4 Replies Latest reply on Apr 19, 2021 11:34 AM by Evan Clark

    Civil war widow's pension file for Christina Russell.

    Evan Clark Newbie


      I am doing genealogy research.  One of my great-great-grandfathers, Edwin Payne Russell, fought in the Civil War.  In 1889 his wife Christina Russell files an application for a pension as his widow.  I would like to look at that application file because it may review clues about when and where he died and potentially when and where he was born and who his parent are.  Attached is a copy of the index card that shows all the information for Christina's application.  If someone could help me get access to this pension application file I would be most appreciative.  Thanks, Evan

        • Re: Civil war widow's pension file for Christina Russell.
          Anna Nelson Newbie

          Hello Evan,


          Pension records contain a lot of genealogical information. Veterans’ applications often included his age or date of birth, his place of residence, his rank and his period of service. Widows’ applications have the same information on the veteran, as well as her age, residence, maiden name, date and place of marriage, and the place of her husband’s death. Pension files for Army and Marine Corps, and Navy veterans are not on microfilm. Request forms to view the files must be filled out in Room 400 Monday through Friday before 3:30 in order to examine them the same day.


          Here’s NARA’s catalog entry for civil war pensions:

          https://catalog.archives.gov/id/563268 These are arranged alphabetically by the soldier’s surname.

          https://catalog.archives.gov/id/2588825 These are arranged by unit and then, within the unit, arranged alphabetically by soldier’s surname.


          Here’s some general information on researching pension records.



          Civil War pension records are held in our Washington DC location, which is still closed to the public due to COVID. Here’s the page with information on their COVID procedures and their holdings. https://www.archives.gov/dc


          Here’s an article on the pension application process:


          I do hope this is helpful for your research.




            • Re: Civil war widow's pension file for Christina Russell.
              Evan Clark Newbie

              Hi Anna,

              Thank you for this very useful information.  Unfortunately, it looks as though the pension application of Christina Russell has not been digitized as of yet.  Therefore I will have to wait until the Archives building in Washington, DC reopens.  Fortunately I live in Washington, DC so that when it does open it will be very easy for me to go and apply to see that pension application.  I eagerly await that reopening so that I can look at that application.  There are many mysteries surrounding Edwin Russell's life and I'm hopeful that this pension application will solve some of them.  All the Best, Evan

            • Re: Civil war widow's pension file for Christina Russell.
              Elliot Schneider Ranger



              Here is some information.








              Name:Edwin Russell
              Enlistment Date:13 Oct 1861
              Enlistment Rank:Private
              Muster Date:19 Nov 1861
              Muster Place:Vermont
              Muster Company:K
              Muster Regiment:1st Cavalry
              Muster Regiment Type:Cavalry
              Muster Information:Enlisted
              Casualty Date:13 Jun 1864
              Casualty Place:Riddle's Shop, Virginia
              Type of Casualty:Wounded
              Muster Out Date:18 Nov 1864
              Muster Out Information:Mustered Out
              Side of War:Union
              Survived War?:Yes
              Injured in Line of Duty?:Yes
              Residence Place:Shoreham, Vermont
              Title:Roster of Vermont Volunteers During the War of the Rebellion 1861-66








                • Re: Civil war widow's pension file for Christina Russell.
                  Evan Clark Newbie

                  Hi Elliot,

                  Thanks so much for your very informative and thoughtful response to my request.  Much of the information you posted I already have but I found two pieces of information you posted to be most interesting.  First, I knew when Edwin Payne Russell was wounded but not where.  Knowing it was Riddle's Shop was very interesting.


                  And secondly, your posting of the Civil War draft registration records for Illinois with Richard Russell listed I found to be very interesting.  I'd seen this record before but it has me wondering if there is not a connection between Richard Russell and Edwin Payne Russell.  Edwin claims that his father was born in England and Richard was born in England.  And certainly Richard is of about the right age to be Edwin's father.  And Christina Koons, Edwin's wife, was born in Illinois, not that far from where this registration list was formulated.  Edwin and Christina are first see together living with Christina's sister's family in Iowa.  I wonder if the Russell and Koons families knew one another in Illinois.  Once again, thank you for this very thoughtful post.  All the Best, Evan