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15 November 2013

Genealogy: one set or one type of document does NOT tell the whole story



In genealogy, the researcher looks for as much documentation as possible and as close to the event date as possible. As with all documents, what is the history surrounding the event? Who provides the information? What is the age or physical/mental condition of the informant? One document does NOT tell the whole story!
 The Union Civil War Pension applications for James M. Son offer a great example of providing more questions than answers.

James M. Son filed two Union Civil War Pension applications Invalid No. 1142097 under the act of June 27, 1890 filed on December 20, 1892 and Invalid No. 1365582 under the act of February 6, 1907 filed on June 28, 1907.
The application similarities include:
            Enrolled from California, Missouri
            Born in Missouri
            Lived in Missouri
            Rejected on the grounds that the organizations were not in the U.S. service
 The application differences include:
Service Unit:
Company F, 43 Enrolled Missouri Militia
Legg’s Company, Provisional Enrolled Missouri Militia
Company A, 43 Enrolled Missouri Militia
Disability:
from throat trouble, partial deafness of both ears, catarrh of head, heart trouble, and rheumatism
old age
Born:
24 October 1830 in Blackwater, MO
28 August 1835 at Cooper Co, MO near Boonville City
Residence:
1865-1900 High Point, MO; 1900-05 Rocky Mount, MO; 1906 Kennedale, TX
Moniteau County, MO 10 miles S.E. California, MO

Attempting to coordinate service dates and unit names with the rejections, may account for the differences. An affidavit is included for service under the direct order of a U.S. officer. Mr. Son’s disabilities may account for the differences in answering the other questions such as residence and age.


For more on researching textual military records, read:

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