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Military Pension Records

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Retrieval of Military Records from the U.S.  (NARA)

There were three card indices that the Pension Office maintained

  • Numerical Index

  • General (alphabetical) Index

  • Organizational Index

U.S.C.T. Pension Files  

A Rich Resource for African American Genealogy. 

Bernice Bennett and Toni Carrier Part 1      

Bernice Bennett and Toni Carrier Part 2

Numerical Index

Officially called A1158, Numerical Index to Pensions, 1860-1934, this card index from the National Archives covers application and certificate number for men who fought in wars prior to, during, or after the Civil War.

General Index (alphabetical)

Officially called the General Index, these alphabetical listing include pensions for services in the Civil War, post-Civil War Indian Wars, Spanish American War, the Philippine Insurrection, and the Boxer Rebellion. So even if a relative received a pension for service in a later conflict, it will be also found in the General Index. Typically, there will be one card for soldier.

General Index will generally include the following:

  • The soldier's and all applicant's names and the name of the guardian in the events of a dependent child claim.
  • An alias if the soldier had one.
  • Index numbers for all applications and granted pension certificates
  • The soldier's or marine's unit(s) or sailor's vessel
  • Date of original application filing(s)
  • Some cards, but very few, have rank information

Organizational Index

These microfilms document pensions that based upon the unit(s) or ship to which the individual was officially attached

Typically, the organizational card will have the following:

  • The soldier's name and aliases (dependents' names are not listed)
  • Units/Ships (the card for a specific unit will be listed as the primary unit)
  • Index number for all applications and granted pension certificates
  • Date of original application filing(s)
  • Rank information may be listed
  • Enlisted and discharge information may be listed
  • Date and location of death may be listed 
  • The date of refiling for additional benefits based on age and/or service.

National Archive - Organization Index to Pension Files of Veterans Who Served Between 1861 and 1900, 1949-1949

FamilySearch - Organization Index to Pension Files

Fold3 - Pension Records

FamilySearch -  Pension Records

Confederate Pension Records and Indexes

Additional Sources for Pension Records