Did your ancestor fight for the Union Army and was he wounded or killed in the civil war? Are you helping a patron or ward member who has US ancestors in the 1860ís?
If you donít know, look in the
U.S., Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934
One of the defining events in American history, the Civil War involved millions of men who served the United States and the Confederate States. Millions of these men, or their dependents, applied for pension support from the federal government. These application cards (for Federal, not Confederate pensions) were indexed by the Pension Office and kept by the National Archives. This database is an index to nearly 2.5 million of these application cards. Each record includes the veteran's name and state in which he, or his dependents, filed the application. If a widow, mother, or a child filed the application, their name is provided. Because these pension files were for federal benefits, this collection only contains the names of Union veterans. To researchers of Civil War ancestors this database can be a useful source of detailed information. In addition, the index contains a link to a digitized image of the index card itself, which will contain additional information on the individual, such as unit of service, date of filing, and application and certificate numbers for the pension case file housed at the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington D.C.
The image above is one of my ancestorís siblings. I found this index on Ancestry.com in 2003.
You can still search this index at Ancestry.com following this link: search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=4654 If you donít have a subscription, find this at the family history center.
You can also search this index at FamilySearch.org following this link: www.familysearch.org/search/collection/1471019 To see the image, you will be directed to Fold3.com. If you donít have a subscription, you will need to do this at the family history center.
Find all Union ancestors or siblings of an ancestor who might have served in the civil war and search one of the databases above.
Can you find the database on Ancestry.com and Familysearch.org with out using the link? See if someone on your shift knows how.
If your ancestor fought for the Confederacy, find out which state he lived in and GOOGLE that stateís archive/library. Here is a link to one of my ancestors who served in Alabama, but filled out a pension in Florida. They have digitized his whole file which I purchased a few years ago and now it is free.
Please contact me if you have any questions. Carol Hill - firstname.lastname@example.org, 801-380-9192