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Researching Civil War pension files (Mother's Pension)

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David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question:  I was puzzled by the term "Mother's Pension" when I searched for some Civil War pensions recently.  Usually I see a widow or an invalild pension in the index, but what was a Mother's pension?


Answer:  Actually you may even  find a Mother's, Father's, or Minor childs pension in the index as well.  A parent could apply for the pension for their deceased son(s) who died during the Civil War. These pensions are quite moving in content with the correspondence enclosed within.  The parent had to supply a copy of the letter's from their son that made mention of "sending money home".  The parents needed to prove the loss of their son would now be causing a financial hardship.  The letter's were sadly never returned, but remain a part of the case files for the soldier's pension at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.  NEHGS will be making a research trip to the National Archives, Library of Congress and the D.A.R. Library in Washington this coming March 2011 -

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