Thursday, October 16, 2008

Footnote: Civil War Widows' Pension Records

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was just received from our friends at Later today a podcast will go out with an interview on this topic. Please address all inquiries to


Civil War Widows’ Pension Now Available On The Internet For The First Time

Lindon, UT – October 16, 2008 – Today, released the first digitized versions of the Civil War Widows’ Pension Files.

Through its partnership with, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and FamilySearch, has worked together to prepare, scan, index and now publish these highly popular original documents. “These are one of the most heavily used series of original records at the National Archives,” said James Hastings, NARA Director of Access Programs.

Having never been microfilmed before, the Civil War Pension Files were previously accessible only at the National Archives in Washington, DC. Now, through this project, anyone can access these records via the internet exclusively on

“The significance to family historians is obvious,” says Cynthia Fox, a NARA Deputy Director. “However, these records offer much to the scholarly community as well. They document the lives of common Americans; people who rarely left journals or collections of letters. They often tell the life stories of people whose daily lives would otherwise be undocumented. Having these records online opens this virtually untapped resource for the study of social history in new and exciting ways.” has additional paper-to-digital projects to the site including:

“It’s crucial to preserve this information and make it available on the internet where more people can interact with these records,” explains Russ Wilding, CEO of “At we believe it’s all about people connecting with history in a unique way and our goal is to make sure we provide the best content to help make that connection.” now features over 45 million records ranging from the time of the Pilgrims and the Revolutionary War to the Vietnam War. Millions of documents are added every month with increasing numbers of people adding their own piece of history to the site through photos, documents, letters and stories.

Visitors can view every image on by signing up for a free 7-day trial. To learn more, visit today.

About is a history website where real history might just surprise you. features millions of searchable original documents, providing users with an unaltered view of the events, places and people that shaped the American nation and the world. At, all are invited to come share, discuss, and collaborate on their discoveries with friends, family, and colleagues. For more information, visit