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25 January 2015

Are Your Family Treasures at the National Archives?

Some military veterans and their widows submitted original family documents to back up their pension claims. These items could vary and included such items as family bibles, samplers, and the baptismal record shown here.

Is it possible that some of your "missing" family ephemera is at the National Archives, sitting in a pension file?


  1. How do you go about finding out if you do?

  2. Items of this type are most often found in pension applications and were used as proof in establishing a claim. They weren't sent there as a way to preserve them and you'd need to know that the person of interest (or their widow) filed a pension claim.

  3. I was talking with a relative in CA, and he said he had a copy of the list of children from the family Bible. I asked for a copy, and I asked how he found it. When he sent it to me, he said in was from the files in the National Archives. Of course, some of the entries were hard to read, you could only read the second date and the year of my ancestors birth (-7, 1799). However in my application for DAR, I found where his son was asked to read what was on the paper, and he gave every child and birth-date from his parents marriage. Just not the children from each parents previous marriages. Oh, well, more for me to hunt.

  4. In response to this tip of the day, I decided to look into what might be at the National Archives in spite of the fact that I had already tapped the New York State Archives for my great great grandfather's records from the Civil War. In fact I had the document to start the research already, his wife's pension petition number. I just never knew what to do with it. Thank you so much! I now have the letter that went home to notify her of her husband's death in VA, and their children's birth dates and their wedding date, all new to me! So glad I read this post and decided to investigate! What a find. Thanks!!!!