United States, Old War Pension Index (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: United States, Old War Pension Index, 1815-1926 .
The collection consists of a card index to pension files located at the National Archives for service in the Regular Army, Navy or Marine Corps between 1783 and 1861. This collection is part of RG 15 Records of the Veterans Administration and is NARA microfilm publications T316. The event date and place represent the earliest filing of either the veteran or dependent.
For a list of records by surnames currently published in this collection, select the Browse.
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, Old War Pension Index, 1815-1926" Index. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing NARA microfilm publication T316. Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.
Record ContentThe index cards ask for the following information, but the information given will vary:
- Name of veteran
- Names and class of dependents
- Rank and military unit in which served
- Enlistment date
- Discharge date
- Additional service information
- Date of filing for pension
- Application filing number
- Certificate number
- File number
- Bounty land information
- Other remarks
How to Use the Record
To begin your search for you will need to know your ancestor's full name and some other identifying information such as the names of their dependents.
Search the Collection
To search the collection by name, fill in your ancestor’s name 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.
To search the collection image by image,
⇒Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒Select the "Surname Range" which takes you to the images.
Look at the images one by one comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors 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.
For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line video at FamilySearch Search Tips.
Using the Information
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:
- The application or certificate number will lead you to the full pension record.
- The enlistment date and branch of service will lead you to the military service record.
- The service information may lead to a death or cemetery record.
- The bounty land information may lead you to a land grant record.
- The name and class of dependents can help you compile a family record.
Tips to Keep in Mind
- 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.
- Remember that these indexes may contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.
- Even though names are searchable, alias names are grouped with both the given name and surname. This can be very confusing.
- If you search on the soldier’s name, the dependent who is receiving the pension doesn’t show up on the result list . If you search on the dependent’s name, the soldier’s name doesn’t show up.
- National Archives Access to Military Service and Pension Records
- Family Link Military Records Search
Related Wiki Articles
Contributions to This Article
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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 Old War Pension Index, 1815-1926
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.
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.