1890 Pension Office Neighbor’s Affidavit Instructions

instructionsThere is a reason why some affidavits in Civil War pension files sound so similar. It’s because the individual writing them out was following the instructions. The pension office did not one random statements in these affidavits. There were specific issues the affidavits were to address, generally related to how pensions were issued and how the amount of a monthly payment was determined.

The instructions are shown in the bottom left hand corner of this affidavit from 1890. I’ve made them larger and slightly repositioned them for the illustration that accompanies that blog post.

Sometimes people were simply following directions when completing government paperwork and were not wondering what someone in 150 years would want to know.

Reading the instructions for various paperwork (when available) can be informative. Anything you can learn about the record creation or record keeping process will increase your ability to interpret and analyze documents correctly.




2 thoughts on “1890 Pension Office Neighbor’s Affidavit Instructions

  1. carolyn leverich atkinson says:

    I would be extremely interested in knowing where you find 1890 Pension Office Neighbor’s Affidavit files. My gg grandfather is listed in the 1890 Soldier census. However, whatever I try to interpret the writing, it is always wrong, and I cannot find any Richard Courtright, he is living in Payne Co, OK.

    Maybe I can find him thru these records, I have been searching for 20 years for this record. NARA has no record of him either.


    • This affidavit was in the pension file of the soldier and just specified what issues an affidavit of a neighbor was to attest to. These instructions were apparently in the 1890 act or written in response to the 1890 act. If you have your person in the 1890 soldier census, it should give his unit. There is an index to Union Civil War pensions based upon unit. Fold3.com has it online.

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