United States, Index to General Correspondence of the Pension Office (FamilySearch Historical Records)
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Access the records: United States, Index to General Correspondence of the Pension Office, 1889-1904 .
This collection is a name index to correspondence of the Records and Pension office. The index is part of RG 94, Records of the Adjutant General's Office and is NARA microfilm publication M686 located at the National Archives. This index covers only personal names.
The “Index to General Correspondence of the Record and Pension Office, 1889-1904” indexes two groups of records held at the National Archives and Records Administration, as shown below:
- “Document File, 1889-1904.” The Document File collection contains information about volunteer soldiers and regular military personnel including information on battles, desertions, requests for certificates of discharge, personnel policies, and other records.
- “Records Cards, 1889-1904.” The Record Cards collection includes copies of the responses of the Record and Pension Office and the sources they used.
To find descriptions of these record groups, visit the National Archives Online Catalog and enter these ARC identifiers: 300385 (Document File) and 588796 (Record Cards).
This collection covers the years from 1889 through 1904.
In 1889, the Record and Pension Office was established in order to consolidate the information regarding military soldiers and volunteers. The office had the responsibility of keeping the military and medical records of the volunteer forces and the medical records for the regular army. They were responsible for all of the business relating to these records.
Inquiries made to the Record and Pension office cover a wide range of subjects and time periods. Some of the inquiries regard soldiers who served in the Revolutionary War, while others pertain to soldiers living at the time who were in need of documentation or proof of service.
As correspondence was received by the pension office, it was filed and indexed onto cards. Inquiries were sometimes made by the soldier himself, a governmental office, or others. The correspondence included requests for the following: certificates of discharge, certificates in lieu of lost discharge papers, medals of honor, removal of charges for desertion, information needed for admission to homes for disabled soldiers or to complete the records of adjutants general of States, and information relating to the strength or service of the organizational units.
The cards index the correspondence received from 1889-1904, but the subject matter can range from as early as the Revolutionary War to the those who were alive at the time of the inquiry. Some of the cards will indicate the war in which the individual served, but others only list the company or division.
For a list of records by surnames currently published in this collection, select the Browse.
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.
- Adjutant General's Office. United States, index to general correspondence of the Record and Pension Office. National Archives, Washington D.C.
Key genealogical facts found in this collection may include:
- Name of soldier
- Unit of service
- Name of person/office making the inquiry (sometimes the soldier himself)
- Subject of inquiry
How to Use the Record
To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page
⇒Select the "Slect a Surname Range" 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.
The index cards are arranged by the name of the soldier or other subject of inquiry. Surnames are arranged alphabetically in a phonetic system. If the subject of inquiry was a military unit, it was generally filed under the name of its commanding officer. These records may lead to pension files and other helpful military records.
- National Archives and Records Administration Online Catalog
- Research Our Records Contains information on ordering files from the National Archives
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Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection
"United States, Index to General Correspondence of the Pension Office, 1889-1904." digital FamilySearch (http:/familysearch.org: accessed 8 April 2011). John Boukhead; citing Pension Office Correspondence, Bank-Bark, image 63; War Department Record and Pension Office.