There are several possible reasons why someone can’t be found in pension applications or pension rolls.
- Veteran did not apply
- Variant spellings
- File is not indexed or indexing is not good
- Widow may have submitted the application
- Veteran did not serve long enough
- Laws at the time disallowed type of injury or service
- Veteran or widow may have applied for “Bounty Land”
- Records did not survive *
- Veteran may have applied for a pension through a state, not the federal government
* Two fires destroyed many records, one in the War Department (1800) and one in the Treasury Department (1814).