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AfriGeneas Military Research Forum Archive

Re: Jack Sherrod/Sherwood 135th USCT

Hi Minnie,

Congratulations on getting that wonderful pension file. I certainly envy you that picture; even though the photographer did not acord your ancestor any privacy or dignity.

I had a few comments that I thought might interest you:

1. When I got my ancestor's pension file I noticed he filed almost every year for an increase, so I was able to get his address off of the filings for every year from the 1860's until he died in 1913!

2. My ancestor's filings had a variety of people as witnesses and many of the witnesses turned out to be relatives, including his father-in-law, whose name I had not previously known.

3. When you consider the amount of money your ancestor received in his pension don't be too sad. Remember to factor in inflation. I found a cool web site that lets you plug in your ancestor's pension and the year it was from to tell you what it would be worth today. For instance, let's say he didn't get his pension until 1900. A dollar in 1900 is worth the following in 2003:

2003, $1.00 from 1900 is worth:
$21.79 using the Consumer Price Index
$18.53 using the GDP deflator
$107.45 using the unskilled wage
$154.01 using the GDP per capita
$588.00 using the relative share of GDP

4. The "gaiter" on your ancestor's throat was a goiter. Here's a
definition from the Mayo Clinic:

By Mayo Clinic staff
Goiter is an enlargement of your thyroid gland. Although generally not uncomfortable, goiter may interfere with swallowing or breathing. The possible causes are numerous.
The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland weighing less than an ounce, located just below your Adam's apple. Hormones produced by your thyroid gland regulate all aspects of your metabolism, from the rate at which your heart beats to the speed at which you burn calories.
Goiter doesn't necessarily mean your thyroid gland isn't producing hormones normally. Even when enlarged, your thyroid may produce below-normal, normal or above-normal amounts of hormones.
Enlargement of the gland can be uniform (diffuse goiter), or the gland may be enlarged due to one or more nodules (nodular goiter). Nodules are lumps within an otherwise normal thyroid gland.
The term goiter comes from the Latin guttur for "throat." Before the early part of the 20th century, the most common cause of goiter was a shortage of iodine in the diet in areas where the soil was deficient in iodine {usually regions away from the sea coast}. Without enough dietary iodine, your thyroid can't make and release enough of the two essential iodine-containing hormones.
Goiter became rare in the United States after iodized salt was introduced in the 1920s. In addition, iodine naturally occurs in some foods, such as water, dairy products and seafood, or may get into some foods inadvertently during processing. In some parts of the world, goiter is still common because of iodine deficiency.

Enjoy that pension file!

Lee Cook

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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