5 Replies Latest reply on Aug 8, 2017 2:25 PM by Cinda Baxter, CG

    Star on Rev War pension index card and paperwork

    Cinda Baxter, CG Adventurer

      While citing and filing documents for a Rev War ancestor, I noticed a small star hand drawn over his last name on both the index card and first item in his pension file. What does this signify?


      Also, I'm curious about why his pension would have been suspended then later resumed...? (See note at the top left of his certificate #2122, which correspond to payment status in the lower right of that same document.)


      KIRK John J pension 1.jpgKIRK John J pension 2.jpgKIRK John J pension 3.jpg

        • Re: Star on Rev War pension index card and paperwork

          I believe that the star indicates that there is a Final Pension Payment Voucher for him.  These can be found in NARA RG217, entry A1-722, Final Pension Payment Vouchers; NAID : 605894.  They're arranged by state, then alphabetically by surname of vet.


          The pension could have been suspended for any number of reasons, including failing to appear to claim a payment, failure to respond to queries, an increase in income, a dissolution of a marriage, death, etc. 



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          • Re: Star on Rev War pension index card and paperwork
            Research Services at the National Archives Tracker

            Dear Ms. Baxter,

            Thanks for your question to History Hub!  Mr. Deiss’s response above is a good answer to your inquiry regarding the star on the pension file, particularly the attached document containing the star relating to the original document and the addition of the dates of pension filing and payment.

            With regard to the second half of your inquiry, we were able to locate additional information on Mr. Kirk’s claim through our records, genealogy sources, and online trails of previous searches for this ancestor.  It is important to note that because Mr. Kirk was not deceased or injured in the war, and did not serve out the entirety of the conflict as an enlisted man (according to one source, he was discharged after the Valley Forge winter of 1777), he was not eligible to receive a pension until the Revolutionary Claims Act of 1832 referenced on the claims file (see here for a short summary of the various laws passed after the war related to veterans’ benefits).

            According to the pension claim, Mr. Kirk appears to have been eligible to receive his pension as of March 1833, but had payment suspended until September 4, 1835.  The reference in the file refers to a letter attached to the claim document (possibly by a judge? “Hon. R. Craig”), but the paperwork you attached is incomplete.  As such, Mr. Deiss’s explanation above regarding the reason for why the suspension occurred applies.

            If you want to know more specifically the reason the suspension took place, it is recommended that you look into Fold3 and Ancestry.com, as they will have many of these pension records digitally preserved in full for ancestry research.  Many of their best services are hidden behind a paywall, so keep that in mind if you want to pursue this option.  We were able to turn up this and this under a cursory search of member contributions under Mr. Kirk’s name on there which correspond to his particular pension filing, so searching for more pages of his file on Fold3 specifically will likely bear fruit.

            If you would like to research the original microfilm copies of Mr. Kirk’s pension files, they are in the possession of the National Archives in Washington, DC, Record Group 15 (Records of the Veterans Administration), publication number M804, roll number 1495, pension number S. 5,558.  The specific entry is Case Files of Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Applications Based on Revolutionary War Service, compiled ca. 1800 - ca. 1912, documenting the period ca. 1775 - ca. 1900, entry A1-2A (this is the entry for the paper documentation).  If you would like a member of their reference staff to conduct a specific search of these records for you, you can contact them at archives1reference@nara.gov.

            Thanks again for your inquiry to History Hub and best of luck on your search!


            5 people found this helpful
              • Re: Star on Rev War pension index card and paperwork
                Cinda Baxter, CG Adventurer

                Thanks for the great info!


                Unfortunately, the referenced letter from “Hon. R. Craig” is missing from both Fold3 and the microfilm at A1 (I was researching there during Gen-Fed a few weeks ago). In addition to the three items attached to my original post, only three other items appear--identical in both searched locations:


                • John Joseph Kirk's declaration letter (two pages, plus scan of back of one page), sworn out in front of David French, Giles County Clerk when applying for his pension on 27 Aug 1832. These are the same pages you linked to above.
                • A two page typed letter dated 1940 from a government office (which?) to Mrs. Floyd E. Cholf in response to her request for information about John Kirk's records.
                • A one page typed letter--also dated 1940--from a different government office to the same woman, saying a copy of John Kirk's pension record was attached.


                Beyond that, there's nothing. Thus, my curiosity about what may have caused the temporary suspension.