Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Where Do I Go From Here?

The timeline really helped me to get out of my dead end....so, where did I go from there?

Right off the bat I began to wonder about Hezekiah's father, Isaac, who had been a Civil War Pensioner. One of our cousins had recently received his ancestor's pension file and the discoveries were fascinating. Not only did it give information about his ancestor, but it told about what life was like for a Civil War Veteran, their "comrades," family and neighbors who testified on their behalf. The price was a bit daunting at $75 for the first 100 pages and then sixty-five cents per each additional page...but it was worth it!

If you follow the link, click on the Order Reproductions button. On the following page, click on Military Service and Pension Records. For the complete file, click on the heading for form NATF 85D. You can receive it in either a CD/DVD or Paper Format. . . .I opted for the paper format.

The copies from microfilm were in good, readable condition on legal sized paper; but, there is a notice they send which states that the file sent was the best possible copy they had. I imagine that in some cases the copies may possibly not be in as good condition.

After selecting the format you desire, click on Add To Cart. The site will ask for your NARA User ID & Password. Don't worry if you don't have one. . . .click on New User and you can register. I recommend that you write this info down for future use.

Once you've logged into the NARA site, you will come to the application page. It is important to fill out each section of the application carefully and completely. You can obtain the numbers required for the Pension File Number from Ancestry.com or footnote.com. If you do not have a subscription to Ancestry.com, check with your local library to see if they have a subscription to Ancestry Library Edition. Here you can see the two similar, but different forms I found for Isaac and Martha Ann Carter:
Ancestry.com Civil War Pension Files
footnote.com Civil War Pension Files

When finished click on Proceed to Pay. You will need a credit or debit card to complete your transaction, and it will not be billed until the documents are located and shipped. NARA is very good at keeping you informed via email.

You can also obtain your ancestor's Civil War Service Records at Ancestry.com.

So, if you haven't yet looked for any of these military records, I would encourage you to do so. It will help you gain a glimpse of life after the Civil War up to the time of the Pensioner or his widow's death.

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