"I ran across something interesting during my research today and thought that, of all the bloggers I read, you might be the best one to share it with. I was researching a William Folckemmer and found his Civil War pension record at both Ancestry.com and Footnote.com. I've combined the two images into a collage, so you can see what I saw:
"The take-away from this is that researchers shouldn't be satisfied with just one source but need to keep looking for confirming evidence. That's a point that's often made, but it might be helpful to have a clear illustration like this to drive it home."
Thank you, Richard, for the excellent lesson in "doing a reasonably exhaustive search." The actual Civil War pension file will have all of that information and more, and should be obtained if this is an ancestral family. Unfortunately, these Civil War pension files have not been microfilmed or digitized yet, although Footnote.com is working on a small number of them with a longer term goal of digitizing and indexing all of them.
I was curious about the two databases, so I went and looked at the database citations and descriptions:
* http://www.ancestry.com/: National Archives and Records Administration. Civil War Pension Index: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2000. Original data: General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. T288, 544 rolls.
Description: This database is an index to and images of pension cards of Civil War veterans in the United States. Each record includes the veteran's name and state in which he, or his dependents, filed the application. The digitized image of the index card itself, contains additional information on the individual, such as unit of service, date of filing, and application and certificate numbers for the pension case file housed at the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington D.C.
* http://www.footnote.com/: Publication Number: T289. Publication Title: Organization Index to Pension Files of Veterans Who Served Between 1861 and 1900. Publisher: NARA
Short Description: NARA T289. Pension applications for service in the US Army between 1861 and 1917, grouped according to the units in which the veterans served.
So there are two different record collections of essentially the same persons but with somewhat different information. There are other teachable moments here - no genealogy database provider has every database in their collection, and not every NARA database has been microfilmed.
While I have only one Civil War veteran with a pension file in my ancestry (Isaac Seaver), I do quite a bit of database mining on my ongoing one-name studies (Seaver, Dill, Auble, Carringer, Vaux). This is an excellent tip for me!