Wednesday, June 30, 2010 has Complete Revolutionary War Pension Files!

I noted that recently has added the Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, 1800-1900 to their list of online historical record databases. This is a major addition to the Military Records collection.

Here is the screen for this particular database. The user can search for a name or browse the list of soldiers with pensions or bounty land warrants from this screen:

I put "Martin" and "Carringer" in the search fields and, as you can see (in the screen above), tried to help me by suggesting all of the Martin's in my Ancestry Member Tree. I don't really like that "feature," and wish that there was a way to turn it off.

I clicked on "Search" and there was only one match:

I clicked on "View Record" and saw the Record Summary:

The most useful pieces of information on this Record Summary are the Total Number of Pages in Packet - in this case, it was 47 pages.

I clicked on the "View Image" and the first page of the packet appeared:

The Source tab on the right provides the Source citation for this particular record. It says:

" Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files, 1800-1900 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010.
Original data: Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files (NARA microfilm publication M804, 2,670 rolls). Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Record Group 15. National Archives, Washington, D.C."

Unfortunately, the source citation does not describe the specific record here. From the Record Summary page, I noted that it is from Archive Roll Number 480, Archive Publication M804. No specific page number is given for the record on the Archive microfilm. From the Record Image page, I noted that the first page is Image 532. Therefore, the last page should be Image 578, since there were 47 pages.

I paged through several pages and often got this screen:

This is very frustrating - you find a wonderful record, and some of the pages cannot be viewed. The screen says "Error Processing Image Request." There was no error on my part ... why does this happen with more regularity now on Ten minutes later, the system produces the requested images.

The user can go page-by-page through the specific file using the small left and right arrows on the far right of the menu bar - just below the green bar and to the right of the "Go" button. The user could enter a number in the "Image" box to the left of the "Go" button and that image will appear.

It appears from my cursory search that only the soldier's name, and those of his spouse if they are on the first index card for each file, are indexed by I put in "Molly" "Carringer" in the search fields and the "Martin Carringer" match came up. I put in his son, Joseph Carringer, and no matches appeared.

This complete dataset has been available on before this addition to The benefit of the collection is that many of the names on the pages of the pension and bounty land warrant files were indexed, and researchers can occasionally find their soldiers or ancestral family members (spouses, children, etc.) in the records.

I'm glad that added this dataset to the Military Collection, but am disappointed that the name index only appears to contain the pensioners.

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