|Look for your ancestors in this PA genealogy database of American Civil War soldiers - infantry, cavalry & artillery rosters, histories, biographies, draft, journals, letters, medal of honor recipients, prisoners of war (POWs), & pensions of our Pennsylvania military ancestors. Use this free Pennsylvania database to help with your genealogy search.|
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PA Civil War Volunteer Soldiers
How to Order Records from NARAHow to order Civil War military and pension records from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)
Research your Soldier First
Order your Soldier's RecordsTwo ways to order pension and military records from the US National and Records Administration:
Civil War RecordsAvailable
You are only charged a fee if the Archives finds information. Supply information about your ancestor and NARA will search their rosters.
Length of mailing time, once you've sent the form, depends upon how the Archives is staffed. A few years ago, it took 4-6 weeks to receive a response. Sometimes it can now take 3 or more months.
The more information you supply, the better chance NARA has of finding your ancestor. But take care, sending information of which you are not sure may keep NARA from finding the right file.
Pension files contain all the paperwork associated with the application, including any supporting documentation. From these files you might learn some or all of the following: the applicant's name, spouse's name, rank, military unit, length of enlistment, and residence at time of application. There may also be children's names, names of deceased wives, physical description, medical records and marriage license.
When a widow applied for a pension in the name of her husband, she was required to submit evidence to prove her marriage; this often included the names of any children living with her at the time.
Pension records were carefully compiled when a veteran applied for benefits on grounds of injury, illness, or disability (later, veterans could also receive benefits based on age) or when the mothers, fathers, widows, and minor children of veterans similarly applied for benefits. Pension records typically include the application forms, proof of marriage, proof of children's births, a summary of military service, and usually death certificates. Ask NARA for NATF Form 85
The useful genealogical data you might learn from service records could include the individual's full name, rank, age, physical description, marital status, occupation, city of birth, and place of residence at enlistment. Ask NARA for use NATF Form 86
NARA feesNote: These fees will be increased on October 1, 2007
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