You never know for certain what will be in pension files, but I was
pleasantly surprised when I ordered my gr grandfather's. Both he and
his youngest son were in the Civil War. The father served 3 yrs. and
was discharged early due to crippling arthritis. The son was in the
war until about 2 weeks before it ended when he was killed in battle.
The son never married.
I requested the pension file on my gr grandfather and was told there
was nothing. For years, I thought I'd not find anything more about
him. Since the son was only 20 yrs. old and not married I didn't
suppose there'd be a pension file for him. Then I decided to request
both his military and pension file and to my surprise, I received
many pages of information.
It turned out that a pension was actually paid to my great
grandfather based on his son's military service because the son, the
father said, had to help support him prior to both of them enlisting
in the military. Before the father could draw the pension though he
had to provide the Government with proof of his relationship to his
son and in the file, beside other info, was a copy of the marriage
record to the boy's mother. (The father had married 3 times .... his
first wife had been the boy's mother). The marriage took place in
Oct. 1835 in NY. I'd gone to Buffalo trying to find any info but was
told there was nothing in the city archives. I even went to the
church where they'd married but because the old records were written
in Latin and/or German language, I couldn't read most of them. I
don't know why NARA didn't have the father and son's pension records
cross-indexed some way so it could be seen that the father actually
did receive a military pension.
I'd recommend you request the files and hopefully you'll find info
you need. It would seem to me your gr grandfather's mother would
have proven her legal relationship to your ancestor, such as a
marriage record, or documentation of some kind that she was legally
entitled to the pension.
There may be some information in the State Archives also, but it will
be different types, I think. Again, it is a toss-up what might be @
the state level. I spent several days in the Iowa Historical Library
Archives one year and found much info on a no. of relatives. Some of
the info was the actual letters written from the battle fields. I'd
presume that Rob't. Overton's Discharge was a formality the Gov't.
performed to indicate the man was no longer in the Army and the date
was probably when the paper was actually filed.
My 2nd great grandfather's brother, Robert OVERTON, served in
Civil War. It appears he died in service and his mother claimed his
pension. I am interested in obtaining his pension file to learn more
about him and specifically about his parents. I have a few questions
that I hope someone will be able to help answer.
1. How likely am I to find any information about his parents in his
pension file? I realize each pension file is different and I gather
information about parents is often not included, but since his mother
claimed the pension, I'm hoping something will be there. I would like
to find any of the following: mother's maiden name, parents' date &
place of marriage, parents' place of birth (I have dates).
2. What is contained in the Pension Documents Package from NARA for
$25? > Here is what I know about Robert's service. Note that one source shows
he received a disability discharge AFTER the other source claims he
died. Is this some strange military thing (you are discharged after
you die?) or is one source incorrect? Day and year are the same, but
month is different, so I wonder if both dates should be the same.
Name: Robert Overton , Residence: Carlisle, Iowa Enlistment Date:
23 > Aug 1861 Side Served: Union State Served: Iowa Service Record:
Enlisted as a Private on 23 August 1861 at the age of 21. Enlisted in
Company B, 10th Infantry Regiment Iowa
6 Sep 1861. Received a disability discharge from > Company B, 10th Infantry Regiment
Iowaon 13 Aug 1862 at New Madrid, MO. Pension claimed by
mother, Ellsey Overton, July 29? (23?), 1888??? (year is illegible).
Application No: 377 257 Certificate No: 295 254. State Iowa.
from 1866 Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Iowa,
Appendix, published Des Moines, Iowa, 1866
Date of going into Quarters:Aug. 23, '61
Date of muster into U.S. service:Sep. 6, '61
Remarks:Died of disease at New Madrid, Apr. 13, 1862
Any suggestions would be most welcome! Thank you for your help.
Erin in Vancouver, Canada