Wednesday, December 15, 2010

All I Want for Christmas is... Isaac's Civil War Pension File!

Devoted readers of Genea-Musings will recall that I'm transcribing the pages that I have from my second-great-grandfather Isaac Seaver's Civil War Pension File.  However, I'm pretty sure that my uncle Ed Seaver ordered and received the Pension Documents Packet and not the complete file back in 1990.

So - for my belated Christmas present, I'm ordering Isaac Seaver's complete pension file online and should receive it on a CD or DVD in 6 to 20 weeks.  In the process of ordering, I made some screen shots of the process that show off the new National Archives website and the online ordering process.

Here is the newly designed National archives home page at

I was interested in the Civil War Pension File, so I clicked on the "Veterans Service Records" image:

On the "Veteran's Service Records" page above, under "Research using Military Records" there is a link for "Locate older (pre-World War I) service records"  and I clicked on that to see (two screens below):

The page above provides information on ordering the older military records, and in the "Military Pension/Bounty Land Warrant Applications" box at the bottom of the screen above is a link to "Order Online."  When I click on that, I get:

On this page above, I can order a number of different records online.  I chose the "Federal Military Pension application - Civil War and Later Complete File - (NATF 85D)"

The first order page looks like this:

I chose to order the file via "CD or DVD (Determined by File size and Availability)" rather than via a paper copy.  I clicked on the "Add to Cart" button and filled out the form with the Soldier's information:

I needed to know Isaac's Pension File number, his birth date and place, his death date and place, the war he fought in, and his company, regiment and branch of the service. 

Then I clicked on the "Continue to Pay and Ship" button, registered with NARA, and filled in the shipping and billing information. 

That took all of about five minutes to order the file.  NARA has made this a very easy ordering process.  I look forward to a surprise in my mailbox next February or March! 


DearMYRTLE said...

Randy, I'd like to do an experiment with you.

Have Ol' Myrt pull the file next spring, and see if the NARA contractors copy the complete file, as you've requested.

Did you know NARA doesn't keep a copy of the digital copies?

Weird, huh?

Midge Frazel said...

Thanks for the great directions. I haven't done this in years so I was new to the "online" process of ordering. I have had one successful pension found and one unsuccessful.

I ordered my husband's Civil War one today and if it goes well then I will try the other one in my line.

My successful one was as long as yours. I had to reduce it on a photocopy machine to scan it. But, it was worth it.