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Dear Ms. Paddock,
Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
The Compiled Military Service Records (CMSR) and the pension files may include information pertaining to Francis Cyprien Kiern. For access to and/or copies of these series, please contact the National Archives at Washington, DC (RDT1) via email at email@example.com. These records are also available on ancestry.com and/or familysearch.org.
On the New York State Military Museum and Veterans Research Center, we located a unit history of Co C. 20 Infantry Regiment, 7th Corps New York. This may be the same unit listed on his gravestone.
We hope this information is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!
I believe your GGF served initially in the 153rd NY Infantry & was later transferred to Co. I 20th VRC (Veteran Reserve Corps - initially called the Invalid Corps) You can access the NY CW Rosters here:
- Roster of the 153rd NY http://dmna.ny.gov/historic/reghist/civil/rosters/Infantry/153rd_Infantry_CW_Roster.pdf
If you go to KIERNS it refers to KEARNS
- As you can see, he became sick in New Orleans while the regiment was stationed down there
This link has some period newspaper articles re: the 153rd NY
- There are several NY Muster Roll Abstracts that have cards with the spelling KIERNS referring to KEARNS I will attach the one with the most info & can send you the others later if interested You can see his name was spelled in a variety of ways. Back then many people couldn't read and/or write & spelling a name correctly wasn't as important as today
Francis has a pension record. He applied for an Invalid pension in Feb. 1885, then his widow Harriet applied Apr 19 1887, so assume Francis had died before that date Minor & at some point she must have remarried as on April 5 1890 a minor applied for his pension (assume one or more of his children) with Harriet Thornberg listed as the guardian of the minor (assume this is her new married name). A minor brother or sister could also apply for a dead soldier's pension, as could the mother & father, but a widow would take precedence over a parent & then his children, then his mom & lastly his dad. A parent or sibling would have to show proof they were dependent on the soldier. It was assumed the wife & kids were dependent on the soldier. She had to show proof of the marriage & that the kids were his. Pension records often have marriage records or birth & baptismal records - all to show proof needed for the pension. Friends, family, neighbors or employers may give affidavits to show whatever proof or documentation is needed Once a widow remarried they were no longer eligible for the pension, but the children could then claim it till the day they turned 16yrs old, unless disabled. Later pension laws allowed that if Harriet's new husband died, she could go back & reapply for Francis' pension if she was in need. You will notice that both the Widow's & Minor pensions were filed from the state of Minnesota so they were living there at the time.
You will have to request the pension record from the Archives for a fee or go in person to view it yourself for free. The Archives has restricted visitation for pulling records during Covid so check their website
- you can also request his Service record for both the 153rd NY Inf. & for the 20th VRC
- Hopefully this is your GGF! Best of luck with your research!