PACAMBRI-L Archives

Archiver > PACAMBRI > 2012-03 > 1331783847


From: marilyn <>
Subject: Re: [PACAMBRI] civil war pension records
Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2012 23:57:27 -0400 (EDT)
References: <0B88BE95-5FDA-4896-96E2-F1F301885D8B@triad.rr.com>
In-Reply-To: <0B88BE95-5FDA-4896-96E2-F1F301885D8B@triad.rr.com>


No, Pension Files come from the National Archives. There used to be forms you had to fill out, but I don't know now. From what I heard, you should be specific in requesting EVERY BIT OF PAPER in the file, as they don't always send it all.

I don't know the cost. There are also people you can pay to find the file and copy it for you. Last time I saw that sort of ad, it was $100. You can also got to Washington, DC and do the research yourself. The National Archives are on the Mall, so it is easy to find. Again, the directions and hours should be on the Internet.

There are two parts.
The first one is the service record and you can skip it if you have money problems. It is just the paymaster's record. They checked every two weeks if the soldier was present or absent or hospitalized. They also charged for items like replacement uniforms. No facts or other information. It is good to have, but not necessary. I found out my g-grandfather was hospitalized five times for dysentery.

The pension files are the applications, whether or not your soldier got a pension. This is the portion you must have. Included are forms that the local JP filed out [most soldiers needed help--my g-grandfather couldn't even sign his name.]' There are doctor statements. Statements from people who can testify to his disability, etc. There is information about wives [that is how I found out when and where my g-grandparents married] and families.

If the soldier is dead, either in the war or later, the application is made by the wife for herself or children. My g-grandfather had his pension and after he died, she had to fill out an application. [She couldn't read or write either.]
In addition, there was a number of schools for the Orphans [soldier father dead] and the Blair County Genealogy Library has a book that lists all the schools and the names and addresses of all the children, boys and girls, enrolled. There are various types of schools. St. Vincent College [the prep school] was one of them. There was one in Huntington.
Even if he was refused, the applications forms are there.

The National Archives used to check and see if they had a file and tell you what it would cost and send the equivalent of a bill. You sent in a check or Money Order. That used to take forever. Now I know they take credit cards. Directions should be online.

I got my form back the first time saying they didn't have it.
At a genealogy conference, the speaker told me that they check the application form by elimination, that means they check it item by item and if you write anything incorrect, they toss it. If you are not 100% sure of a fact, even a middle initial, don't put it in. You MUST HAVE the name, branch of the service and regiment information. They also ask thing like dates of birth, enlistment, getting discharged, last address, etc. Also wife's information. If you don't know, use a question mark. Don't guess or put in something you are not sure about. It is a case of less is more.
Remember some men gave the wrong name or age for various reasons. If you know about that, indicate it. Or the name is spelled differently. I found a Yahner relative with his name spelled Yonner. Give the alternate spellings.

If you enter the " PA Archives" and "Civil War," you can see a photocopy of a card that lists his name and other info, including a description. That would be the right name and spelling, etc. for the National Archives File.

Sometimes the soldier enlisted more than once, so there may be more than one Regiment listed. I was told you had to ask for both of the service records.

The PA authority is Bates, History of the PA Volunteers. The original is not indexed [except for officers], but the set was republished in the 1980s or 1990s with an index. This would tell you his Regiment[s]. Bates also gives a short history of the Regiment's history and battles. Most big libraries would have it. The Blair County Genealogy Society has the new set, so you could contact them and have them look in the Index for your soldier. I have been told Bates is on line, but I don't know the URL. I would imagine the Index is there, too.

Marilyn Kline Washington



-----Original Message-----
From: elaine wilkinson <>
To: Message Cambria <>
Sent: Wed, Mar 14, 2012 9:05 pm
Subject: [PACAMBRI] civil war pension records


where can I send for civil war pension records, I would like to get
ll 3. here do you go in Harrisburg?
Roll #T288_283
enjamin Lichty service D 195 PA Inf
idow: Caroline Lichty
inor HC: Charles J. Lichty
ate of filing class application # certificate #
891 Nov 6 invalid 1070595 846928 PA
914 Jan 8 widow 1020128 800373 PA
928 May 3 Minor HC 1613761 a-6-21-28
ttorney T. H. Nicewonger

aroline lived in Altoona

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