United States, Old War Pension Index (FamilySearch Historical Records)
|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: United States Old War Pension Index, 1815-1926 .
What is in the Collection?
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 1815 and 1926. 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.
|You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for United States, Old War Pension Index, 1815-1926.|
The 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 Do I Search the Collection?
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 those in the list to what you already know about your own ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person.
To browse by image:
To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒Select the "Surname Range" which takes you to the images.
Look at each image 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.
With either search 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 article FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.
What Do I Do Next?
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.
What if I Can't Find Who I'm Looking For?
- Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for alias names, nicknames and abbreviated names.
- 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.
- National Archives Old War Index to Pension Files
- National Archives Case Files of Pension Applications Based on Death and Disability Incurred in Service between 1783 and 1861 ("Old War")
- National Archives Access to Military Service and Pension Records
- Family Link Military Records Search
Related Wiki Articles
How You Can Contribute
| 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 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.
- "United States, Old War Pension Index, 1815-1926" Database with images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Citing NARA microfilm publication T316. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C.
Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):
|The citation for a record is available with each record in this collection, at the bottom of the record screen. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for United States, Old War Pension Index, 1815-1926.|
|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 United States, Old War Pension Index, 1815-1926.|