Monday, March 23, 2020

Invalid Pension Form December 28, 1891

This Invalid Pension form is from my third great-grandfather's Civil War Pension File.  At the time of the filing of this form, he was living at 1416 South 15th Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  He qualified for a Civil War pension because he served as a private in Company I of the 215 Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry.  He did a short term of service at the end of the Civil War, from April 8, 1865 to July 31, 1865.

As of September 2, 1890, he was receiving $6 per month from the United States government.  That increased to $8 on December 4, 1891.  He was claiming disability from a right hernia and impaired vision.

His attorney was W.V. Sickel, whose office was at 729 Walnut Street, also in the city of Philadelphia.  Mr. Sickel's attorney fee was $10 to file this form.  Ironically, this was more than what my third-great grandfather was getting as his monthly pension.  Those $10 would equal about $284 today.



Monday, March 9, 2020

Increase Invalid Pension December 18, 1899

This Increase Invalid Pension form is from the Civil War Pension file of my paternal third great-grandfather and was submitted on December 18, 1899.  He was living at 1416 South 15th Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and he was 66 years old.

His lawyer at the time of the filing of this form was James B. O'Neill, who had an office in Philadelphia.  The cost to file this form was $25, which would be about $777 today.

My third great-grandfather had enlisted in the United States Union Army at the end of the Civil war.  He served as a private in Company I of the 215 Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry.  He served from April 8, 1865 to July 31, 1865.  This short time he served during the Civil War qualified him for a pension from the government.

At the time of this filing, he had already been approved for $8 a month for an incomplete inguinal hernia and impaired vision.  He was asking for an increase in this monthly amount due to rheumatism, varicose veins, and senility.  There is also a mention of a heart problem, which was attributed to possibly being related to his rheumatism.

This request for the increase in my third great-grandfather's monthly pension was rejected in February of 1900.


Monday, March 2, 2020

Increase Invalid Pension

This Increase Invalid Pension Form is found in the Civil War Pension File of my paternal third great-grandfather.  At the time of the filing of this form in 1902, he was living at 1416 South 15th Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  He was receiving a Civil War Pension of $12 a month from the United States Government for his total inability to earn a support by manual labor.

He was eligible for the pension because of his service as a private in Company I of the 215th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry at the end of the Civil War.  He enlisted on April 8, 1865 and was discharged on July 31, 1865.

My third great-grandfather's attorney was James B. O'Neill, who had an office on West 6th Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  There was a $2 fee to file this form, which would be about $60 dollars today.

He had already been approved for an incomplete right inguinal hernia and impaired vision.  He was asking for an increase in his pension due to the new ailments of a left inguinal hernia, total loss of sight in his right eye, rheumatism, and senility.

Instead of signing his name, my third great-grandfather signed with his mark.  I know from other forms in his Civil War Pension File that this was due to his failing eyesight and shaking of his hands.

This form was filed two years before his death, when he was 68 years old.


Monday, November 4, 2019

Accrued Pension Form of 13 September 1909

This Accrued Pension Form is found in the Civil War Pension File of my paternal third great-grandfather.  My third great-grandmother filed this on 13 September, 1909, over five years after his death.  At this time, she was living at 1201 East Chelton Avenue in the Germantown section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, over 11 miles from the home she shared with her husband and different than the address at which she was living when the 1910 Census was taken.

According to this document, she was awarded her late husband's accrued pension.




Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Declaration For Increase Of Pension Form of 19 July 1900

This Declaration For Increase of Pension form is from my paternal third great-grandfather's Civil War Pension File.  At the time of the filing of this legal document, he was 66 years old and receiving a pension from the United States government of $6 a month for impaired vision in his right eye.  He was asking to have his this monthly pension doubled a month to $12, adding that he is now totally blind in his right eye, has rheumatism, and is suffering from senility.  He claimed that he was "wholly disabled for all kinds of work."

He had two witnesses to this claim, Willet and John O. Walton, both of 1940 East Somerset Street in Philadelphia.  Willet knew my third great-grandfather for 40 years and John for 20.  I'm guessing that John was Willet's son.  I wonder what their relationship was to my third great-grandfather.  This document does not state that.

Also listed on here is  the address for my third great-grandfather's lawyer, 2711 North 6th Street (6th and Lehigh Avenue).  The law office was just over five miles from his home.



Monday, October 21, 2019

Soldier's Application for Increase and New Disability Form of 26 June 1897

This disability application form is found in my paternal third great-grandfather's Civil War Pension File.  It was filed on 26 June 1897 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as he was asking for an increase in his pension from $8 to $12 a month.

He was receiving $8 a month from the United States Government for a right hernia and impaired vision.  He was asking for an increase to $12 a month citing that he also had rheumatism, varicose veins and senility, and these ailments were leaving him unable to perform manual labor.

Two of my third great-grandfather's acquaintances, William S. Wilkinson and William Whitelaw, were witnesses to him signing his mark.  I know from previous documents that my third great-grandfather was occasionally unable to sign his signature due to failing eyesight and shaking hands.  The day this document was signed must have been one of his bad days.  This form is also signed with a mark by a William White instead of his signature.

My third great-grandfather and both of his witnesses lived in the city of Philadelphia, where this document was filed.  There was no relationship given between any of the men, which leaves me with some questions.  Were they related somehow?  Were they friends or coworkers? The two men were close enough that they signed a legal document for him. Maybe some answers will come with a little more digging.



Sunday, October 20, 2019

Application For Accrued Pension (Widows) Form of 5 April 1904

This Widow's Application for Accrued Pension form that is found in my paternal third great-grandfather's Civil War Pension File is one of the most exciting and confusion things I have ever found in my family tree research.

First, the confusing part...My third great-grandmother was filing to get the accrued pension that was due to my third great-grandfather from 4th of February 1904 until his death on 30 April 1904.  One question would be why wasn't he paid his pension between those dates.  I am guessing it is because my third great-grandmother had him committed to a state hospital. I have a legal document from this Civil War Pension file that says she was appointed as a committee on 9 February 1904.  So, it looks like those few months that he was in the state hospital leading up to his death he never received a pension check and my third great-grandmother was trying to get that money.  I'm sure as a widow, she would have needed that money.

Even more confusing to me is the question as to why my third great-grandmother is filing a legal document as a widow on 5 April 1904 when her husband died on 30 April 1904.  Was she expecting him to die?  I am thinking that maybe the Notary Public wrote the wrong date on the form.  All of the stamped dates say May, not April.

Now, the exciting parts.  My third great-grandmother's maiden name is listed.  I already had found that in my research, but here it is on a legal document and I can confirm it.  It also lists my third great-grandparents' wedding date as 31 December 1854.  In my research I had an estimated date of 1855, which was pretty close, but it is just amazing to have the actual date of their wedding.  And now I know that they were married in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

There were two witnesses for this legal document, a daughter to my third great-grandparents, my third great-aunt, and a family friend.  In the document, their daughter is listed as Lucy M. Henderson, but she signed her name Lovey M. Henderson.  Lovey is the name that I have listed in my family tree. At the time this document was signed, she was living at the same address  as her mother.  Was she there with her husband and family?  Did something happen to her husband and she had to go live with her parents?  Did she move in with her mother after her father was committed to the state hospital?  There are a lot of questions that I have.

The second witness signed her name Iva Shaffer, but in the document her last name is spelled Shaeffer and Shaaffer.  These oversights lead me to believe that there is a good chance that the 5 April date really should be the 5 of May.



Invalid Pension Form December 28, 1891

This Invalid Pension form is from my third great-grandfather's Civil War Pension File.  At the time of the filing of this form, he was l...