Don't assume your ancestor didn't get a "federal stimulus." Is it possible he (or his widow) got bounty land for military service or a widow's pension? As time went on and there were fewer veterans or individuals who could qualify, the rules for eligibility were relaxed. And stories of war service are not always passed down from one generation to another. One War of 1812 widow in my family had a wonderful bounty land application documenting her marriage and her deceased husband's military career.