United States Navy Widows' Certificates (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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This collection is an index to approximately 20,000 pension application files of widows and other dependents of U.S. Navy veterans who served between 1861 and 1910. The applications are commonly referred to as "Navy Widows' Certificates.” Prior to approval, applications were termed "originals." When claims were approved, a new file number was issued, and the records were referred to as "certificates." This collection corresponds to “NARA publication M1279: Case Files of Approved Pension Applications of Widows and Other Dependents of Civil War and Later Navy Veterans, ('Navy Widows' Certificates'), 1861-1910.” The index is arranged alphabetically and numerically.  
 
This collection is an index to approximately 20,000 pension application files of widows and other dependents of U.S. Navy veterans who served between 1861 and 1910. The applications are commonly referred to as "Navy Widows' Certificates.” Prior to approval, applications were termed "originals." When claims were approved, a new file number was issued, and the records were referred to as "certificates." This collection corresponds to “NARA publication M1279: Case Files of Approved Pension Applications of Widows and Other Dependents of Civil War and Later Navy Veterans, ('Navy Widows' Certificates'), 1861-1910.” The index is arranged alphabetically and numerically.  
  
This is an index to the Widows’ Certificates Collection, which was compiled from documents submitted by applicants (which include proof of their relationships to the veterans) and also from records created by the government (such as requests for documentation, certificates, or more information). 
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This is an index to the Widows’ Certificates Collection, which was compiled from documents submitted by applicants (which include proof of their relationships to the veterans) and also from records created by the government (such as requests for documentation, certificates, or more information). The information in this index is quite reliable. However, keep in mind that even though this index is very accurate it still may contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings or misinterpretations.  
 
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This is an index to records for the years 1861 to 1910. 
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This index was created to provide easier access to the Widows’ Certificates Collection.
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The information in this index is quite reliable. However, keep in mind that even though this index is very accurate it still may contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings or misinterpretations.  
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=== Citation for This Collection  ===
 
=== Citation for This Collection  ===
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== How to Use the Record  ==
 
== How to Use the Record  ==
  
To begin your search, you will need to know the ancestor’s full name.
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To begin your search it is helpful to know
 +
*Your ancestor’s full name
 +
*Identifying information such as names of spouse and children
  
 
==== Search the Collection  ====
 
==== Search the Collection  ====
  
To search the collection by name fill in the requested information in the boxes on 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 by name fill in the requested information in the boxes on 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. Keep in mind:  
Keep in mind:  
+
 
*There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
+
*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.
+
*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.
 
*Your ancestor may have used different names or variations of their name throughout their life.
  

Revision as of 18:51, 26 August 2013

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

Contents

Record Description

This collection is an index to approximately 20,000 pension application files of widows and other dependents of U.S. Navy veterans who served between 1861 and 1910. The applications are commonly referred to as "Navy Widows' Certificates.” Prior to approval, applications were termed "originals." When claims were approved, a new file number was issued, and the records were referred to as "certificates." This collection corresponds to “NARA publication M1279: Case Files of Approved Pension Applications of Widows and Other Dependents of Civil War and Later Navy Veterans, ('Navy Widows' Certificates'), 1861-1910.” The index is arranged alphabetically and numerically.

This is an index to the Widows’ Certificates Collection, which was compiled from documents submitted by applicants (which include proof of their relationships to the veterans) and also from records created by the government (such as requests for documentation, certificates, or more information). The information in this index is quite reliable. However, keep in mind that even though this index is very accurate it still may contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings or misinterpretations.

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 Navy Widows' Certificates, 1861-1910." Index. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing "Case Files of Approved Pension Applications of Widows and Other Dependents of Civil War and Later Navy Veterans (Navy Widows' Certificates), 1861-1910." Fold3.com. http://www.fold3.com : n.d.

Record Content

Information found in this collection may include:

  • Navy veteran’s full name
  • Rank and rate of pay
  • Pay commenced on what date
  • Name of wife and children
  • Petitioner's full name
  • Petitioner's relationship to veteran
  • Application number
  • Certificate number

How to Use the Record

To begin your search it is helpful to know

  • Your ancestor’s full name
  • Identifying information such as names of spouse and children

Search the Collection

To search the collection by name fill in the requested information in the boxes on 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. 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. Add this new information to your records. If you want to find further information about your ancestor, the pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records. For example:

  • Use death dates to look for death certificates, mortuary records, or burial records.
  • 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.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • 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.

Keep in mind that this is only an index to applications that were approved by the government. There are other case files at the National Archives and Records Administration (publication M1274 and M1391) that contain the applications that were rejected for various reasons.

Related Websites

National Archives description of the Navy Widows’ Certificates

Related Wiki Articles

Contributions to This Article

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.


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.

A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.