Family Histories

Family Histories for the Rose and Kirkpatrick Families

Monday, September 23, 2013

Civil War Pension Records

I hope that anyone who has found Civil War pension records for ancestors who were soldiers or widows or soldiers takes the time to scroll through them, as they can be a source of a lot of information, as well as a window into the lives of these ancestors.  My husband's great-grandmother, Sarah Carter Kirkpatrick, applied for her husband's pension after his death in 1913.  The questions she answered in the application gave us some information we had not previously known:

Sarah's family moved to Alabama, but we had not been able to locate census or land records that told us when - this application states she moved with her family when she was an infant.  She also says her father died during the Civil War.  His exact death date is still not known, but this gives us a general idea of when he died. 

This form gives a list of Sarah's possessions, which are pretty meager - $100 in household furniture, a clock and a wagon.  It also shows her making her mark on the form rather than signing it, so we can also assume that she was unable to read and write. 

I have made a point of looking for these records whenever I am researching an ancestor who served in the Civil War.  Pension records have provided a great deal of information that has been helpful in piecing together their stories.

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