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Pensions and other Records

Pension Records

Many Union army soldiers or their widows or minor children later applied for a pension. In some cases, a dependent father or mother applied for a pension. The pension file will often contain more information about what the soldier did during the war than the CMSR, and it may contain much medical information if he lived for a number of years afterwards.

To obtain a widow's pension, the widow had to provide proof of marriage, such as a copy of the record kept by county officials, or by affidavit from the minister or some other person. Applications on behalf of the soldier's minor children had to supply both proof of the soldier's marriage and proof of the children's birth.

General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934.
T288. 544 rolls. 16mm.

This microfilm publication reproduces a general index to pension files, 1861-1934. The pension applications to which this index applies relate chiefly to Army, Navy, and Marine Corps service performed between 1861 and 1916. Most of the records relate to Civil War service; some relate to earlier service by Civil War veterans; others relate to service in the Spanish-American War, the Philippine Insurrection, the Boxer Rebellion, and the Regular Establishment.

Each card in the general index gives a veteran's name, rank, unit, and term of service; names of dependent(s); the filing date; the application number; the certificate number; and the state from which the claim was filed. The darker cards relate to naval service. See the NARA website for details.

This series is available online at ANCESTRY.COM, a subscription site.

Organization Index to Pension Files of Veterans
Who Served Between 1861 and 1900.
T289. 765 rolls. 16mm.

The index cards reproduced on this microfilm publication refer to pension applications of veterans who served in the U.S. Army between 1861 and 1917. The majority of the records pertain to Civil War veterans, but they also include veterans of the Spanish-American War, the Philippine Insurrection, Indian wars, and World War I.

The information provided here is virtually the same as that in the "General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934", T288. Unlike the alphabetical "General Index", however, this index groups the applicants according to the units in which they served. The cards are arranged alphabetically by state, thereunder by arm of service (infantry, cavalry, artillery), thereunder numerically by regiment, and thereunder alphabetically by veteran's surname. (Webmasters note: unfortunately, about 50% of the Vermont records are not properly indexed, and require searching by name)

Each card gives the soldier's name, rank, unit, and terms of service; names of relationships of any dependents; the application number; the certificate number; and the state from which the claim was filed.

This series is available online at FOLD3.COM, another subscription site.

See Also

Congressional action in individual pensions

How much is a disability worth?