Casefile Clues

27 February 2014

Fold3.com's Civil War Pension Filming Taking Longer Than the War

[note: This commentary only discusses digital images of pensions on Fold3.com. Orginals are still available at the National Archives.]

Fold3.com has been working on the "Civil War 'Widow's Pensions' " for  a while. In fact I can't remember when the project actually started. But looking at their blog posts it appears that they've been digitizing these images since at least 2008 and are now 5% complete.

It's now 2014. That's 6 years. The Ameican Civil War itself didn't last that long.

The screen shot in this blog post indicates that the project currently has 5% of the images posted. Even if I don't count 2008 or 2014 (which is already nearly 1/6 over) in my computations, that means that the project has been up and running for all of:

  • 2009
  • 2010
  • 2011
  • 2012
  • 2013
That's a safe 5 years to get 5% of the records uploaded (if they've been working longer than 5 years that's an even slower rate). 

It's a basic arithmetic problem to determine that if 5% of the job gets done in 5 years, it will take a total of 100 years to get 100% of the job done. No calculus or fancy math necessary. That's a long time to wait unless there's someone in the Fold3.com kitchen waiting on a big ol' batch of images to get all good and done.

That's 95 years to go. 95. And that's a lot longer than the Civil War. Not as long as pensions were granted, but it's darned close.

Am I missing something? 

Is my math wrong? If I'm missing something, I really hope someone can point it out to me.

Great-great-grandma Rampley had to wait 10 years to get her pension. I'm going to have to wait longer than that at this rate. 

Actually, my longest lived ancestor got to be 91. 

I'm out of luck.

[note: readers who want to obtain copies of Civil War pensions can still do so through the National Archives.]
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