United States, Old War Pension Index (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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United States Old War Pension Index, 1815-1926 .
This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
United States
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Flag of the United States of America
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Seal of the National Archives
Record Description
Record Type Index to Pension Files
Record Group RG 15: Records of the Veterans Administration
Collection years 1815-1926
Microfilm Publication T316. Old Wars Index to Pension Files, 1815-1926. 7 rolls.
Arrangement Arrange alphabetically by the name of the veteran.
National Archives Identifier 2601038
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
National Archives and Records Administration

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.

To Browse This Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for United States, Old War Pension Index, 1815-1926.

Collection Content

Sample Image

What Can This Collection Tell Me?

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:

  • The full name of your ancestor.
  • The name of your ancestor's spouse.
  • The names of your ancestor's children.

Search by Name by visiting the Collection Page:
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.

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:
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 in the pension index, 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.

I Found Who I Was Looking For, What Now?

  • Search for the full pension record.
  • Search for the the military service record.
  • Search for a death or cemetery record.
  • Search for a bounty land grant record.

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

  • 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.
  • 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.

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

"United States, Old War Pension Index, 1815-1926" Database with images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Citing NARA microfilm publication T316. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C.

Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):

When looking at a record, the citation is found below the record. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for United States, Old War Pension Index, 1815-1926.

Image Citation

When looking at an image, the citation is found 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.

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.