Introduction to the Index of Confederate Pension Applications
We are pleased to inform you that the Confederate Pension Application files have been digitized and are now available online from Ancestry.com and Ancestry Library Edition. If you or your local library has access to one of these resources, you may wish to search, view and print entries from that site. The title of the database containing these records is Alabama, Texas and Virginia, Confederate Pensions, 1884-1958. Free access to Ancestry.com Texas is available to Texas residents.
Introduction to the Confederate Pension Index | Pension Payment Amount | Citation Format | Sample Confederate Pension Application | Request a Copy | Search the Index |
The Index to Confederate Pension Applications provides the names, counties of residence, and pension numbers of 54,634 approved, rejected, and home pensions issued by the Texas government between 1899 and 1975.
Confederate veterans and their widows were dependent upon the generosity of the already impoverished former Confederate states for any postwar pension benefits. In awarding pensions for Confederate service, Texas, like most other southern states, confined its relief payments to veterans or their widows resident in Texas since 1880 who were disabled or indigent. Therefore, the index of applicants for Confederate pensions in no way represents a complete roster of Texas residents who fought for the Confederacy.
The Confederate Pension Applications were transferred to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) from the Office of the Comptroller of Public Accounts between 1934 and 1980. Even at the time of transfer, some application files were identified as missing. Although the names and associated file numbers are known, the records themselves are no longer available. There is value, however, in knowing the applications actually existed, along with the limited information found in the index. The entries are clearly recognizable by the word Missing which appears next to the application numbers. Patrons should not request photocopies of these non-existent records. A few of the entries are marking Missing, followed by an asterisk (Missing*). Although the original file is not available, we can provide a reproduction of the copy in our possession.
The application forms and any supporting documentation or correspondence are on file in TSLAC's Archives and Information Services Division. You may request copies of the files by telephone, mail, or e-mail. To obtain an approved pension, give the applicant's name and pension number. If the pension application number is shown as Rejected or Home, be sure to give the applicant's full name as it appears in the index, provide the county, and specify rejected or home.
Files may vary in content and total number of pages. For information on requesting copies, visit Request a Copy.
How to Search the Index
The Index to Confederate Pension Applications can be searched from two pages: Search by Name and Search by Keyword. The results from either page will provide the same information: Applicant Name; Application Number; County where the applicant lived at the time of application; Husband's name if the applicant is a widow; and Husband's Application Number if he received a pension.
The Search by Name page allows a variety of searches and options. To search by name, enter the last and first names in the search boxes. You may also search by a first or last name, allowing greater flexibility.
Additional search types are available in the Search Options box for the last name only. You can select from Begins Like, Exactly, and Find Any. Results of a last name search for Camp using each option, are given below.
Begins Like: found entries for last names Camp and Campbell
Exactly: found only entries with the last name Camp
Find any: found entries for last names Camp, Campbell and McCampbell
You will notice that each contains the string "camp" somewhere in the last name.
When your search includes a first name, any occurrence of the name or string of letters will be found. For example: a first name search for Jon will return entries with first or middle names that include Jonathan, Jonas, Jones and others.
The Name search, along with the search options, can be limited by selecting a specific county. For example, if the Smith you are seeking was known to have applied for a pension while living in Brown County, select that specific county from the drop-down menu. Once Brown is selected, the search finds only 10 Smiths despite the presence of almost 900 in the database.
The County search option can also be used to generate an alphabetical list of indexed names of those individuals who applied for pensions from a particular county. Leave all other fields blank and select a county from the drop-down menu.
An Application Number search will provide the applicant's name and county.
Search results can be sorted either alphabetically or numerically.
The Search by Keyword page provides the same search and sorting options, but will look for the occurrence of a name in both the first and last name fields in a single search. A name must be entered in the Keyword field in order for the search to find results. This page cannot be used to generate a list of all entries from a particular county. Use the Search by Name page for any options that involve leaving the name field blank.
Remember to check all possible spellings of a veteran's surname before deciding that he or his widow did not apply for a pension. Although it is possible the person you are seeking did not apply for a pension, there are other reasons your search might not be successful. The names in the listing are based on the spelling given on the endorsement page of the printed pension application form. If that name was misspelled, the misspelling is reflected in the index. The listing for a widow's pension includes her husband's name as it appears on her application form; that may be different from the spelling on her husband's application. Surnames such as DeLeon may be entered as DeLeon or De Leon. Again, be sure to check all possible spellings and variations.
Miscellaneous Materials Related to Confederate Pension Applications
Some materials which pertain to Confederate pension applications cannot be assigned or associated to a particular file. A listing of the names associated with these materials can be found in the online finding aid, An Inventory of Comptroller's Office Claims Records at the Texas State Archives, 1835-1990, undated.