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Virginia Half Pay Pension Application Files

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Fold3 Image - Example of pension certificate
Do you have ancestors from Virginia who served as officers in the Revolutionary War? Come look for them in Fold3’s collection of Virginia Half Pay Pension Application Files!

During and after the Revolutionary War, in addition to the pensions offered by the federal government, states also typically offered their own pensions to soldiers and sailors who served in the war. Virginia was one of these, and in 1779 it authorized half-pay pensions for army and naval officers who served through the end of the war in Virginian units within the state’s borders or in the Continental Army.

However, after the war, a significant number of pension claims made by Virginia officers were rejected by the Virginia State Auditor. Many of these officers had served in territory northwest of the Ohio River that had not become part of Virginia until 1784. After years of court battles, the state courts ruled that the officers’ claims were valid and that they were entitled to pensions.

However, Virginia argued that the state was financially unable to satisfy the claims due to the cession of the northwest frontier territory, and it sought to have the federal government assume responsibility for the pensions, since the government had promised to reimburse Virginia for certain costs related to the northwest frontier. In an act of 5 July 1832, the federal government took on the responsibility of reimbursing Virginia for half-pay pensions paid to officers of the Virginia State Navy and certain units of the Virginia Line that had served in the Continental Army or in the northwest frontier.

The earliest records in this collection date to 1778, but most are from 1830 to 1875. The majority address Virginia half-pay pensions from the Revolutionary War, but a few pertain to pension claims under other Revolutionary War pension acts or claims from the Mexican, Indian, and Civil Wars.

Most of the 279 veterans whose records appear in this collection also have pension files in the Revolutionary War Pensions collection on Fold3, and the files in the two collections are often closely related. However, the files in this collection differ from the Revolutionary War Pensions in that the documents gathered in these files originally concerned applications for pension arrearages that had been submitted by the heirs of deceased pensioners and thus were handled by the Treasury Department’s Office of the Third Auditor rather than by the Bureau of Pensions.

On Fold3, the records are divided first by Army or Navy service, then by surname in alphabetical order. Files can range in length from less than 10 pages to more than 100 and may include military documents, pension applications, sworn statements, powers of attorney, correspondence, wills, pension certificates, payment vouchers, and other records.

If an individual’s file is more than 10 pages long, the documents may be arranged with “selected records” first, followed by “nonselected records.” “Selected records” are those deemed to have the most significant genealogical information, with “nonselected records” encompassing all the others.

Have you found ancestors in the Virginia Half Pay Pension Application Files? Tell us about them! Or get started browsing the collection here.

17 Comments

  1. Thank you for the information about Virginia ancestors this is helpful. Especially for research on families who settled in the Northwest territory.

  2. No this info is no good to me as I am looking for Canadian information.

    • I’m looking for information about my ancestor Thomas Farrell who was born in Virginia and fought in the Revolutionary war. I’m not sure for which side! But he later went to Britain, married there and then was granted some land in Canada – Deer Island, New Brunswick where he eventually died. Interested in any pre-revolution information about him.

    • You have to buy the international package. I had to do that too.

  3. No this information has nothing to do with my ancestors! Most of which are from Mexico,Spain and Iberian peninsula! How about some information on those areas!

  4. I just stumble along, and this must come from email, comes from wherever but I don’t know how interesting this will be for me because I am approximately 69 years old, and I have a yearn to know who my father’s family is before I leave this Earth. My last DNA, Belong to a person name “CROUCH”. namely George Crouch. whom is on my Birth Certificate. I lost My mother when I was 9 years old, and my Father died when I was 1 year old +.

    • Join ancestry.com. Get the DNA test. They’ll match you with others. Do a search for name of Crouch. Many should pop up with family trees as a starter.

      Use their search feature and find your dad in the census records. Should have parents, siblings and other information listed there.

      It’s easier than you think. I found a 1st cousin adopted out by her mother my aunt in 1936. No one knew what happened to her. She had searched in vain for decades. The mother was dead but I was able to connect her to her unknown brother and sister.

    • I know ppl with the last name of Crouch. They lived in Centralia, Illinois. I knew 2 girls and 1 son, I think there was an older sister, but she was older than me. I do know the son, James Crouch, was born abt 1942, he passed away a fewvyesrs back. I think I might have his Obit that was published in the Centralia Sentinel. The older daughter, Phyllis, is on Facebook and has married, I can find her married name, if u want. The younger daughter Judy is also married, I can get her married name, but her and her husband are or were realestate agents in Round Rock, Texas. I am putting my email address, it might not send so I will replace the at sign with the word “at” it may out smart the system. Robbiesanders at yahoo . Com remove the spacing also. If u contact the family, they might be willing to do dna testing to see what type of match you might find. Hope this helps.

    • Obit Crouch, you can get info on the Crouch family, who lived in Centralia, IL.

      James Henry Crouch, age 70, of Centralia, passed away Tuesday, March 29, 2011 at Doctors Nursing and Rehabilitation Center surrounded by his family and friends.Mr. Crouch was a lifelong resident of Centralia. He was a member of the First Baptist Church in Centralia and American Legion post 446. He was famous for his barbeque and chili recipes and loved cooking for his friends and family. He was a retired brakeman for Burlington Northern Railroad.

      Mr. Crouch is survived by 2 sons – Michael J. Crouch and wife Lisa of Walnut Hill, Gregory J. Crouch of Centralia, 2 daughters – Leigh Ann Noller and husband Jack of Troy, Rosemarie Crouch and special friend Sam of Springfield, 2 sisters – Phyllis Harmening and husband Donald of Centralia and Judith Copple and husband Richard of Georgetown, Texas, 1 grandson – Jackson Noller, 3 step grandchildren – Morgan Heern, Gavin Heern, Logan Heern and several nieces and nephews.

      Obituary is from the WJBD Radio Online website. Wjbdradio.com.

      Judy lives in Georgetown and in Tx that is a stones throw from Round Rock. Good luck.

    • There was a George Crouch that lived in Pennington County South Dakota for many years 1900-1980..May have been married twice. Had sons John, Keith, Barth

    • I would also add that if your parents were married, you may want to search for newspapers to fill in the blanks. Sometime newspapers I think is overlooked. Some of my families had marriage announcements, and those sometimes show names of parents, brothers and sisters of those getting married. Also look close to obituaries. You were saying that your father died when you were about one years old. Look for papers that might have some kind of obituary of a George Crouch. Obituary are great record for the last showing clues about a person life. You might also see the names of the relatives of those deceased. I hope this was helpful.

  5. Thank you for the information I have a lot of family from VA.my grant grandfather Shirrell Powtan Richards &his brother was King David, which his life was sadly lost at Gettysburg.Thank you I will get started on the info.

  6. Does anyone have information on the inscoe as far as the Revolutionary War goes if so please email me at Earthwise 61239 at gmail.com or call 912 257 2773 thank you

  7. Does anyone know anything about a Tristram Moore from Chester Co PA who fought in the Revolutionary War 1777-1783? Please contact me at marilynlong2011 at yahoo.com. Thankyou.

  8. I signed up for Fold3 through Ancestry on 11/13/17. It is a one month subscription. I sent you folks an email a few days ago asking you to please send my user name and password so I can log in. I still am waiting for that email. If I do not get something soon, I will have to cancel and get my money back. Would someone please respond.

  9. Are you looking for the Revolutionary War Inscho from Licking County, OH?

  10. I have Crouch cousins from Licking County, OH

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