Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Research Group Summary - 12 January 2011

The CVGS Research Group meeting on 12 January 2011 had 17 in attendance.  The format of the meeting changed a bit - Randy chose a topic of "Military Pension Records" before opening the discussion to member's research problems and questions.

Randy discussed the information offered by the National Archives - a person can order military pension files, with a limited number of pages or the complete file.  The file can now be ordered online at, and sent as paper files or as a PDF file on a CDROM, and paid for with a credit card.  Online subscription services have some military pension files available:

1) has:

**  Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, 1800-1900 (indexed, images)
**  American Revolutionary War Rejected Pensions (indexed, images)
**  War of 1812 Pension Application Files Index, 1812-1815 (not indexed)
**  Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934 (index only)

2) has:

**  Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Application Files (NARA M804, indexed, images)
**  Civil War and Later Veterans Pension Index (NARA T289, index only)
**  Civil War "Widow's" Pensions (indexed, images, only 2% complete)

*  Randy ordered a Civil War Pension File on CDROM from NARA on 15 December for $75, and received it in the mail on 31 December - 81 pages.  He described some of the papers in the file, and passed them around.  They included declarations, affidavits and vital records.  Randy also passed around some pages from a Revolutionary War Pension File that included family Bible pages to prove the marriage and names of the children.

*  Mary Lou ordered a Civil war Pension File online on 28 December and received it on 10 January.  She shared some of the details, although it did not have the soldier's father's name which she had hoped for.  She noted that the 1913 death certificate for the soldier in the file had somewhat different information than the death certificate she obtained in 2010. 

*  Helen told the story of Maude, mother of John Franklin Ables born 1902, one of her ancestors who married three times and was married in the 1920 U.S. census to Samuel Monroe Harris.  A John Frank Glenn was enumerated, age 17, as a step-son to Monroe Harris.  Helen wanted to know if this was an enumeration error, since "John Franklin" sounds like "John Frank Glenn."  The group thought that that was the case, and encouraged Helen to create a convincing proof argument.

*  Bobbie has asked the Lake County, Illinois Deed office to search for a specific deed, but they won't do it because she cannot provide some sort of finding aid - a deed number or a volume and page number of a deed record book.  She knows the name, date and land description from a will, but needs to find the deed reference number.  The group suggested go there to find it, hiring someone to find it there, or to use the Family History Library microfilms to obtain the reference number and even the deed image.

*  Ruth noted that she found a useful family Bible being sold on eBay.  She bid on it, but didn't get it.  However, she captured the page images shown on the eBay page.

*  Lana asked where is the best place to do genealogical research in San Diego.  The group responded with at home on the Internet, at the FamilySearch Center in Mission Valley, at Carlsbad Library, at the SDGS Library, at the downtown San Diego Public Library and at the Chula Vista Public Library.

*  Lana also asked where she can find colonial records for Virginia and North Caroline.  The group suggested the Family History Library microfilms for church, land, probate and tax records, in addition to any published family history books.

The topic for the next Research Group meeting on 9 February will probably be "Land Records."

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