Civil War Widows’ Pensions



Those researchers with ancestral veterans who served during the American Civil War will want to find as many additional sources of primary information as possible. One good location is the pension applications and case files completed by the widows and dependent children of veterans.

The United States government granted pensions to widows of men who died in service to the Union Army beginning in 1861. Benefits were extended due to the passing of the Pension Dependent Act in 1890 for widows of any honorably discharged veterans, again serving with the Union Army for at least ninety days between 1861 and 1865. Being a widow, the lady had to prove the veteran’s death, plus have no other means of support. She also had to prove she had been married to the soldier before June 17, 1890 to receive any benefits.

These applications held quite a bit of information such as the soldier’s full name, his rank, the company he served with, any commissions, the veteran’s death date and the cause of death. The widow’s full name would be included along with marriage date and many times written documentation of a person who had been a witness to the marriage. How wonderful would that be to find a written statement to a witness of an ancestor’s wedding (I have such a statement for my gr gr grandparents’ wedding in 1851 – from the widow’s pension application).

The digital collection of index pension records and case files can be viewed on the FamilySearch.org site. Included are the files for widows of sailors who served between 1910 and 1934.

To search place a surname and given name for a veteran, a widow or a dependent child. A reminder, names may be spelled different, so try different variations. You could also try a widow’s maiden name in a search. Select from any choices that appear and view the basic index information such as names, military unit and state to see if you have the right one. There are scanned images using the Fold3.com site to view additional details.

If there are some major finds, do send to the National Archives for copies of the complete pension files (which could number quite a few pages). They can contain a great of details filled out by the widow, a dependent child (older than 16) or other relatives.

Photo:  General David Gregg and his officers.

< Return To Blog This is my first time i visit here. I found so many entertaining stuff in your blog, ecliseaply its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles, I guess I am not the only one having all the leisure here! Keep up the good work.
Talisson 28/12/12




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.



Related Articles

» Introducing Biological Age Feature For 2
» 100+ Million New Images Now Available In
» Indianapolis First Cemetery Raises Conce
» Do You Know About The Earliest Inhabitan
» California Reparations Bills One Step Cl
» Inherited Genetic Factors May Predict Th
» What is Juneteenth? The History Behind t
» MyHeritage Adds 123 Million Historical R
» Fragments of Freedom In The Fine Print
» Genetic Studies Have A Diversity Problem
» Washington Cemetery Has Been Lost To Tim
» People With Two Copies Of A Risk Gene Ha
» MyHeritage Releases New York City Birth,
» Indiana State Archives Initiative
» California Reparations Bills Clear First
» The Civilian Conservation Corps & De
» Can Genetic Genealogy Restore Family Nar
» What A Genetic Match Really Means
» Need 10,000 Daily Steps To Prevent Obesi
» More Than 200 Veterans' Graves Restored
» Tracing British Roots With DNA and Recor
» 23andMe's Historical Matches
» MyHeritage Adds 707 Million Historical R
» 23andMe Launches New Genetic Reports On
» California Assembly Passes Reparations R
» New Free Historical Records On FamilySea
» 5 Reasons Why We Need To Talk About Gene
» MyHeritage Adds 168 Million Historical R
» Studying Colorectal Cancer Within The Bl
» Celebrating National Arab American Herit
» Volunteers Reclaim Historic Cemetery In
» Black California Lawmakers Introducing P
» The Story Behind Women's History Month
» FamilySearch: Host And Sponsor of RootsT
» MyHeritage Updated Their Theory Of Famil
» The Genetics Of Loneliness And Its Impac
» The Mysteries Of Leap Day
» Samhain Is Celebrated Starting October 3
» Scientists May Have Found A New Trigger
» MyHeritage Adds 43 Million Historical Re
» Edwardsville's MCHS Archive Library Beco
» More Californians Want Reparations For S
» Better Polygenic Risk Prediction
» Five Tips For Finding Your LGBTQIA+ Ance
» The First Point-Of-Care Test For Lactose
» Boys Who Smoke In Early Teens Could Pass
» Welsh Last Names: Meanings and Popularit
» New Resources For FamilySearch Center Vo
» MyHeritage Adds 89 Million Historical Re
» 23andMe Improves BRCA Report For Communi
» Discover Your Hispanic Roots
» Korean Last Names, Naming Traditions, An
» How To Rescue A Family Bible
» Tracing Mexican Roots With DNA Records
» Explore Millions of Records From The Bri
» Family Of Henrietta Lacks Settles With B
» Surprising Facts About The History Of Ba
» Historical DNA Reveals Connection Betwee
» Find The U.S. Immigration Ports Your Anc
» Understanding Ashkenazi Jewish Ancestry
» Tricare Will Cover 5 New Genetic Diagnos
» California Reparations Task Force Conclu
» 23andMe Adds More Detail To Central Amer
» Celebrating Chinese Canadian Immigration
» Explore The Free Chinese Exclusion Era C
» The Look Of Your Eyebrow Is In Your Gene
» Parallel Reparations Efforts In Californ
» MyHeritage Introduces Reimagine Photo Ap
» 23andMe Adds More Detail For Indigenous
» FamilySearch Wrote About Canadian Immigr
» Ancestry To Apply AI-Driven Handwriting
» Succession to the British Throne Under K
» Thomasville Chapter DAR Features Technol
» Underwater Hospital And Cemetery Found A
» Reparations Task Force Recommends "Down
» New Enhancements To cM Explainer
» 23andMe Adds More Details For Indigenous
» 1931 Census Of Canada Releases June 1, 2
» Ancestry Survey Reveals Americans Know L
» New York's Hart Island Is Becoming A Par
» MyHeritage Has New Look for Historical R
» 23andMe Discusses COVID-19 Three Years L
» California's Reparations Task Force Will
» 23andMe Knows You're Special
» FamilySearch's Top 30 Country Record Col
» Ancestry Shares Corporate Responsibility
» A Property Flipper Bought A Black Cemete
» California's Reparations Task Force Coul
» Ancestry Launches Storymaker Studio
» Parkinson's Disease And The Microbiome