Index of Revolutionary War Pensioners
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These records reveal details about each veteran's history and service, as well as his family, state of health, and life after the war.
Most of the records in the files are dated between 1800 and 1900.
While the index is full of useful information, the real treasure is accessing images of the original documents, which are
available online only at Footnote.com (for purchase or via subscription).
An individual file may give a birth date and place and a list of minor children, and may include a Bible record, a testimony from neighbors or a fellow military man, or even a later letter from a descendant seeking info. If a widow was involved in the application, you are likely to find more genealogically significant details.
During and after the Revolutionary War, three principal types of pensions were provided by the US Government for servicemen and their dependents.
- Disability or Invalid Pensions - awarded to servicemen for physical disabilities incurred in the line of duty.
- Service Pensions - awarded to veterans who served for specified periods of time.
- Widows' Pensions - awarded to women whose husbands had been killed in the war or were veterans who had served for specified periods of time.
Pension legislation evolved as the United States government determined the best system to reward soldiers and their families for military service.
One of the most important acts was the service-pension act of 1818, in which the US Congress granted pensions to Revolutionary War veterans for service from which no disabilities resulted.
Bounty-Land Warrant Applications
These records usually indicate when and where a veteran served and can aid in the retrieval of an ancestor's service records.
The federal government reserved tracts of land in the public domain for the purpose of offering it to those who would serve in the military during the Revolutionary War.
This "bounty" land could be claimed by veterans or their heirs.
Similar to pension applications, the bounty land applications typically provide a statement of the soldier's service and may include family information if the widow applied.
Search the Pension File & Bounty-Land Warrant Index
This collection is taken from NARA microfilm publication M804, which includes an estimated 80,000 pension and bounty-land warrant application files based on the participation of American military, naval, and marine officers and enlisted men in the Revolutionary War. The files are part of Record Group 15, Records of the Veterans Administration.
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