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Archives - Military Records - Record of Veterans Benefits


Pension records, 1776-1811

The evidentiary material included in the pension application can be helpful in supplying summaries of service, military organization in which served, dates of service, date and place of birth, names of heirs, relationship to others who served with him, activities and residence after the war. After the Act of 1832, the application required birthplace, age and residence of application. Once all of the applications pertaining to a veteran were received, including those of the widow and other claimant, they were combined into one file. Contact the National Archives and use NATF form 80.

Bounty-Land Records

Bounty-land warrants were authorized by Congress in 1776 as a substitute for the wages it was unable to pay its soldiers. If the soldier was deceased, his heirs took claim to the land after the war. Number of acres granted was based upon the solder's rank and ranged from 100 to 1,100 acres. Applications provide the veteran's name, age, residence, the military organization in which he served and the term of his service. If his widow or other heirs made claim, their names, ages and places of residence are given. About 450,000 bounty-land claims are on file in the National Archives. Request NATF form 80.

  • Revolutionary War Bounty Land Grants; awarded by state governments by Lloyd DeWitt Backstruck. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co, c1996. 973.34/B6658r

Pension Records 1789-1861

War of 1812: information found in Index to War of 1812 pension files, National Historical Publishing Co., 1989. These files provide the veteran's name, age and place of residence. If married, the marriage date and the maiden name of his wife are included. The unit in which he served, the date and place of enlistment and the date and place of discharge are also given. The widow's pension file will provide her name, age and place of residence, their pertinent marriage information, date and place of the veteran's death, his enlistment date and place as well as the date and place of his final discharge.

Indian Wars between 1817 and 1858: classified as Indian survivors' - originals, Indian survivors' - certificates, Indian widows' - originals and Indian widows' - certificates. Files are located at the National Archives. Indexes are microfilmed and available at various libraries.

Mexican War: information is the same as for other pension applications but the maiden name of the wife, names of former wives, death or divorce information about previous wives and names and dates of birth of living children were also required. These are indexed by name and the index has been microfilmed. Contact the National Archives.

  • Index to old wars pension files, 1815-1926, transcribed by Virgil D White. Rev ed. Waynesboro, TN: National Historical Pub Co, 1993. Compiled from the microfilm records held by the National Archives. REF/929.373/W5889io/1993

  • Index to pension applications for Indian wars service between 1817 and 1898, transcribed by Virgil D White. Waynesboro, TN: National Historical Publishing Co, 1997. REF/929.373/W5889ip

Civil war and later Pension Records, 1861-1934

Pension applications filed for the Civil War and later included records of Union soldiers. Federal pensions were granted to veterans of the Spanish-American War of 1898, the Philippine Insurrection of 1899 -1902, the Boxer Rebellion of 1900 and the regular establishment. All are included in the index for Union Civil War veterans for 1861-1934 and are arranged by name of the veterans. Held at the National Archives but the index has been microfilmed and may be available in local libraries.

Confederate states governed their own pensions and each state had its own regulations. Originals will be found with the various state archives.

  • Index to old wars pension files, 1815-1926, transcribed by Virgil D White. Rev ed. Waynesboro, TN: National Historical Pub Co, 1993. Compiled from the microfilm records held by the National Archives. REF/929.373/W5889io/1993

  • Index to pension applications for Indian wars service between 1817 and 1898, transcribed by Virgil D White. Waynesboro, TN: National Historical Publishing Co, 1997. REF/929.373/W5889ip

  • Pensioners on the Roll as of January 1, 1883 (living in Dakota Territory). Roseville, MN: Park Genealogical Books, 1996. INDEX/929.3783/P4187/19
Burial Records

Veterans of the military services have had the benefit of being buried in one of the national or other federally administered cemeteries since 1861. Records regarding almost all soldiers and veterans buried in the cemeteries under federal jurisdiction are held by the Cemetery Service, National Cemetery System, Department of Veterans Affairs, 1810 Vermont Avene, Washington DC 20420. The names of the deceased are indexed and information will be furnished on request. The names of 228,639 Union soldier who were buried in more than three hundred national cemeteries during the Civil War are published in Roll of honor: names of solders who died in defense of the American Union, interred in the National Cemeteries, Number I - XIX, Genealogical Publishing Company of Baltimore, 1994. Index to the roll of honor was published in 1995.

There are also card file records of World War I era soldiers who died overseas between 1917 and 1922. These provide grave registrations, records of American names in European chapels and records of American Soldiers who were buried in Russia. They provide the name of the soldier, military organization, date of death, a statement that he was killed in action, name and address of the nearest relative or guardian and name of the chapel. These records are on file in Record Group 92, Records of the Quartermaster General, in the National Archives.

  • Little Big Horn Battlefield: "Cemetery reinternment records; remains removed from military posts and re-interred at the Little Big Horn Battlefield Cemetery", 1994. Photocopy in the General Information File under Custer Battlefield National Cemetery.

  • Roll of honor. Record of burial places of soldiers, sailors, marines and army nurses of all wars of the United States buried in the state of Illinois. Springfield, IL: 1929. 940.3/Ill6

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