This rare and little-known government publication is a synopsis of all the Acts of Congress relating to the promises made by Congress to the officers and soldiers of the Revolutionary Army up to the year 1836. The significance of the work to genealogists lies in the fact that the hundreds of Congressional enactments printed here, both large and small, contain the names of the soldiers or their heirs who applied for relief under the terms of each of the special Acts. For a variety of reasons veterans may not have received arrears of pay, may not have been issued their promised half pay for life or their widows and orphans their seven years’ pay, or they may not have taken up their bounty land; thus, years later, either they or their heirs applied to Congress for satisfaction of their claims, which were dealt with by Acts and Resolutions of Congress.
The individual petitions laid before Congress contained testimonials by friends, witnesses, and relatives; then there were statements supporting claims made by widows and children, statements identifying parents, corroborations of service records, affidavits of good character, and stories of personal misfortune. The list goes on and on. There is of course no guarantee that the subject of your research will be discovered in these pages, but in the “leave no stone unturned category,” this obscure government publication is a researcher’s dream.
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