31 Days to Better Genealogy – Day 8

31 Days to Better Genealogy – Day 8: Version 2.0


31 Days to Better Genealogy – Day 8

I’m taking Amy Johnson Crow’s challenge for 31 Days to Better Genealogy and blog Amy’s questions, with my answers; I plan to make one blog post, adding daily. Hopefully by the end of the 31 days, I will learn how to better solve some of my genealogy questions. If you haven’t signed up yet, just click on the link below… never too late to catch up!

31 Days to Better Genealogy by Amy Johnson Crow gives you practical steps to make your research more productive. Whether you are just beginning to climb your family tree or have been doing this for years, you can adapt the tips and methods in 31 Days to Better Genealogy to suit your needs.

Day 8 – Explore Possible Military Service

Amy’s Great Points on exploring our ancestors military records:

  • Check siblings Service and Pension Files; you may find family information in another siblings file, that is not in your direct ancestor file. Now why didn’t I think of that?
  • Explore the Family Search Wiki for sources; explore what is available for different countries and specific wars.
  • Clues for “if your ancestor served” can be found on gravestones, obituaries, censuses
  • Check ages on your ancestor to see if they fit in the timetable to possibly have served in the military (Ancestry and Fold 3 offer a birth chart – below)

Birth chart from Ancestry and Fold 3 – Identify your ancestors birth time-frame of what conflict they may have fought in.

I have the the Civil War Pension of my ggg grandfather Berrian Clark Bryan (1823-1923) and his father, James Bryan, from the War of 1812; I will compare these two pension files to different content of two different conflicts.


Berrian Clark Bryan – 3rd great grandfather

Berrian Clark Bryan (1823 – 1923) Civil War

Application for Indigent Pension – 1909

Georgia Confederate Pension Application

  • 1st. GA State Line Co. D. Reg; Blue Ridge Rangers
  • resident of GA since 1823
  • born 1823 Habersham County, GA (1/14/1823)
  • enlisted Dec. 1863, Dahlonega, GA
  • served a little over one year
  • regiment surrendered and discharged near Milledgeville, GA
  • not present at surrender – was at home, feeble in health, abt. Dec. 1864; furnished a substitute – recorded and discharged from service
  • occupation since 1865 – Farmer
  • mentions a daughter (no name), he gave her his land as he lives with her and she cares for him.

B. C. Bryan was repeatably turned down for a pension due to giving land and cabin to his daughter and children. His lawyer wrote many letters asking for a reconsideration of judgement. It seems a year before he died, his pension of $100 dollars yearly was granted to him.

There was one last application of Deceased Pensioner (under Act 1904) to pay expenses of last illness or funeral. Awarded was $20.99 (odd amount – why penny short?) On this application was daughters name – Emeline Bryan.


James Bryan – 4th great grandfather

James Bryan – War of 1812 Pension

  • lists him as a widow
  • served in Sergt. & Capt Benjamin Cleveland’s Co. GA Mil.
  • enlisted on March 3, 1814
  • resident of Lumpkin Co, GA 1850 – 1870
  • wife’s maiden name was Elizabeth Cain
  • married on Oct. 1, 1818 in Franklin Co., GA
  • death of soldier – March 12, 1885, Lumpkin Co., GA

Neither of their pension records yielded vast information, other than the mention of his wife’s maiden name; great genealogy documentation. I’ve seen other pension records that yielded photos, parents names, bible records and actual marriage licenses. A copy of their marriage license would have been a great find – as I have never found theirs; I’m thankful it was listed in his pension record.

In time, I plan on deciphering other ancestor’s pension records to compare the various war conflicts and what was asked; they will be posted here.

 Later Additions added…..



J. T. Sharp – gg grandfather

Joseph Thomas Sharp

Co. E, 7th Reg. Confederate Calvary

Application for Indigent Pension – 1900 – 1903

  • I now reside in Hancock County, Georgia
  • resided in Hancock County my entire adult life
  • I was born in Tallafarro County, Georgia on Feb. 17, 1835
  • enlisted on Aug. of 1862 at Crawfordville – with Co. E., 7th Reg. Confederate Calvary
  • remained with regiment from 1862 until surrender of 1865
  • was discharged on August 1863 – unable to perform regiment military duty; detailed to serve in arsenal at Augusta, GA until surrender; his name remained on the muster rolls until close of war.
  • present occupation is carpenter
  • my earned annum is thirty dollars
  • occupation since 1865 was farming a part and carpenter
  • application for pension is due to infirmity and poverty
  • my personal property was sold two years ago as I needed the money to live on
  • property was sold probably before 1900 (he lived with his daughter in 1900 – on census)

Application for Indigent Pension – 1904

  • regiment listed now as Co. E of 10th GA Calvary
  • he was allowed pension

Application for Indigent Pension – 1905

  • no property listed in his name
  • regiment listed as Co. E of 10th GA Calvary
  • no dollars listed in his name

Application for Indigent Pension – 1906

  • regiment listed a Co. E of 10th GA Calvary – first crossed off 7th and wrote 10th
  • property consisted of one cow and one calf – value twenty-five dollars
  • earned no money by labor; no dollars

Application for Indigent Pension – 1907

  • earns no dollars per month
  • can write and sign his name
  • regiment listed as Co. E of 10th GA Calvary

William L. Sharp (2nd great uncle)

William L. Sharp (brother of J. T. Sharp)

Application for Indigent Pension – 1898

  • born June 12, 1818 in Hancock Co., Georgia
  • resides in Powelton, Hancock Co., Georgia
  • resident of Hancock Co entire life
  • enlisted May 1864 in Greensboro, Greene Co., Ga. with Co. B, 3rd Regiment GA Militia
  • served 8 months in military
  • was never discharged
  • no present occupation – earns nothing
  • applies for pension based on age and poverty
  • had not been able to even come for support for 4 or 5 years
  • no property or income – lived by the charity of S.A. Chapman during 1896-97
  • no family listed

Click Here For More 31 Days to Better Genealogy

© 2016, copyright Jeanne Bryan Insalaco; all rights reserved


About Jeanne Bryan Insalaco

My blog is at: https://everyonehasafamilystorytotell.wordpress.com/
This entry was posted in 31 Days to Better Genealogy: Ver. 2.0, Daily Writings and funnies.... Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to 31 Days to Better Genealogy – Day 8

  1. Janice Brown says:

    The birth year of veterans chart is awesome!! thanks for much for this great post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Janice, happy to hear you enjoyed my post . The chart is great and we have Ancestry and Fold3 for that. This 31 daily commitment keeps me busy – often too busy, but I’ve learned new tricks and met new people. See ya over on Genealogy Bloggers! My Favorite Place!


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