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Revolutionary War Pension Files


Congress first authorized payment of pensions for Revolutionary War service in 1776, but the government did not begin paying pension allowances until July 28, 1789 and veterans began submitting applications on that date. Fires in 1800 and 1814 destroyed most of the early applications. Although applications were submitted to and approved by the federal government, they were initiated in teh courts of the counties and towns where veterans lived. Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files contain an estimated 80,000 application files from officers and enlisted men who served in the Revolutionary War in all branches of the American military. Individual application folders contain a variety of documents ranging from an average of 25 pages to over 100 pages related to a veteran, his widow or his heirs. Pension records contain a variety of information, including:

  • Affidavits made by the veteran, his neighbors or associates, and soldiers that he served with during the war to support his claim
  • Summary of his service
  • The name of the military unit/organization he served under
  • Dates of service
  • Date and place of the veteran’s birth
  • Names of his heirs
  • Relationship to others who served with him
  • His movements after the war
  • Information from his family Bible (some files include the actual pages torn from the Bible)


When employing a professional record searcher you are paying for the time it takes to perform the search, not the results. If the record you order was not filed in the place you list, you will be charged for the time it took to search that record. Providing accurate, detailed information will help record searchers distinguish your ancestor from others with the same name. At a mimimum you must the veteran’s name, the Colony where he lived when he volunteered and where he lived when he would have applied. Send a pedigree chart, family group record, GEDCOM file and any other details or instructions that will help us find exactly what you need. to

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