Family Tree Friday: More Unexpected Finds in Military Pensions
Last week John showed you an example of an unusual find in a pension record – a Fraktur which was used by a widow or other dependent to prove their relationship to a deceased soldier – and asked if anyone had found anything else unusual or revealing. Even more “typical” documents can reveal a lot of information about the daily life of a pensioner or his family, something you might not otherwise find.
William Graham was 64 years old when he submitted this document in support of his Revolutionary War pension application in 1820. The pension laws in effect then required him to prove not only his service, but also his need for monetary support. The inventory seen here lists his personal property.
He owned very little, including two hogs valued at $5.00, and a broken kettle worth 18 cents. The total value of his property was $10.53½. In a letter that follows the inventory, he writes that he and his wife are too old and ill to work, and that he also needs to support an unmarried daughter who lives with them.
You can see the rest of William Graham’s pension application on www.footnote.com, to learn more about his wife, Mary, and their children as well as his military service from 1777 to 1783. Similar records for other Revolutionary War veterans can be found in NARA’s series “Case Files of Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Applications Based on Revolutionary War Service,” ARC ID 300022.
What else have you found in a pension record that reveals information about the daily life of your ancestor?