The USGenWeb Archives Pension Project provides submitted transcriptions of Pension related materials, rosters and land grants for all Wars prior to 1900. Transcripts, extracts and abstracts will be accepted and files will be placed in the USGenWeb Archives directory of the State and County of principal residence of the Pensioner.

Pension files for US military personnel prior to World War I, with the exception of Confederate Civil War Pensions,  are housed at the National Archives Records Administration in Washington, DC. If you have an ancestor who served his country in the American Revolution, the Indian Wars, the Mexican War, the Civil War, or the Spanish American War, he might have received a government pension. If your ancestor did not apply, his widow, dependent children, or dependent parents might have applied for and received his pension. This is especially true for Civil War veterans. Confederate Civil War Pensions are housed at the state where the soldier applied for a pension.

Pension files and the information they contain are different than military service records. Military Service records typically contain muster rolls and in some cases may contain enlistment or discharge records. Not all soldiers received a pension. Some soldiers received a Bounty Land Warrant in return for their military service.

Pension files can  contain otherwise undocumented genealogical information such as date of  birth, place of birth, parents' names, marriage information, places lived since serving, children's information, and date of death. The file usually contains affidavits from family, friends, and other servicemen about your ancestor's service to his country. Most files will also contain medical information.

A pension file can be requested at Veteran's Service Records and you can order them online.  If you request a paper form, be sure to include your snail mail address, your request for NATF Form 85, and how many copies you wish to receive. You can also request these forms by mail from:

National Archives & Records Administration
Att: NWDT1
700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC  20408-0001


"The First Minnesota"
Painting by Don Troiani,


Indian Wars (1700 - 1800)

Revolutionary War (1775 - 1783)

War of 1812 (1812 - 1819)

The Republic of Texas (1835 - 1846)

Mexican War (1845 - 1847)

Civil War (1861 - 1865)

Spanish American War (1898)


Automated form to submit a pension

Please write to Pension Project Manager if you would like to volunteer to research any one of the wars above and you will receive instruction how to obtain related material. Use of a library microfilm reader is often necessary for this research. Managing a file includes gleaning new files from the daily uploads and adding them to the index page using an html program.

US GenWeb Archives Project Notice: In keeping with our policy of providing free information on the internet, data may be used by non-commercial entities, as long as this message remains on all copied material. These electronic pages may not be reproduced in any format for profit, nor for commercial presentation by any other organization. Persons or organizations desiring to use this material for purposes other than as stated above, must obtain express written permission from the author or the submitter and from the listed USGenWeb Project archivist.

Pensions Project File Manager - Donna Bluemink

Special Projects Representative - Rebecca Maloney

USGenWeb Archives     National Search Engine     USGenWeb Archives Special Projects     USGenWeb Project