Friday, September 30, 2011

Veterans Administration Pension Payment Cards, 1907–1933

Veterans Administration Pension Payment Cards, 1907–1933 | Learn |

The Veterans Administration Pension Payment Cards, 1907–1933, are online. You can read the details of the collection at the link above. Near the bottom is an index to the rolls with a link to each roll. Unfortunately you will have to go through the roll to see if the person you are seeking is there. If you chose pdf and wait for it to load [and you will wait] you can save the entire roll to your computer. I found that contributed to faster searching. I used Adobe Acrobat and viewed the pages two up.

The cards only cover 1907-1933. If your veteran and beneficiary died before 1907 you won't find them here. If you do you will find the veterans service and maybe his disability, often his location and sometimes his cause of death along with the date. If the final payment to the widow it generally states that. Most I checked were handwritten but some were typed.

These veterans would have preferred that their disability not be listed on cards for all to view. It seems many of them suffered from chronic diarrhea.

Not every veteran is a male. Ellen Downing, a nurse, got a pension beginning June 12, 1896. When she died June 19, 1910, her final payment went to Daniel W. Downing of Pittsburgh. It doesn't state his relationship to Ellen.

One George Downing alias Henry Harris [that's what it says] began collecting his pension on August 7, 1894. On May 24, 1913, he was dropped from the pension rolls. He didn't die. They learned he "did not render 90 days of service." This really sounds like an interesting story. He wasn't the only person with a totally unrelated name as an alias that I ran across.

A word of warning. Whoever alphabetized these cards was not perfect. Check before and after where you expect to find your ancestor.

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