Well, the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration certainly just delivered a great surprise as I was hoping for:
The other day after moving two or three thousand boxes at work with our team, I rec'd word that a package had arrived from D.C. for me at the main facility. Of course I stopped by on the way home from work to pick it up. It was a CD with a single PDF on it with all the details to confirm the Wexican War Service of a 2nd great grandfather of ours. That is what I would have been happy with. But it was 89 pages long and chock full of significant other genealogical treasures! Here are a few that impressed me the most:
- Initial file of his was under a new misspelled surname I hadn't thought of until recently, but it confirms this surname has records under at least 4 distinctly different misspellings - largely in part to handwriting interpretation and phonetic variants.
- When he enlisted at Ne Orleans, LA, the length of his service, that he served under Captain Rush Elmore and within the ranks of Colonel Balic Peyton, that his service was honorable, and the date of discharge from Mobile, AL.
- A digital copy of the marriage certificate for him and his 2nd wife who filed the widow's pension that revealed he served in the military at all (via a simple Google search just several weeks ago). Additionally her previous married name and date and place of birth were all also on the applications she completed!
- Both his signature and a signature of his 2nd wife on the service and later widow's application for pension.
- His birth date was confirmed and the birth city was different on his service/pension documents than what was passed down in family lore and subsequent writings.