I’m posting on two days worth on research on the same day, so hopefully you will read both posts. Today was the first day researchers pursued individual interests. I chose NARA and I made a lot of progress today on my mother’s side of the family. On Monday, I had requested General Patrick Connor’s pension from the Mexican-American War. It was a huge file of documents. I photocopied a few documents, but I photographed the entire thing with my digital camera. I posted photographs of the documents that I found most interesting.


Fig 1. General P.E. Connor’s Pension File, File No. 7721, National Archives and Records Administration.

Exploring the entire content of this pension has allowed as well as readers to really understand how these amazing sources of genealogical information work (i.e. how are they structured, what information is valuable, etc.). General Connor was of particular prominence in the Western Frontier and included at the top of the pension file are two pamphlets of published biographical information on the general. Included are a biographical sketch written by “H.H. Bancroft, Pacific Historian” and Tullidge Quarterly, a publication on Utah History. [1] Next are what I call the “pension rolls”, they serve basically an index card and look a lot like the 18th/19th Century US Service Records you see on microfilm.The pension file’s documents do not follow a chronological order and thus had to re-arrange in my analysis and inventory of the pension to understand this record.

10 Feb 1853- Received his pension at 10 dollars per month

11 Sep 1860 – Surgeon approved increase from $10 to $20 per month, which was then signed by the pension office 13 Sep 1860.

The first original document is a surgeon’s exam and certificate performed 31 Jan 1868 in San Francisco. The surgeon noted a gun shot wound to the ring and middle finger of the left hand. General Connor was unable to fully use that hand and arm any more, thus the surgeon approved of his disability. General Connor was re-examined 7 Aug 1875 in San Francisco.

Anatomical Sketches, often provided in pension records to show where the injuries are, there is a black line on the figure’s left hand, which the surgeon drew to Show General Connor’s war injuries. He was shot in the hand at the Battle of Buena Vista in 1847.

[1] H.H. Bancroft, Biographical Sketch of Patrick Edward Connor; Tullidge Quarterly, No.11, Vol.1 (Jan 1881).