In honor of Independence Day this post features a snippet from the Revolutionary War pension file for my 4th great-grandfather, William Tong. He was born 9 Aug 1756 at Piscataway, Prince Georges County, Maryland and died at age 93 at Mt. Vernon, Jefferson County, Illinois.
Military pension files, as mentioned previously in this blog, are of immeasurable value for their content. Note the answers William gives the interviewer:
Here he gives a rundown of the battles he participated in when his company of minute men joined the army of General George Washington at the battles of Brandywine and Germantown:
Years ago I made the wonderful discover of William Tong’s autobiography, edited by Herald Stout, at the Library of Congress by searching the National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections (NUCMC). The published version of the autobiography also contains his obituary. Today the NUCMC catalog is also searchable through Worldcat.org.
Worldcat is the catalog for more than 10,000 public and university libraries worldwide, and items you find can be ordered through Inter-library loan to your local public library. I was able to order a copy of his autobiography through my small-town library.
Today, I discovered this same thirteen page autobiography has been transcribed and put online by someone. Check it out—it is fascinating. If you are on the trail of someone, determine if he (and sometimes she) would have been of age to join the military during a war or other armed conflict, and track down their military service record and/or pension record.