Need help with handwriting on Civil War pension file documents

+4 votes
I only have a couple of sources of information for my ggg-grandfather, John W. Lindsey, and the sources from a Civil War pension file are difficult to read.  I've interpreted the handwriting, but I could use other interpretations.  I posted scans of the documents in question on John's wikitree memorial.  

The first is at  and the question about that one is, where did John die?  John and his wife Nancy Sophia were living in Macon County, Missouri in 1860.  He doesn't have a Civil War record that I can find, so he could have died from anything.  What do you think that says?

The second is two pages of an affidavit.  Page 1 is missing.  Page 2 gives John Lindsey's mother's name.  Any idea what it says?  I include page 3 on the memorial if you feel the need for more practice with the handwriting.  Page 2 is online at:

It seems that having an ancestor named John Lindsey is as tricky a research problem as having a Smith or a Jones, so any clues might help me find him.
WikiTree profile: John Lindsey
in Genealogy Help by J. Crook G2G6 Pilot (210k points)
My  past mother-in-laws maiden name was Lindsey I found some of her folks at although I don't know much about that site. :0

2 Answers

+2 votes
Jude, there were some words that I know I just couldn't read... But here is my interpretation

Attended the funeral of said deceased soldier the former Musleand* of claimant John Lindsey we know is dead from the talk we have heard in claimants family from time to time and from the personal records edfe* we have of the family re letters of said claimant and deceased soldier. we have personally known Mrs Lydia Lindsey who was the mother of said John Lindsey deceased during her lifetime. We have been at her home in Macon County Once and have heard her talk about claimant and her deceased husband relating incident and family occurances which took place before the death of said John Lindsey and connecting claimant as his wife *ilte the serve as family record nobody we have seen,, there in the possession of said mother Lydia Lindey we have been informed heirs recieve sent to the (under stamp) of P*** Waslington N? C. giving the date of the death of said JOhn Lindsey, we have reason to believe is genuine in every respect and entitled to cridity? our recollection now is that said.

Maybe with mine and your combined you can come up with something. Never did see a date.
by Lynette Jester G2G6 Mach 7 (74.6k points)

Mrs Melissa VanDike age 32 of Armore MO whose PO address is Ardmore MO

I am the daughter of John Lindsey and Saphia Lindsey *** the widow of James Stott, deceased that the above attached paper marked A, 1< is the family record of the said John W Lindsey and that the date of his marriage to Sophia Wilcox was on the 26 day of Feb 1860 and the the said John W Linsay died at or near Ost*** on the eighteenth day of March 1864. My mother married James Stott the day of the above attached papers.

(this *** made before executing)

sworn 27 day of May 1893 at Ardmore, Macon, Missouri ... Wm M*** Notary Public term expire Oct 17 1893

Thanks.  It's that darned Ost*** that's leaving me hanging.
So it looks like Lydia Lindsey to you?  Now if there were only a Lydia living in Macon County, Missouri.  Thanks for very much for your efforts.
Yeah, it looked like Lydi- and what names start like that? Decoding this handwriting isn't much different from reading modern cursive.  Look at what you can read, mentally trace the letters that you can't, and then play Wheel of Fortune, Hangman and Scrabble in your head. Granted, I only did a quick study on those images. Also, it helps to use the image viewer on your computer to enlarge the images enough to see them.

Also, Lindsey was also spelled Lindsay in those docs.  Mother was Lydia, wife was Sophia. (yeah, I made some typos in it myself)

you might try  or

If the town is in Macon County, there should be some record of it. Somewhere.  I would start in a 50 mile radius of Ardmore. and expand from there.  Also, it states Sophia's maiden name was Wilcox Search for her too. Or other Wilcox in the area.
I looked again trying to decipher Ost*



or the O could be an A if you look at the way DAY was written as DOY

Or Even OST could be a slip of the pen and be E  Estrovia

There was a John Lindsey Sargent who served in the Home Guard in the Union Army


John's marriage
The marriage record is my John's, but I'm not sure about the Civil War record.  I originally thought it said Ottumwa--a stretch, but there is Astoria, Missouri.  Beyond that, I haven't been able to make any intelligent guesses.
0 votes

I can't make out the location in the first one.  It looks like it reads "at or near Ostusror?"  Could it be in Missouri?  There was a lot of fighting and local warfare between both sides.

The second document seems to say he was a soldier. I can't read the punctuation, so the first line is confusing as to who the deceased soldier is.  I think it is saying the deceased soldier is John Lindsey, the husband of the Claimant.  John's mother was Lydia or something close to that.
 Here is the best that I can do.

attended the funeral of said deceased soldier the former husband of claimant John Lindsey we know is dead from the talk we have heard in claimants family from time to time & from the personal knowl-edge we have of the family ?U - latione? of said claimant & deceased soldier.  We lotte? personally nuern?
Miss Lydist? Lindsey who was the mother of said John Lindsey de-ceased during her lifetime.
We have lived? at her home in Macon county, MO and have heard her talk about claimant and her deceased husband relating incidents & family occurences which took place before the death of said John Lindsey & connecting claimant as his wife with the sauly?? a family record volicle? cal? have seen these in the houses-sin? of said mother
Lydial? Lindsey, we have cile?? informed her Ciele? sent to the Commission of Pensions Washington D.C. giving the date of the death of said John Lindsey, we here reason to believe is genuine in every respect & entitled to credit on recollection now is that said.


by Steve Cole G2G6 Mach 1 (19.1k points)
WOW!! Steve. That is a GREAT translation!!

Lydial is good.
Thanks for giving it a try, Steve.  I think this document proves that good handwriting could be as rare in the old days as it is now. : )  This has given me the courage to seek Lydia/Lydial/L-whatever-her-name-is yet again.
I think it says the family relatives we have.......
I usually have a hard time making out hand writing.  This one looked Greek at first but I began to get a hang of it.
At least you got Husband I couldn't see that. I've been transcribing census bad handwriting was still in my head a bit. I swear one census taker had the famiies write their own entries. I have several letters in 4 different styles.
I'm still not sure if her second husband is the deceased soldier, or her first husband.  It would help if page 1 of the document had been included.  Oh, well.

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