Tennessee Confederate Pension Applications, Soldiers and Widows (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Tennessee, Confederate Pension Applications, Soldiers and Widows, 1891- 1965 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Tennessee, United States
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Flag of Tennessee
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Location of Tennessee
Record Description
Record Type Pension Applications
Collection years 1891-1965
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites



What is in the Collection?

This collection consists of digital images of pension applications filed by Confederate veterans and their widows. The records cover the years 1891 to 1965. Tennessee began granting pensions to resident Confederate veterans in 1891 and to their widows in 1905.

An index to the records is available on the website of Tennessee State Library and Archives.


Collection Content

Sample Images

What Can this Collection Tell Me?

The information will vary depending upon the record and may include any of the following:

  • Name of soldier, widow, or dependents
  • Date and place of birth
  • Unit dates and places of enlistment and discharge
  • Brief description of service
  • Wounds received
  • Sworn statements on proof of service by comrades
  • War Department service abstracts
  • Place and length of residency in the state
  • Date and place of marriage
  • Date and place of the veteran's death

How Do I Search the Collection?

Before you use these records it is helpful to search the index available online from the Tennessee State Library and Archives. It is helpful to know the following:

  • Soldier's name
  • Widow's or dependent's names
  • Approximate birth date or other identifying information

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:
To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page
⇒Select the "File Category"
⇒Select the "Beginning Application Letter and Number" category which takes you to the images.

Search the collection by image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination.

As you are searching it is helpful to know such information as your ancestor’s given name and surname, some identifying information such as residence and age, and family relationships. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name as your ancestor and that your ancestor may have used nicknames or different names at different times.

What Do I Do Next?

When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. Compare the information in the record to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct person. You may need to compare the information of more than one person to make this determination.

The pieces of information in the record 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.

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

  • Death dates may lead to death certificates, mortuary, 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.
  • 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.
  • When searching for an application keep in mind that in some cases the applications were filed under the name of the widow or other dependent who submitted the application.
  • Applications were sent to and processed by the state where the veteran or family member lived at the time, which was not always the state in which the soldier had served.

I Can't Find Who I'm Looking for, What Now?

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for nicknames and abbreviated names.
  • Look for another index. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.
  • Try alternative search methods such as only filling in the surname search box (or the given name search box) on the landing page leaving the other box empty and then click on search. This should return a list of everyone with that particular name. You could then browse the list for individuals that may be your ancestor.


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 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.


Citing this Collection

Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.

Collection Citation:

"Tennessee, Confederate Pension Applications, Soldiers and Widows, 1891-1965." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Citing Board of Pension Examiners. State Library and Archives, Nashville.

Image citation:

The image citation is available by clicking on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Tennessee Confederate Pension Applications, Soldiers and Widows, 1891- 1965.


How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

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.