AfriGeneas Military Research Forum Archive
Re: Civil War Pension Question
In Response To: Civil War Pension Question ()
In the pension application files, there are numerous cases of men with the same last name, and equally numerous cases of men who served under more than one name. So, you will see files with Jones, Washington/Demus, Abraham W.....or similar. In some of the Black units especially, there were several men with the same name. As you can imagine-the George Washingtons, Thomas Jeffersons, Smiths, Jones, Black, etc were frequent occurrences. It was frustrating for both the officers and men. In one regiment alone, there could be more than thirty men with the same name.
Yet another problem was in the contested pensions-where a man had left more than one widow/family who claimed to be his heirs. I know of at least one case, where four women claimed to be the spouse, and quite possibly were.
What exactly did the message you received say? It might be a clue as to why there was a problem. Small details like mispellings in the records-or changes over time within the family, uses of initials, nicknames or middle names used as given name, location of enlistment, regiment/company, etc. all will complicate your efforts.