Old Documents

Kentucky Confederate Pension Applications – Digitized at Kentucky Department of Libraries and Archives

Don’t you love finding someone online you didn’t know was there?  Today I searched online for the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives website, and once there found a a link for Kentucky State Digital Archives.  Click on the tab and the following page appeared:

I then clicked on the Department of Confederate Pensions.

As you can see some of the packets come up automatically.  The second example are application packets 0001-0025.  I clicked on one by chance and found packet 3476 for Susan M. Richardson of Jefferson County, Kentucky.  There were 29 pages of information.  You can download the file as pdf, or print individual pages.  The first 3 pages were questions for he applicant.

These are basic questions – where do you reside, how long have you been a resident of the state, what is your maiden name and place of birth, when and where were you married, date of soldier’s death, how many family members do you have, are you still single since your husband’s death?

These pages were notarized by a notary or justice of the peace.  Susan’s witnesses were Lula Belle Richardson and H. C. Branham.

Not all pages are included in every application.  This copy of a marriage  license was questioned because the minister did not send a completed marriage certificate to the county clerk.  Notice the marriage took place in Hardin County.

In this affidavit John D. Sipes gives more information about the marriage of Thomas and Susan.  Mr. Sipes relates that Nancy Bramlette was the second wife of Thomas Richardson, and that she died December 2, 1882.  Thomas Richardson married Susan M. Williams three years later, as his third wife, and that they were never divorced or separated.

Several general affidavits were in this packet.  In this instance W. S. Stone says he was present at the marriage of Thomas S. Richardson and Miss Susan M. Williams, and that they lived together as husband and wife until his death, and she was still his widow.  Other affidavits were given as per the military records of the soldier, or other questions that may need to be answered.

John Darnell says that he was a soldier in the confederate army during the Civil War and in the same company and regiment with Thomas S. Richardson, that he was with said Richardson when the first news of Lee’s surrender came, and he knows Richardson served in the Confederate army until the close of the war.

Judge Samuel M. Green stated that after hearing testimony, and due to the fact that Susan M. Richardson is unable to earn her living by manual labor, and is not able to earn a living by reason of any knowledge, she does not already receive a pension.  Her income is less than $300 per year, and she has no property worth more than $2,500, recommends the application for pension be granted.

The final page concludes that Thomas S. Richardson enlisted in October 1864, in Captain Williams’ Company of Howsley’s Battalion, Cheneworth’s Regiment of Kentucky Cavalry and was surrendered and paroled about May 6, 1865.  Proven by his comrades.

Check out the website and see what you can find about your ancestors!


6 replies »

  1. Have you found an explanation as to why Confederate windows qualified for a pension when their husbands were the “enemy”? Because the hubbies were still American citizens when they were members of the Confederacy? If all Confederate widows qualified for a pension, then I have lots of applications to find!!

    Nicki Stillings


  2. Thank you so much for posting this! I’m looking for more information on Howsley’s Battalion as I have an ancestor, Cajabiel “Jabez” Worth Hodges who enlisted in this unit and surrendered/took the oath at almost exactly the same times as this Thomas S. Richardson. My Cajabiel Hodges was living in Big Spring on the Meade County side at the time. I’m having a hard time tracking down this unit. Thank you!

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