Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Samuel Hawksley Civil War Pension File - "Awaiting Shipment"

What a thrill to check with the National Archives site on the status of Samuel Hawksley's Civil War Pension file just before I went to bed last night, and find that the status had changed from "Servicing" to "Awaiting Shipment"!

Samuel was born about 1847 in Richmond, Carleton County, New Brunswick.  He died 6 February 1865 at Hatcher's Run in Virginia.

His parents, John Goodwin Hawksley and Lucy Lilley, filed for a pension for his Civil War service on 27 March 1877.

Because Samuel was unmarried and without children, any documentation in the file should center around him (perhaps I will find his date of birth) and his parents.

At least, that is what I surmise.  John and Lucy would have to submit documentation proving they were his parents.  Perhaps it will give us more clues regarding John's background.  Perhaps not. 

What I do know is that you can leave no stone unturned when dealing with a brick wall.  Because Samuel's parents would have been the ones submitting information and documentation to obtain his pension, these are firsthand documents created by or for them. 

When the file arrives, I will certainly share what I find within it. 

This is an unusual, but not rare, case.  Most of the time, the pension was obtained by the veteran or widow.  However children of the veteran or the veteran's parents could also file and obtain a pension for the veteran's service. 

The first file I ever ordered was that of William B. Haley.  He is my cousin's ancestor (I descend from his youngest brother, who was too young to serve in the Civil War).  His file cleared up family mysteries for us.  His widow's statements and depositions told us more about the family than we had ever known.

It will be interesting to see what documentation and personal statements, if any, Samuel's parents submitted in the process of obtaining a pension for his Civil War service.

Copyright (c) 2010 Wendy L. Hawksley

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