Today’s Genealogy Tip of the Day included an image of a list of children with their dates of birth for Union Civil War veteran William Lake (Company I, 49th Missouri Volunteer Infantry). The list was not created for genealogists and it was not simply busy work generated by the pension office.
The list was submitted by Lake in response to a mailer from the government as he was already receiving a pension at the time the list was requested. Not every pensioner provided the information, for a variety of reasons.
The request for information was pre-emptive.
Lake had minor children at the time he submitted a list of children. The pension office wanted a list of his children, submitted by him, so that if he died while the children were still minors and those minors submitted a pension claim, the office already had a list of his children. The children would also likely have had to have shown that the father’s death was due to his military service.
Because sometimes after veterans died, “new” beneficiaries would come out of the woodwork. This way the pension office already had a list.
Lake lived long enough that his children never qualified for a children’s pension.
But the list was there, just in case he died.