OK, so you’ve received the pension record for your ancestor. It might be 25 pages or 225 pages. Now what?
You can read my post here that tells you how I ordered this record.
Since I’d never done this before, the first thing I did was read through all 174 pages. As I did, I wrote down a couple of notes of import. One was a deposition by a woman saying she was Nancy Massie Lunsford’s sister.
I have yet to prove who Nancy Massie Lunsford’s parents are, so finding a sister’s name would be a great clue.
I also noted, during that first read through, a deposition from a man who states that he married William Lunsford’s sister in about 1870. Another great clue.
TIP: If you’re anything like me, you are going to be so excited to have this record that you’re first read through will be done too quickly to catch all references to family and/or events. Don’t worry about it, just enjoy it. You have plenty of time to go back & “really” read those pages.
It’s day two now and time to begin going through this record, again, slowly. The documents are NOT in chronological order. One thing I generally don’t do is create any paper for my research. In other words, I keep records digitally. That was true here too. I sit at my desk where I have two monitors and do my research from there. The nice thing about reading any document on your monitor is the ability to enlarge it.
I sat here with my notepad and as I came to something important in the document I wrote down the page number and what the item referred to.
Here are a few examples of what I found. There are many more. Remember, you can click on any image to enlarge it.
Page 14 – Nancy’s declaration that she married William under the name Nancy Massie, and that they married on 17 Sept 1836. (I don’t have a marriage record for this couple, but found a reference to them being married Sep 1836, in Ohio, on someone’s tree on Ancestry. I made a note of that in Legacy) Also on this page was the name of the person who married them, Jesse Corn and the location Greasy Ridge. I know of the Corn family from Lawrence County, Ohio and also the location Greasy Ridge, from the same county.
Page 45 – A declaration by Joseph Massie, who states that he is a cousin of Nancy Massie Lunsford. Good to know, as it may lead me to her parents & family.
Page 59 – Declaration by Isaac Darling who is not related to either William or Nancy Lunsford. He claims that the children of the “old woman” all testified against their father and that Bazell (son Basil Lunsford) got judgement. The “old man” anticipated the judgement and sold off property and stock. Also on this page this person claims that the claimant (Nancy Lunsford) is living with her sister Rebecca Ferril, until a month ago when the sister died. Now the claimant (Nancy) lives with her son, Basil Lunsford.
Two more pages I’ll share with you today. These give the details of William’s death on 20 May 1887 at the Central Branch, National Home for Disabled Soldiers in Dayton, Ohio.
There is so much more in this 174 page file. But, I think you have the general idea of the value of these pension files. Do they all have this much information? I expect it varies from file to file. However, I’ve heard nothing but good things about the content of these pension files.
Have you received Civil War pension files for your ancestors?
If so, how did you record what you found in the file? What was your step by step procedure? Please leave your comments here on the blog or write your own blog post and leave the link to it in a comment. I’d love to hear from you.
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