Friday, May 20, 2011

bad luck with National Archives

My first order with NARA was for the Civil War Compiled Military Service Record for Everett Gaskill.  I initially received a "Negative Search" response.  When I challenged this, a repeat search found the records and I eventually received it.  Not long after that I requested Everett's pension file.  I received a NARA package today with a pension file.  Unfortunately, it is for Michael White, not Everett Gaskill.  It's about 1/2" thick stack of files that should have gone to someone else.  And they probably got mine.  Frustrating, to say the least.

I'm wondering if this is typical.  Based on my experience, they have a 66% failure rate.  I know it's a small sample size, but it's still not good.


  1. The person who sent for Michael Whites pension file would probably agree with you.

    I sent for my husbands great grandfathers pension file but I had the numbers from Footnote. It came back in one month with loads of information and not a problem at all.

  2. I was having problems dealing with NARA, but I used their comments box, and I also made comments and queries on the NARAtions blog. Finally someone started to email me back and we got things straightened out. The squeaky wheel gets the grease.

  3. Glad (sort of) to know it's not just me.

    I used the comment box to submit a complaint and got a reply that I should return the package and then they would do another search and send me the results.

    I'm waiting to hear back about how/if they will credit me for the return postage. I'll see how that turns out...

    But that's a good idea about commenting on the blog. Thanks.