Limiting Leads on Leander by Leaving Things Out

Sometimes one just simply cannot afford to obtain a copy of every record that might contain a detail about an ancestor or relative. There is a limit to the amount of money that one can spend on genealogy research.

Let it be known that I do not expect to receive copies of documents for free. Record keeping agencies have a variety of expenses and someone has to pay for the upkeep of facilities, employment of staff, and other daily business expenses. There are a variety of reasons why giving away free copies of records simply is not practical. butler-index-card

And this is not what this post is about.

Several years ago I obtained the Civil War pension file for Leander Butler who served in the 10th Kansas Infantry in the United States Civil War. Leander is a son of my ancestor, Benjamin Butler, and I was hoping something in that pension file would lead to information on Benjamin or Leander’s siblings. Other than a few geographical clues in the medical reports, there was nothing direct or indirect regarding Leander’s family of origin.

And that’s where I’m really stuck.

And then I remembered that while the compiled military service record concentrates heavily on military service that there can be other pieces of information in that file as well. And since the time period where I’m really stuck on Lender and his family is the 1851-1870 time frame, those small clues may be helpful given when the Civil War took place.

And while I “get” the importance of “getting everything” (and am a firm believer in it), I realize that there are times where I don’t really need what’s in the compiled military service record. But in this case that record was created during a point in time where I have virtually nothing on the family.

And that’s a time to get whatever you can–even if most of the time it doesn’t really “tell you anything.”



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