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Researching Southern Claims Commission records | Resources

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The resources are listed in the order in which a researcher would use them, as follows:

  • Indexes
  • Descriptive pamphlets
  • Film/fiche and subscription databases
  • Questions asked

Indexes

Southern Loyalists in the Civil War, by Gary B. Mills, R 973.745 M657S and circulating copy; also available on Ancestry

Lists all claimants in alphabetical order; further tells state and county, commission (claim) number, office and report numbers (needed to find disallowed claims), year, and status of claim. This is considered the definitive index for Southern Claims.

Civil War Claims in the South: An Index of Civil War Damage Claims Filed Before the Southern Claims Commission, 1871-1880, by Gary B. Mills, R 973.717 M657C

Lists claims by states, then alphabetically by name of claimant and includes the county and claim number. Use Southern Loyalists or Consolidated Index for the additional information needed to pursue a claim.

Consolidated Index of Claims Reported by the Commissioner of Claims to the House of Representatives from 1871 to 1880, compiled under supervision of J. B. Holloway  R 929.3 U58C

Lists all claimants in alphabetical order; further tells state, commission (claim) number, office and report numbers (needed to find  disallowed claims), year, amount claimed, amount allowed, amount disallowed, status, and nature of claim (animals, crops, lumber, etc.)

This index is available on the following National Archives microfilm publications:

  • P2257, Part 1, Records of the U.S. House of Representatives: Southern Claims Commission, 1871-1880 [Best copy]
  • M87 - roll 14, Records of the Commissioners of Claims (Southern Claims Commission, 1871-1880) 
  • M1407, first four fiche, Barred and Disallowed Case Files of the Southern Claims Commission, 1871-1880.

Geographical List of Claims  

Lists claims alphabetically by state, county and then claimant. This helps determine which individuals in a "neighborhood" filed claims. The lists are available on  National Archives microfilm publication M87, roll 13, Records of the Commissioners of Claims (Southern Claims Commission, 1871-1880) and can be downloaded as PDFs from the list below.

Download all lists in one consolidated PDF (26 mb)
Alabama (4 mb) Arkansas (3.8 mb) Florida (1 mb) Georgia (4.3 mb)
Louisiana (2 mb) Mississippi (3 mb) North Carolina (3.2 mb) South Carolina (1.5 mb)
Tennessee (5.2 mb) Texas (400 kb) Virginia (4.5 mb) West Virginia (394 kb)

Descriptive Pamphlets

A Descriptive Pamphlet (DP) tells about the records on a particular film/fiche set. It also includes an individual fiche list or roll-by-roll list which can determine the fiche or roll of film needed for a specific claim. The following links lead to complete copies of the DP for each listed film/fiche set (in PDF format) on the Special Collections Web site: 

Film/Fiche and Subscription Databases

The Southern Claims Commission (SCC) film/fiche listed below are part of the Julius K. Hunter & Friends African American Research Collection in Special Collections. To find out where these film and fiche are shelved, consult the "Microfilm and Microfiche Location Guide" for Special Collections on the SLCL website or ask a librarian. Records that are also available on Ancestry and Fold3 subscription databases are noted accordingly.

  • Barred and Disallowed Case Files of the Southern Claims Commission, 1871-1880, M1407 [fiche, Ancestry, and Fold3]
  • Records of the Commissioners of Claims (Southern Claims Commission, 1871-1880), M87 [film]
  • Records of the U.S. House of Representatives: Southern Claims Commission, 1871-1880 (part two includes summary reports of the Commissioners of Claims in all cases reported to Congress as disallowed under the Act of March 3, 1871 - 4 vols.) P2257 [film]
  • Southern Claims Commission Approved Claims, 1871-1880: Alabama, M2062 [film, Ancestry, and Fold3]
  • Southern Claims Commission Approved Claims, 1871-1880: Georgia, M1658 [fiche, Ancestry, and Fold3]
  • Southern Claims Commission Approved Claims, 1871-1880: Virginia, M2094 [film, Ancestry, and Fold3]
  • Southern Claims Commission Approved Claims, 1871-1880: West Virginia, M1762 [film, Ancestry, and Fold3]
  • U.S. Court of Claims Docket Cards for Congressional Case Files, ca. 1884-1943, M2007 [film] (41.4 kb)

Questions asked (PDFs)

There were three versions of the questions to be asked of claimants and witnesses:

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