6 Replies Latest reply on Mar 9, 2021 10:09 AM by Lisha Penn

    Seeking parents of John Donaldson

    Arun Vajpey Newbie

      I am researching into the background of a Unionist Civil War soldier. His name was Private John Donaldson and he fought with the Michigan 22nd Infantry Regiment, Company A. After the war, he went on to become a Miner somewhere in Michigan and also married a woman named Sarah J Donaldson (Maiden name not known). On September 20, 1883, he applied for Invalidity Pension - Application No: 495802 and Certificate No: 321170. He appears to have passed on sometime in 1909-1910 and on June 6, 1910, his widow Sarah J Donaldson applied for eligibility to receive his pension - Application No 943509 and Certificate No 706183. Sarah was living in Ionia, Michigan at the time. I need to find out John Donaldson's parents' names and origins and his wife Sarah J's maiden name. Please help.

        • Re: Seeking parents of John Donaldson
          Elliot Schneider Ranger



          Here is some information




          Here is their Marriage from the county in Michigan in 1870


          Looks like her name was Sarah Jane Hannaford   (click on image to enlarge). #259



          Here is a Child that Sarah and John had named Mary Donaldson


          Mary Belle Donaldson Sargent Craig  (she had two husbands)


          Name:Mary Belle Sargent Craig •
          Event Type:Death
          Event Date:23 Aug 1933 •
          Event Place:Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah •
          Marital Status:Married
          Birth Date:02 May 1876
          Birthplace:Manistee, Michigan
          Father's Name:John Donaldson
          Mother's Name:Sarah Jane
          Spouse's Name:Joseph H Craig
          Document Type:Certificate of Death
          Record Number:1213






            • Re: Seeking parents of John Donaldson
              Arun Vajpey Newbie

              Hi Elliott


              Thanks a heap for that very useful information, one of the main points that I was looking for. I'll buy you a drink if we ever get to meet!

              • Re: Seeking parents of John Donaldson
                Arun Vajpey Newbie

                Hi again Elliott


                Thanks again for the response. I took a detailed look at the information that you sent and there are one or two points that didn't quite match.


                As far as I am aware, John Donaldson was born in 1841 or perhaps 1842. He definitely served in the Civil War in the Michigan 22nd Infantry Regiment. The copy of his pension certificate approval that you sent yourself with its number 706183 tallies perfectly with what I have. So far so good.


                But in the marriage registration that you have sent, there seems to be a problem. John Donaldson's age for September 1870 is listed as 27 years, which is close enough I guess. But Sarah Jane Hannaford is listed as only 14 years old, which raised an issue; AFAIK, she was born in 1845, which would make her 24 or 25 years old at the time of her wedding. Furthermore, she is listed as a widow of 65 years old in 1910 when she claimed for transfer of John's pension after he had passed on 9 days earlier. That age tallies in other links I have seen as well.


                As far as I am aware, John and Sarah had no children other than one that is supposed to have died in infancy. When I followed the links to the supposed daughter Mary, I ran into problems with the father John Donaldson's age. He was listed as being born in 1852, which was clearly impossible because he would have then been between 9 and 13 years old during the Civil War.


                Can it be that Mary's parents are a different couple with similar names as "my" John and Sarah J Donaldson? Please advise.





              • Re: Seeking parents of John Donaldson
                Lisha Penn Pioneer

                Dear Mr. Vajpey,


                Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


                We searched the National Archives Catalog and located the series Indexes to the Carded Records of Soldiers Who Served in Volunteer Organizations During the Civil War in the Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1762 - 1917 (Record Group 94) that includes an index card for Donaldson, John - Unit: 22nd Infantry, Company: A - Enlistment Rank: Pvt, Discharge Rank: Pvt. We also located the series Carded Records Showing Military Service of Soldiers Who Fought in Volunteer Organizations During the American Civil War in the Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1762 - 1917 (Record Group 94) but were unable to locate Michigan Volunteers have not been microfilmed or digitized. To request a copy of his non-digitized service record, please download the NATF Form 86, fill it out to the best of your knowledge, and mail the completed forms to the address listed on the form. Please include a copy of the index card. For more information, please contact the National Archives at Washington, DC - Textual Reference (RDT1) at archives1reference@nara.gov.


                In addition, we located the series Regimental and Company Books of Civil War Volunteer Union Organizations, 1861 - 1867 in the Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1762 - 1917 (Record Group 94) that include the Regimental and Company Books of the 22nd Michigan Infantry Regiment. Please contact RDT1 for more information.


                The majority of Civil War pension files in the Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs (Record Group 15) are in the custody of RDT1. To request a search and order copies of military pension application files based on Federal service during the Civil War, please complete a NATF Form 85 and mail it to the address on the form.


                Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT1. Please note that the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has suspended reproduction and digitization services until further notice due to COVID-19. Orders will not be serviced until operations can resume safely. Once operations resume, document reproduction requests will be filled in the order in which they were received.We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.


                We suggest that you search these websites: Michigan History Center - Archives; Historical Society of Michigan; and Michigan Vital Records for birth records and additional resources.


                We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!