Family Tree Friday: Military pension records can hold unexpected surprises!
by John on November 13, 2009
Military pensions often contain valuable documents regarding family. Veterans who applied for such benefits often had to prove their military service, using affidavits from officers and fellow soldiers, or letters and journals written in the field. Widows and dependents had to prove their relationship to the deceased soldier. Many personal or family documents often, and quite unintentionally, became part of the official pension record, such as marriage certificates, family Bible pages, or even photographs. Frakturs, a decorative family register such as the one pictured here from the James Dickisson family, turned up in numerous Revolutionary War pensions. Family members submitted these personal items not realizing they would never get them back. Have you discovered something really surprising or unexpected in a military pension file? We’d love to hear what kinds of unexpected “treasures” you found, even a tidbit of information about your ancestor that you didn’t previously know!