Casefile Clues

28 May 2013

A Little Color on Mary M. Shores Garrett's Pension File

This early 20th century document, from the Civil War widow's pension of Mary M. Shores Garrett, is an excellent example of why color images are preferable to black and white ones. 

Without the color, it would be difficult to see the different handwritings as easily. Pensions are a good example of a record set where one document may have crossed the desks of several people, each of whom wrote something on it. 

It still can be difficult to tell how many people wrote on the document--after all, checkmarks made by different people do tend to look alike. But the color hints that different people might have made the checkmarks. However, the color gives at the very least an appreciation for the number of individuals who took a part in the creation of this document.

The image shows below. Clicking on it will pull up a larger image.


We won't analyze the document in this blog post. John was killed in the Civil War and his surviving child received a pension until he reached the age of 16. Mary received a widow's pension until she married again. After her second husband died in 1903, she applied for, and received, a pension based upon her first husband's service and the fact that she was married to him at the time he was killed during the war. Genealogists should always be aware of pension requirements as those requirements may suggest additional information about the individuals involved.

The image below contains a citation for the pension file in which this document was located.