Universal York

Part of the USA Today Network

More on York County Civil War Pension Claims

As a follow up to my recent post on Civil War pensions–here are transcriptions of some of the attorney ads from the April 10, 1866 York Gazette. One year after the end of the war, there were plenty of lawyers eager to do business with local veterans.

Some of the attorney ads had been running for years and all have the code “tf,” which stands for “till forbid,” in other words–till the newspaper was told to stop running the ad. At least three of the 13 attorney ads state that they are ready to do business in English or German, an indication of how common German still was in this area 150 years ago.

I’ve picked out a couple that specifically mention Civil War claims:

PENSIONS, BOUNTIES AND BACK PAY, Promptly Collected by John W. Bittinger,
Attorney-at-Law, and Licensed Claim Agent, York, Penn’a.
Office, next door to Metzel’s Hotel.
Soldiers discharged on account of Wounds received in battle or for any cause after two years’ service without the payment of Bounty can procure $100 bounty by calling at my office. They must bring with them two witnesses who are acquainted with them and their discharge papers.

A.T. PATTERSON, Attorney and Counsellor at Law,
Office in the Washington House (Opposite the Court House) York, Penn’a
Prompt attention given to securing Claims, and Orphans’ Court Business generally.
Will attend to the collection of WAR CLAIMS.

Some of these names might appear on your Civil War ancestors’ pension papers. If you know what units they were in, you can obtain them at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. If you go in person, it will only cost you a small photocopying fee per page, or you can photograph or scan them yourself. You can also have them mailed to you–this is quite a bit more expensive, but you save a trip to Washington.

York County Heritage Trust Library/Archives patrons have shared copies of pension papers for the YCHT files, so you also might want to check and see if anyone has already donated those of a shared ancestor. For example, years ago I obtained copies of the pension papers for my great-grandfather, Amos Burk and for his father Henry Berk/Burk and Amos’s two brothers, John and George, as well as for Ovid Reno, my husband’s great-grandfather. I donated copies of all these papers for the YCHT files, where they can be easily accessed by library/archives patrons.