United States, Civil War Widows Pension Files (Family Search Historical Records)
|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: United States, Civil War Widows and Other Dependents Pension Files, 1861-1934 .
- 1 Collection Time Period
- 2 Record Description
- 3 How to Use the Record
- 4 Record History
- 5 Related Websites
- 6 Related Wiki Articles
- 7 Contributions to This Article
- 8 Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
Collection Time Period
The collection covers the years 1861 to 1934.
The collection consists of approved pension case files of widows and other dependents of soldiers submitted between 1861 and 1934 and sailors between 1910 and 1934. Some files may be from service in the War with Spain.
The files are arranged numerically by certificate number. The orginal files are located at the National Archives in Record Group 15, Records of the Veterans Administration; the index is courtesy of www.fold3.com (previously known as Footnote.com). Additional records will be added to this collection as they become available.
Citation for This Collection
The citation below refers to the original source of the data and images published on FamilySearch.org Historical Records. It may include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.
- Fold3.com. Civil War "Widows' Pensions". Fold3.com, www.fold3: 2012.
The records generally contain the following information:
- Pensioner's name
- Veteran's name
- Relationship to veteran
- Application number
- State or country of birth
- Year of birth or age
- Branch of service (Infantry, Cavalry, or Artillery)
- Regiment number
- Enlistment date
- Discharge date
- Date pension was filed
- Application number
- Certificate number
- May also contain additional service information, including company and regiment
How to Use the Record
To begin your search you will need to know the following:
- Full name
- Approximate dates of service
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
You may also find these search tips helpful:
- 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.
The index was produced to provide easier access to the full pension application files.
Why the Record Was Created
Pensions were issued to compensate Civil War veterans and their widows and minor children for their service.
Pension applications are usually reliable.
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.
Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection
|This citation example isn't from this collection. You can help by replacing this example with a citation for a record found in this collection.|
- United States. Bureau of the Census. 12th census, 1900, digital images, From FamilySearch Internet (www.familysearch.org: September 29, 2006), Arizona Territory, Maricopa, Township 1, East Gila, Salt River Base and Meridian; sheet 9B, line 71.
- Mexico, Distrito Federal, Catholic Church Records, 1886-1933, digital images, from FamilySearch Internet (www.familysearch.org: April 22, 2010), Baptism of Adolfo Fernandez Jimenez, 1 Feb. 1910, San Pedro Apóstol, Cuahimalpa, Distrito Federal, Mexico, film number 0227023.