In the 13+ years I’ve been researching, I’ve never ordered or even seen a Civil War Pension File. Well, I’ve seen images of some of them on various websites, but never seen one in it’s entirety. And, certainly not for one of my ancestors. So, this was an exciting moment for me.
I know that they can be full of family connections, history and other important information.
In this case it was the Civil War pension file for my 3rd great granduncle, William Lunsford, born 16 Mar 1816 in Mason, Warren, Ohio. He married Nancy Massie in Sep 1836 in Ohio. They had 12 known children. William served in the Civil War from 1861-1864 in Company H, 9th West Virginia Infantry. William Lunsford died at the National Home for Disabled Soldiers in Dayton, Montgomery, Ohio on 20 May 1887. Cause of death – Softening of the brain.
I had located a Pension Index cards several years ago for both William, who applied before his death, and Nancy, who applied after his death.
You can locate indexes to the Civil War Pension files at several websites. However, the records themselves are not yet scanned and available.
General Index to Pension Files 1861-1934: NARA TO288
United States Civil War Widows and Other Dependents Pension Files, 1861-1934
Here are the two pension index cards I located:
Because I belong to a Facebook page called The Lawrence Register, I have met many descendants of my ancestors. It’s an extremely active group. I’ve been back to Lawrence County, Ohio and met some of those Facebook friends in person.
One “cousin” I met was Randy. We believed we might be related via our Lunsford line. However, during the many years we have communicated we have pondered an additional marriage for William Lunsford, prior to Nancy Massie. A recent DNA test by Randy has proven that we have no actual blood connection. This is the beauty of DNA testing. It can really assist you in your research, but that’s a discussion for another post.
P.S. Randy and I have decided to remain virtual cousins anyway.
I was more anxious than ever to get the pension file for William Lunsford and discover what it would say about marriages, children etc.
One of my contacts from another Facebook group Detroit Genealogy, has been so busy pulling documents from the National Archives that she has moved from Detroit to Maryland. She is now closer than ever to the archives. Her name is Deidre Erin Denton and she can be found at Twisted Twigs on Gnarled Branches Genealogy. By ordering your pension file from Deidre you save money and time.
The website for ordering pension files directly from the National Archives is Veteran Service Records
I ordered the file through Deidre’s service and was not disappointed. In fact, I was so happy that I’ve ordered a second file for another ancestor.
This file for William contains 174 pages!!!
What will it tell me? I can’t wait to find out.
STAY TUNED FOR THE NEXT POST ABOUT THE PENSION FILE AND WHAT I LEARNED FROM IT
DISLCAIMER – I make no money nor benefit in any way from the work that Deidre Denton does regarding pulling files at the National Archives. I make no guarantee about her work. The opinons expressed here are strictly my own.
Do you have any pension files for your ancestors?
OTHER POSTS THAT MAY BE OF INTEREST
THE CIVIL WAR - HOW OUR COUNTRY DEALT WITH THE AFTERMATH
TOMBSTONE TUESDAY - Civil War Soldier Headstones
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