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Thanks for answering the Q: Where’s James Thomas?

Gopher Records has retrieved several pensions for me. I could not be happier with their service and price. Each has contained valuable information--much of it containing sole-source genealogical facts. I have found pension fraud, child abandonment, bigamy, communications of historic import, and a physical artifact. Until you see a full pension packet, you have little idea how much you can get to know ancestors via them. The enclosed image is just the latest amazing discovery. James Thomas' life was not very well documented in the usual family tree hangouts like Ancestry and FamilySearch. The reason is hidden in his pension file. James worked for the railroad and moved 23 times in 35 years. James details his movements in a letter to the Pension Office. The dates and locations have permitted me to find him in censuses, identify the likely birthplaces of several children, and differentiate him from other men of the same name in city directories. A Rosetta Stone of sorts.

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