GOPHER RECORDS

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Secrets of Civil War Pensions – Part 7

Getting the Full Pension File: Once you have found a record of a pension in an index, the next step is to get access to the full pension file.  The pension file may be in one of several possible places, however, and you’ll need to know where and how to access it.

Secrets of Civil War Pensions – Part 5

Alternative Pension Indexes: When the principal pension indexes don’t include what you want, there are some alternatives.  In fact, those alternative indexes sometimes include information about the veteran that is not recorded on any other pension index.

Secrets of Civil War Pensions – Part 4

Principal Pension Indexes: To find a Civil War pension, you must first find it in an index. There are several types of indexes available online and they contain different – and sometimes conflicting – kinds of data.  It is therefore critical that you understand the differences and consult the correct index(es), depending on your purpose.

Secrets of Civil War Pensions – Part 3

Eligibility: The qualifications to receive a pension changed over time.  Some reasonable conclusions can be drawn merely by examining the date of the application and the laws that were in place at that time.

Secrets of Civil War Pensions

This series will explore the many mysteries of the Civil War pension file, including how to find and interpret the many types of online pension indexes, some details of which are rarely documented elsewhere.  Those indexes alone may contain hidden clues and a remarkable amount of detail about the veteran’s life, family, and military service.

Confederate Pensions

Contrary to popular belief, many Confederate veterans did receive pensions.  They were provided not by the U.S. Federal government but by the individual southern states.  Although Confederate pension files typically contain fewer documents than Union ones, they are nonetheless very useful for family researchers.

How to Research Your Civil War Ancestor

The American Civil War was fought from 1861 to 1865 and the average soldier was 18-45 years old. So if you have a white, male ancestor who was born between roughly 1816 and 1847 and lived in the United States in the early 1860s, then he probably played some part in the Civil War.