Union Pension RecordsEdit This Page

From FamilySearch Wiki

Revision as of 23:49, 9 December 2011 by Larry0011 (Talk | contribs)

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 National Archives research rooms and 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

A wiki article describing this collection is found at:
United States Civil War Pension Index (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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.

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

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.

The Navy Widows' Certificates are available to access at no charge at National Archives research rooms and any library that provides free access to Fold3.com.

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.

The Navy Survivors' Certificates are available to access at no charge at National Archives research rooms and any library that provides free access to Fold3.com.

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.



 

Need additional research help? Contact our research help specialists.

Need wiki, indexing, or website help? Contact our product teams.


Did you find this article helpful?

You're invited to explain your rating on the discussion page (you must be signed in).