Westward Migration and a Civil War Pension File

March 16th, 2018 by National Genealogical Society Blog Editor

TITLE “Westward Migration from New England to the Midwest”


DATE & TIME: Thursday, 3 May 2018, 2:30 p.m.

The history of the Unites States is closely connected to westward migration. After the Revolutionary War, the land west of the thirteen colonies opened for settlement. Part of this westward movement took settlers to what is today the Midwest. It is amazing when we think about the vast amount of land that was settled in such a short amount of time. New Englanders played a major role in the settlement of the Midwest.

This session will cover migration patterns, time periods, influences, and the sources that are useful for tracking the migration. Two examples of family migrations from New England to the Midwest will be shown.

Isaac Underwood Pension File

TITLE: Anatomy of a Civil War Pension File


DATE & TIME: Friday, 4 May 2018, 9:30 a.m.

I was thrilled when I received my first Civil War pension file in the mail. I went through the sixty-five page file and found a lot of information that I didn’t know and was able to use for the family history. After the initial excitement wore off, I had a pile of papers that just sat there. I didn’t know what to do with the file. It was large, lots of writing, lots of documents that looked the same, and information that was repeated over and over.

For years I looked at that pension file and felt guilty because I knew I should do something with it but didn’t know what to do or how to do it. It was overwhelming! It wasn’t until I was writing a biography about the soldier that it became obvious that I needed a system to organize the file so that I could feel confident that I wasn’t missing information and  could retrieve the information quickly.

This lecture will discuss methods I use to organize, extract, and analyze the documents and data in a Civil War Pension File. These techniques can be applied easily to any large file.

ABOUT: Julie Miller, CG, CGL, FNGS, is a Northern Kentucky native who lives in Colorado. She is a full-time genealogy researcher, lecturer, and award-winning writer. Her articles have appeared in the NGSQ and NGS Magazine. Julie is chair of the NGS conference committee and has been a volunteer at the National Archives at Denver for twenty years.