This database indexes reports from three series of records the federal Commissioner of Pensions created. The files consist of appeals people or their agents made to the federal government in compensation for military service and the Pension Bureau’s decision on the appeal. Most petitions pertain to pensions but some relate to bounty land. The reports are trifolded files and can include correspondence, affidavits in support of a claim, and reports of the Bureau’s decision in the matter. Many of these records are unique, not found in the consolidated pension file. There is more information on each of these series below.
The index is name-searchable. The search result provides the information you need in order to examine the original records. That includes the pensioner’s name, the series’ entry number, the series title, the National Archives ID (NAID) number, and the box number. With that information you can examine the originals in person or request a copy from the National Archives.
These records are among NARA’s Record Group 48, Records of the Office of the Secretary of the Interior. Within that record group they are among the records of the Office’s Patents & Miscellaneous Division. The following text contains details on what information and documents you might find in each series, and how the reports are arranged in the boxes.
Entry 210, Reports of the Commissioner of Pensions Concerning Claims 1853-1880. NAID 731003.
9 boxes in the series
Arranged in alphabetical groupings by initial or first two letters of surname of claimant and then chronologically. The records consist of reports relating chiefly to pension claims but sometimes to bounty land claims. They were prepared in response to inquiries and complaints concerning delays in adjudication of claims, status of claims, rejection of claims appeals, reopening of claims, transfer of pensions, non-payments and suspended payments of pensions, fees of attorneys, and other subjects. The letter of inquiry or complaint is often enclosed; there are some letters without reports.
Entry 242, Reports of the Commissioner of Pensions Concerning Bounty Land Claims, 1849-1879. NAID 1102924
3 boxes in the series
Arranged in alphabetical groups by initial or first two letters of surname of claimant and then chronologically. The records consist of reports, often with accompanying papers, relating chiefly to appeals to the Secretary of the Interior from actions of the Pension Office.
Entry 248, Reports of the Commissioner of Pensions Concerning Appeals, 1849-1881. NAID 721409
44 boxes in the series
Arranged alphabetically by surname of claimant. The records consist of reports with accompanying papers concerning appeals to the Secretary of the Interior relating to Pension Office actions on claims. The accompanying papers can include appeals from claimants and attorneys, reports of medical referees, briefs, affidavits, and correspondence. The decision of the Secretary is usually noted on the front of the trifolded document.
The Records Are at the National Archives
The original records are located at the National Archives facility in College Park, MD, also known as Archives II. See NARA’s website, www.archives.gov, for additional information on NARA such as hours of operation and how to contact the staff. Remember to use the citation information from the database search when you do your research or request the staff or a private researcher make copies for you.