Monday, May 13, 2019

No. 806945

This Civil War Application was filed on 25 April 1908 by my third great-grandmother, who had been a widow for nearly four years.  She was now living at 1201 East Chelten Avenue in the Germantown section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  It appears she had moved about 11 miles away from where she and my third great-grandfather had lived, 1416 South 15th Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

This document states the facts that my third great-grandfather was in Company I of the 215 Pennsylvania Infantry and he died at Norristown, Pennsylvania on 30 April 1904.  It also lists that there were two other previous claim numbers.

The note on here seems to state that the attorney representing my third great-grandmother, a Mr. W. V. Sickel, was contacted to find out if she agreed to abandon her former June Act Claim.  That would have been the Act of June 27, 1890.  It was an act that was signed into law by President Benjamin Harrison.  At that time, she was entitled to $8 a month.  The Act of April 19, 1908 was also an act that increased the pension of widows and minor children of soldiers of the Civil War and other wars.  It looks like my third great-grandmother was filing for an increase in the monthly amount she received from the United States Government, being a widow of a Civil War veteran.


Tuesday, March 12, 2019

No. 806945

This Civil War Pension Application was filed on 21 May 1904 by my third great-grandmother, three weeks after my third great-grandfather died.  My third great-grandmother was 71 years old at the time.  It was filed by her attorney, W. V. Sickel from Philadelphia Pennsylvania.

This lists my third great-grandmother's address as 1416 South 15th Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  This is the same home she and my third great-grandfather lived in at the time the 1900 census took place.  She is identified as the widow of James Odgers, who served in Company I of the 215th Pennsylvania Infantry.  This lists his death as occurring in Norristown, Pennsylvania, approximately 20 miles away from his home.

On the right of this form there are some notes that were made over the next couple of years regarding legal transcripts that pertained to the Civil War pension my third great-grandmother would receive after the death of my third great-grandfather.


Monday, March 11, 2019

No. 700375

This Civil War Pension application was filed 16 May 1893 by my third great-grandfather.  He was 59 years old.  At the time of this filing, he was living at 1416 South 15th Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  The same home he was living in during the 1900 Census - the last census taken before his death in 1904.

This application lists him as being a sargent in Company I of the 215 Pennsylvania Infantry.  The 215 Regiment was organized in the city of Philadelphia in April 1865, at the end of the Civil War.  It also states that he is alleging that a ruptured cataract of his eye, rheumatism, and varicose veins were caused by his time serving in the Union Army, and that is why he deserved a pension from the United States Government.  I am very curious as to how these ailments can be linked to his time served during the Civil War.  As far as I know, these ailments tend to happen as one gets older and not necessarily from trauma.

This application was filed by my third great-grandfather's attorney, Samuel J. Brown.  I find it interesting that the attorney's name was crossed out and a continence is mentioned.  Does this mean that this decision was delayed because another attorney had to be found to represent my third great-grandfather?  And, if so, why?

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Act of June 27, 1890

On June 27, 1890, President Benjamin Harrison signed into law The Dependent and Disability Pension Act.  According to this act, my third great-grandmother, as a widow, was entitled to $8 a month ($220.86 today), because my third great-grandfather had served at least 90 days in the Union Army during the Civil War and was honorably discharged from service.

My third great-grandfather served in Company I of the 215 Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry.  The 215 Regiment was organized at Philadelphia in April 1865, the end of the Civil War.  They did their duty in Delaware and at Fort Delaware.  My three-times great-grandfather was discharged on 31 July 1865.  I am looking forward to learning more about his time at Fort Delaware, a place I have visited a few times.




Monday, January 28, 2019

Civil War Pension

My third great-grandfather was one of the fortunate soldiers that survived his time in the Civil War, and he applied for a pension from the U.S. government for his service.  In general, a veteran filed an application due to loss of limb or eye, or disability from wounds or disease that occurred during his time of service.  The laws changed over time, and eventually a veteran could receive a pension based on old age, if he was lucky enough to live that long.

Even though this paper has very little written on it, it is filled with a lot of information, enough to start digging into the lives of my three times great-grandparents.  It looks like my third great-grandfather qualified for pension support from the United States Government and my third great-grandmother was filing for an increase in the monthly rate, citing an Act of April 19, 1908.  Each amendment after the original 1862 legislation extended the benefits by more liberal terms.  On 22 September 1909 she qualified to receive $12 a month, $331.30 today.  At the time of this filing, she was 74 years old and my three-times great-grandfather had been dead for over five years.

This form states that my third great-grandfather was a private during the Civil War and served in Company I of the 215 Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. According to papers I have, he was promoted to sergeant, and in doing a little online research I found more evidence that this was true.  The promotion occurred eight days before the end of the war.  This paper leaves me with some questions. Like, why was his promotion not recognized on this document?  Was it because for most of his time in the Union Army, he was a private?  Why exactly was he promoted to sergeant eight days before the end of the war?  I guess this is going to require a little more research.


Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Start At The Ending

After I found a couple copies of Civil War Documents that belonged to my 3rd great-grandfather, I was motivated to dive into some major research.  But, where should I start?  Civil War records, immigration records, censuses, death records, Irish records???  I wanted to know so much and it was a little overwhelming.

I decided to start with a little digging on Ancestry.com.  I knew a little about my 3rd great-grandfather, but very little.  One of the things that popped up was a Civil War Pension Index.  I had heard a lot about them and knew they were a great source of information, but how lucky could I get?  The U.S. federal government granted pensions to Union veterans of the Civil War and to their widows, minor children, and dependent fathers and mothers.  At first glance, the index had my 3rd great-grandfather and -grandmother's names, his infantry number, and two file dates.  Two?  Why two?  On closer look, the first one was filed on 2 September 1890, over 13 years before he died.  This filing was marked as "invalid."  The second filing was done by my 3rd great-grandmother on 21 May 1904, less than a month after he died.  No mention whether or not either was accepted.  What happened during the Civil War that left my 3rd great-grandfather an "invalid" and why did it take him 25 years to file for a pension?  Did they really need that money, and if so, why?

Also listed were two application numbers and two certificate numbers.  Armed with these, I decided to head over to the National Archives web site.  After clicking around, I found an online form and was able to order the records.  What could I lose?  I had very little expectations even though I read that 100 or more pages is pretty common for this type of record.  The claims could be complex, especially if the claimant had difficulty proving the claims.

It took a couple of months, but I finally got the email that I had been waiting for - the records I wanted were found!  There it was in print, over 100 pages of information pertaining to my 3rd great-grandfather.  Now I know where I'm starting...right where my 3rd great-grandmother left off three weeks after the death of my 3rd great-grandfather.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Rally Day Pins

These two pins belonged to my aunt.  They are the same, this is just a front and back view.  On the front, Jesus speaking to two children.  On the back, the name of the company that made the buttons, Abingdon.  I did an Internet search and I quickly found that my aunt probably got these from a vacation bible school she attended in the 1960's.  They must have been special or held some meaning for her, because she kept them for the rest of her life.


No. 806945

This Civil War Application was filed on 25 April 1908 by my third great-grandmother, who had been a widow for nearly four years.  She was no...