If your relative applies for something based upon a certain act of Congress, do you look for the text of that act? There may be something in the act that gives you a clue about your ancestor.

Acts related to military pensions may have required a certain length of service. Acts related to widow’s pensions may have required the widow be married to the veteran by a certain date, for a certain length of time, etc. The act under which a military land warrant was applied for usually had specific qualifications.

Those qualifications may explain why the application contains the information it does. It may tell the researcher something about the ancestor which is not stated in the application.

But if you don’t read the act, you’ll never know.

 

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