine Insurrection, the Indian Wars, and World War I.

To learn more about the Civil War Pension Index Cards see an explanation of the records at Fold3.

In the future, these records will be made available at no charge through the National Archives web site. These records are also available free at any library providing free access to Fold3.com.

See "Civil War ‘Widows’ Pensions" section below for information on how to obtain the actual pension records.

Online

Civil War ‘Widows’ Pensions

The actual pension records that the "Organization Index" and "General Index" refer to are currently only available through the National Archives. Fold3.com is in the process of digitizing records of approved pension applications for the years 1861-1910, the "Civil War "Widows' Pensions". These records have never been microfilmed and are being digitized directly from the original documents. The process is very slow and may take quite some time. You can check their progress at Fold3.com. For information on how to order pension records from the National Archives see requesting copies of Civil War service and pension records.

As of December 2011, only 3 percent of the pension records are available online. The "Civil War ‘Widows’ Pensions" are available to access at no charge at any library that provides free access to Fold3.com.

Online

1883 Pension Roll

The 1883 Pension Roll is available online. On December 8, 1882, the U.S. Senate required the Secretary of Interior to submit a list of pensioners on the roll January 1, 1883. The Secretary of Interior submitted the completed list to the Senate on March 1, 1883.[1] The 1883 Pension Roll was published that year in five volumes as "List of Pensioners on the Roll, January 1, 1883...". The majority of pensioners listed were from the Civil War. However, there were pensioners from other wars, including the War of 1812.

Content of the Records:

  • Certificate number
  • Name of each pensioner
  • Cause for pension
  • Post office address
  • Rate of pension per month
  • Date of original allowance
Note: The "Search in this book" feature on Google Books and the search feature on Ancestry.com do not always work. It may be necessary to search for a name by paging through the book.


Online

  • Volume I (Google Books) - Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, District of Columbia,
  • Volume 2 (Google Books) - New York, Pennsylvania
  • Volume 3 (Google Books) - Ohio, Illinois, Iowa.
  • Volume 4 (Google Books) - Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, California, Oregon, Nevada, Indian Territory (Oklahoma), Dakota Territory (North and South Dakota), New Mexico Territory, Montana Territory, Washington Territory, Idaho Territory, Utah Territory, Arizona Territory, Alaska Territory, Wyoming Territory.
  • Volume 5 (Google Books) - Delaware, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, N. Carolina, S. Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, and foreign countries.

Libraries

Veterans Administration Pension Payment Cards, 1907–1933

The Veterans Administration Pension Payment Cards, 1907–1933 (NARA M850) (Worldcat) collection is useful for veterans who were on the pension rolls between 1907 and 1933, except World War I pensioners. About two million cards record payment to veterans and widows. The veteran’s name, unit or branch of service, certificate number, law under which pensioned, rate of pension, pension date, date of certificate, place of residence, death date, former roll number, and widow’s name may be included on the cards.

Online

Index to General Correspondence, 1889-1904

The "Index to General Correspondence of the Record and Pension Office, 1889-1904" (NARA M686) contains index cards to the correspondence received at the Record and Pension Office. Abstracts of the communications and copies or drafts of replies to them were recorded on cards, which were given the same number as the incoming correspondence. The cards generally include the name of the soldier, the organization in which he served, the name of the person or office who made the inquiry, the subject of the inquiry, and the file number.[2]

Online

Note: The FamilySearch collection is missing surname ranges “Dunf-Durd” (roll 107), “Hern-Hia” (roll 163), and “Shee-Shep” (roll 310).

Libraries

Navy Pension Records

Navy Widows' Certificates

The "Navy Widows' Certificates" or "Case Files of Approved Pension Applications of Widows and Other Dependents of Civil War and Later Navy Veterans, ('Navy Widows' Certificates'), 1861-1910" (NARA M1279) consists of approved pension applications of widows and other dependents of U.S. Navy veterans who served between 1861 and 1910. Applications prior to approval were referred to as "originals", after approval a new file number was issued and they then became known as "certificates".

To learn more about the Navy Widows' Certificates see an explanation of the records at Fold3.

Online

Navy Survivors' Certificates

The "Navy Survivors' Certificates" or "Case files of approved pension applications of Civil War and later Navy veterans (Navy Survivor's Certificates), 1861-1910" (NARA M1469) consists of approved pension applications of U.S. Navy veterans who served between 1861 and 1910. Applications prior to approval were referred to as "originals", after approval a new file number was issued and they then became known as "certificates'.

To learn more about the Navy Widows' Certificates see an explanation of the records at Fold3.

Online

Other Navy Pension Records

  • Navy Widows' Originals (M1274). Disapproved pension applications of widows and other dependents of U.S. Navy veterans. (FHL fiche 6333626-802)
  • Navy Survivors' Originals (M1408). Disapproved pension applications of U.S. Navy veterans.

With the exception of the FHL microfiche for the Navy Widows' Originals, the Navy Widows' Originals and the Navy Survivors' Originals collections are currently only available from the National Archives.

Other Union Pension Collections

General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934

"General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934" (NARA T288).This index is similar to the "Organizational Index" mentioned above. It is arranged in a different format, however. The index is arranged by the veteran’s or widow’s name and his unit, rank, date and application number, certificate number if accepted, and state of filing. As mentioned above, the pension files that this index and the "Organizational Index" refer to have not been filmed and are only available at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. You can order copies from the National Archives. The archives staff will copy only selected documents unless you specifically request copies of all the documents in the file.

This index is available to access at no charge at any library that provides free access to Ancestry.com.

Online

Libraries

Additional Resources

Additional pension records are available at state archives and historical societies.

Military Records: Pre-WWI Pension Applications (16 minute online video) FamilySearch Research Classes Online, 2010.

References

A wiki article describing an online collection is found at:

United States Navy Widows' Certificates (FamilySearch Historical Records)


  1. United States. Pension Bureau. List of Pensioners on the Roll January 1, 1883: giving the name of each pensioner, the cause for which pensioned, the post-office address, the rate of pension per month, and the date of original allowance, as called for by Senate resolution of December 8, 1882, Volume One. Washington, Government Printing Office, 1883.
  2. United States. National Archives and Records Service. Pamphlet Describing M686: Index to General Correspondence of the Record and Pension Office, 1889-1904. Washington, D.C., National Archives And Record Service, 1967.