United States, Revolutionary War Pension Payment Ledgers (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.
Access the records: United States, Revolutionary War Pension Payment Ledgers, 1818-1872 .

Record Description

For a complete list of the NARA roll numbers contained in this collection, see the United States, Pension Payment Ledgers Coverage Table.

This collection contains images of pension payment ledgers created by the Treasury Department to record semiannual payments to veterans and widows of the Revolutionary War from 1818-1872. A few records for the War of 1812 are also included. A coverage table for localities and dates can be found under User Guidance. Click the Learn More link to access this table and more information regarding how to use this collection. This collection is from Record Group 217, Records of the Accounting Officers of the Department of the Treasury, and is National Archive Microfilm publication T718.

Citation for This Collection

The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.

Department of Treasury. United States, Pension Payment Ledgers NARA Microfilm, T718. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., United States.

Suggested citation format for a record in this collection.

Record Content

The content of the records differ depending upon whether the record is for a pensioner, invalid, or widow. You may find any of the following:

  • Name of person receiving payment
  • Name of spouse if recipient is a widow
  • State and sometimes city
  • Rank
  • Amount of money allowed
  • Dates of payments
  • Death dates
  • Additional comments

How to Use the Record

To begin your search you will need to know the name of your ancestor and some other identifying information such as residence and rank.

In the case of a widow you need to know her name, residence, and spouse's name.

Search the Collection

To search the collection image by image select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page. Next select the appropriate "NARA roll number, volume number, and pension type" which takes you to the images.

To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒ Select the "Browse through images" link in the initial search page
⇒ Select the "NARA roll number, volume number, and pension type" category which takes you to the images

Look at the images one by one 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.

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.

Using the Information

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:

  • Death dates may lead to church or burial records.
  • Use the name and residence or locality to search for church records, land recods, and census recirds.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • These records are brief so it is easy to confuse individuals
  • Compile the entries for every person who has the same surname. 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.

Unable to Find Your Ancestor?

  • Look for variant spellings of the surnames and nicknames.
  • Look for an index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records.
  • Search the records of nearby counties.

Related Websites

Follow the Money Tracking Revolutionary War Army Pension Payments, Prologue Magazine

Related Wiki Articles

Revolutionary War Pension Records and Bounty Land Warrants

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

“Argentina, Buenos Aires, Catholic Church Records, 1635-1981,” images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org: accessed 28 February, 2012), La Plata > San Ponciano > Matrimonios 1884-1886 > image 71 of 389 images, Artemio Avendano and Clemtina Peralta, 1884; citing Parroquia de San Ponciano en la Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Matrimonios. San Ponciano, La Plata.