20 March 2013

Does the Government Have Your Relative's Baptismal Record?

Proving information for pension claims was a challenge for our ancestors. Veterans had to prove their service and widows (or minor orphans) would also have to prove their relationship to the deceased veteran. Sometimes that was not easy.

The image in this post is of an actual baptismal certificate for Johann Jacob Rothweiler that was contained in his mother's Civil War widow's pension application. The certificate was submitted to prove Johann's age at the time of his father's death in 1879. 

Union Civil War Veteran's Pension, George Rothweiler (St. Louis, Missouri), Widow's Claim (Wilhelmina Rothweiler), 17 July 1890; obtained from the National Archives.
Quite a few pension application claims contain similar material. Claims were more difficult when records such as these could not be located and witnesses could not be found. "More difficult" for the claimant usually means "more records" for the genealogist.

We'll be looking various records from the Rothweiler claim in an upcoming issue of Casefile Clues.

Citation reminder: We are a strong believe in citing genealogical source material in the spirit of Evidence ExplainedHowever, we choose not to include properly formatted citations in these blog posts. There's always enough information in the post to create a citation and full citations are included in my how-to newsletter Casefile Clues.