Headstone Record for Civil War Soldier Perrine Carson

Civil War soldier Perrine Carson (1821-1866) was the brother of my ancestor, Caroline Carson (ca. 1829/30-1915). He was injured in service when building a bridge, and died within a year of his honorable discharge from the Army. His widow, Sarah Ann Carson, died in 1867, leaving five children under the age of 16.

Headstone card for Perrine Carson from National Archives RG 92, Office of the Quartermaster General.

Name: Carson, Perrine
Rank: Pvt.
Service: Co. I, 38th Regt., N.J. Inf[antry]
Cemetery: Presbyterian
Cemetery Location: Hamilton Square, Mercer Co., N.J.
Grave: [blank]
Date of Death: May 21 – 1866
Headstone Supplied by: Sheldon & Sons, West Rutland, Vermont
Contract Date: Aug. 21, 18881

Leigh Miller posted an image of his headstone on my behalf at Find A Grave.2 The marker is of the typical shield design, with only his name and regiment inscribed. A similar headstone for Sarah Ann Carson is adjacent.3 Other Carson family members are interred in the Presbyterian Churchyard at Hamilton Square, New Jersey as well.4


“Headstones Provided for Deceased Union Civil War Veterans, 1879-1903”, card for Perrine Carson (1888?); digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 01 Jun 2013), citing NARA microfilm publication M1845, roll 4.

2 Find A Grave, online database (http://www.findagrave.com : accessed 01 Jun 2013), Perrine Carson, memorial no. 37797943, First Presbyterian Churchyard (Hamilton Square, Mercer County, New Jersey).

3 Find A Grave, online database (http://www.findagrave.com : accessed 01 Jun 2013), Sarah Ann Carson, memorial no. 37797975, First Presbyterian Churchyard (Hamilton Square, Mercer County, New Jersey).

4 Nine persons bearing the Carson surname have been included in the Find A Grave database for this cemetery to date, including Caroline Carson and her husband, Charles Carson. See First Presbyterian Churchyard, Hamilton Square, Mercer County, New Jersey, Carson family markers; memorials, Find A Grave, online database (http:www.findagrave.com : accessed 01 Jun 2013).

Headstone Record for Civil War Soldier David Bingaman

NARA Record Group 92: Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General


David M. Bingaman (1842-1896), served in the Civil War in Companies C, D, and E of the 20th Indiana Infantry. Family lore has it that he was wounded in action at the Battles of Malvern Hill (1 Jul 1862) and Gettysburg (2 Jul 1863). He survived these wounds, but older brother, John M. Bingaman, whom David followed into the Army, perished in combat at Malvern Hill, Virginia. David went on to marry Amanda A. McKibben in 1871. They lived in Illinois, the Oklahoma Territory and Kansas. The couple had no children.

As a deceased Union Civil War veteran, his grave in Pomona, Kansas was marked with a headstone supplied at government expense in 1902, under legislation passed in 1879 (20 Stat. 281). Besides the allowance for grave markers for Union veterans in private, village and city cemeteries, the law stipulated

The Secretary of War shall cause to be preserved in the records of his Department the names and places of burial of all soldiers for whom such headstones shall have been erected by authority of this or any former acts.1

Today, headstone records for interments in private cemeteries for the period between 1879 and roughly 1903 are part of Record Group (RG) 92 Office of the Quartermaster General. Per the catalog entry there are 166,000 cards that have been microfilmed on 22 rolls. The microfilm may be accessed at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. or at regional branches of the National Archives. Nine 3” x 4” inch cards were microfilmed per frame. This microfilm collection has also been digitized, and is available at Ancestry.com as Headstones Provided for Deceased Union Civil War Veterans, 1879-1903.

Headstone card for David M. BingamanHeadstone card for 2 Lt. David M. Bingaman of the 20th Indiana

Information from the card is as follows:

Name: Bingaman, David M.
Rank: 2nd Lt.
Service: Co. D, 20th Regt., Ind[iana] Inf[antry]
Cemetery: Pomona
Cemetery Location: Pomona, Franklin Co., Kans.
Grave: [blank]
Date of Death: Nov 30 – 1896
Headstone Supplied by: Lee Marble Works
Contract Date: March 29, 19022

I have not yet been able to ascertain whether applications for headstones made between 1879-1903 might exist, although I have seen earlier examples online at NARA, and catalog entries for the period following. This will be added to my to-do list when I attend the National Institute on Genealogical Research (NIGR) in Washington, DC in July 2013.

Read more about this topic:

Kluskens, Claire Prechtel. “Headstone Records for US Military Veterans, Part II: Records for Headstones Requested from 1879 to 1925.” NGS Magazine 39:2 (April-June 2013), 32-35. A copy of this article may be downloaded by NGS members at http://www.ngsgenealogy.org.

Mollan, Mark C. “Honoring Our War Dead: The Evolution of the Government Policy on Headstones for Fallen Soldiers and Sailors.” Prologue 35:1 (Spring 2003), 56-65. Online here.


1 “An act authorizing the Secretary of War to erect headstones over the graves of Union soldiers who have been interred in private, village, or city cemeteries,” 20 Stat. 281 (3 Feb 1879).

2 “Headstones Provided for Deceased Union Civil War Veterans, 1879-1903”, card for David M. Bingaman (1902); digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 28 May 2013), citing NARA microfilm publication M1845, roll 2.

My Carson Family Group Sheet: The Beginning

Oral interviews with my grandmother and a cemetery visit were the start of my journey to learn more about the family of my 2nd-great-grandfather, Andrew F. Carson (1854-1937), born in New Jersey

I was fortunate to have begun researching my genealogy when still a child, back when my maternal grandmother was still living. She had grown up in Kansas in the company of three of four of her own grandparents and was an adult when they passed away. Besides having been raised near them, my grandmother had also become the family archivist, probably because she was the female who lived the longest of her generation. All from that generation were long dead by the time I came around, asking questions about them.

One day over a meal, as was typical for us, I asked again about her grandfather, Andrew F. Carson. She recalled that he did have brothers, and was able to name Wes, Charley and Furman Carson. Other than their names, she also relayed the fact that they had once lived in New Jersey. She knew that Andrew, Furman and Charley had moved from New Jersey to eastern Kansas, and knew or knew of a number of cousins in the area, as both Andrew and Furman had large families. One other tidbit she offered was that my 2nd great-grandfather Andrew Carson and his brother Furman Carson had married Hopkins sisters before moving west. She had no exact dates for any events, and was unable to provide any information about earlier generations. But, she offered, did I want to look at her scrapbook? She thought she had saved some things from them that I could look at.

As a result of those early interviews, I was able to begin the Carson family group sheet. I carefully penciled in the names of the brothers into the appropriate areas of the pre-printed form my father provided to me, and added the additional information to the notes field. I then filed the family group sheet away in a notebook. In 1992, I made my first visit to Kansas. My brother took me to visit the local cemetery in White City, Morris County, Kansas: home base for the Carson family. We took pictures of the headstones of all relatives we knew of on that trip. We extracted birth and death information from our “field notes” and photographs, which we later added to the group sheet. Unfortunately, my grandmother had already begun her slow decline with Alzheimer’s disease, so I don’t know how much of what I shared about her family on my return trip she understood.

Carson Family Group Sheet, dated 1994
My Carson Family Group Sheet, ca. 1994

It wasn’t until several years after my grandmother’s death that I picked up where I had left off on the Carson family. Now the family group sheet was shaping up, except there was a big blank spot at the top of the sheet where the names of my 2nd great-grandfather’s parents should have been recorded.

The days of being able to plug a name into a search engine or Ancestry.com were still a ways off, so I went down to my local library, pulled down the census index books (remember those?) and begin taking notes on my legal pad. Because I live in Washington state and New Jersey wasn’t well-represented in our library, I had to then go to the local branch of the National Archives to gain access to the New Jersey census microfilm. (Fortunately there is a local branch of the National Archives in Seattle.)

Armed with the names of four Carson siblings and approximate birth dates for three of them, locating their parents in New Jersey shouldn’t have been too difficult, right? Right….

Andrew Carson grave marker (1854-1937)
The above grave marker for Andrew Carson (1854-1937) was photographed by my father in White City Cemetery in 2002. My own image taken a decade earlier is trapped on a slide somewhere. Courtesy R.E. Bingaman, (c) 2002.