Widow’s military pension applications have the potential to shed light on many aspects of that widow’s life. It’s not just direct-line ancestors for whom these pensions may be helpful. Applications for aunts and cousins may give us a broader picture of the family and, upon occasion, provide new information on direct line ancestors as well.
If she qualified for a military pension, the widow would have to have proved her husband’s service, her marriage to the husband, and her marital status after that husband’s death. Documentation of her marriage and marital status may have hinged on testimony from relatives–potentially her siblings and maybe even your direct ancestor. Those affidavits may include references to where the widow was married, where she had lived, and other pieces of information about her life. In some cases, even more detail could be included in the file–even if it was not technically needed for the application.
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