Part 1 can be seen here.
After William’s death in the Civil War, his widow, Mary, applied for a widow’s pension and a minor’s pension on their son’s behalf. Civil War pension records can hold a huge amount of information. If you try to get those records, I recommend that you ask for the entire file, not just the selection they want to send you. It will cost more and I don’t know the current rates.
In Mary Duncan’s case, the files contained proof of her marriage to William with the person who performed the ceremony verifying it (see Part 1). The files also showed affidavits proving that young William was their son. The woman who attended the birth gave a sworn statement. This is a gold mine for these years when certification was rare or non-existent. The muster rolls documenting his service were included with many other papers.
Mary remarried (and lost her widow’s pension), but her 2nd husband was also a veteran and had a pension file. When he died, she applied for the widow’s pension. Much of the documentation for this series of posts comes from those pension records.
Consider ordering Civil War pension files on any of your family who served. They are available from the National Archives in Washington, DC. When I ordered mine, it all had to be done by mail, but perhaps now there are electronic means.
I tell you – it’s a gold mine!