Friday, August 24, 2007

Ordering Pension Records from NARA Before the Price Increase

If you have been thinking about ordering US pension & military records from the National Archives, now is the time to do it. Prices will double on October 1, 2007.

Civil War Pension Files

Starting Oct. 1, NARA will charge $75 for a Civil War pension file of up to 100 pages, with for $.65 per additional page (for longer files, staff will contact you with a price quote before filling the order). NARA says the average pension ordered is 106 pages.

If you order today, a Civil War pension file is $37. Civil War pension files are a wonderful genealogy resource and well worth sending for. The ones I have received were a goldmine of information.

You can order pension records online or request order forms. Instructions for ordering Pension Files plus details about what you can expect to receive in these files is available at How to Order Civil War Pension Files

Revolutionary War Pension Files

NARA will charge $50 for pre-Civil War pension files regardless of page count, and $.75 per page to copy other records.

If you are interesting in Revolutionary War pension files, I think it makes more sense to buy a subscription to instead of ordering records from NARA at their new price. Footnote has a partnership with the National Archives to digitize the full Revoultionary pension files and other NARA records. The Footnote records can be downloaded onto your computer, saved and printed.

You also have the advantage of browsing for your ancestor's pension file to make sure you get the right person. I can't be the only person who has sent to NARA and gotten back a file for the wrong person.

At this writing, a monthly subscription to is $7.95 and an annual subscription $59.95, so it is a cheaper alternative than ordering the Revolutionary records from NARA at the new price. See Footnote subscriptions Footnote is adding 2 million records per month, so you have the added benefit of being able to find other records during your subscription time.

In addition to the Revolutionary War pension file of my 5th great-grand uncle, I found some very interesting and unexpected family records at Footnote.

Spanish-American War Pension Files

Some, but not all , of the Spanish-American War (1898) pension files are held at NARA. Others are at the Veteran's Administration. The NARA price increase includes the Spanish-American War pension files held at NARA.

There is more information about ordering Spanish-American War pension files and how to determine which repository is holding your soldier's files at Ordering Spanish American Pension Records

I've got a few Civil War & Spanish American War pension files I have been procrastinating sending for. This price increase has given me the needed push to do it sooner rather than later.

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