I have several Civil War pension files that I have been wanting to order for a long time. But they cost a pretty penny so I have been putting off. Sometime last year I noticed some recommendations for using the website genlighten.com for this service as an alternative to ordering directly from NARA. I filed that away in my mind and moved on to other things.
While I was at RootsTech I stopped by the genlighten booth and asked some questions. I got a recommendation from the owner for a specific genlighten provider to use for Civil War Pension files. In March I placed an order and on Friday I got my pension file.
So here’s the scoop. I used the researcher dchristina. She charges a flat fee of $35 (the website adds a $1.75 processing fee) but does add a per page charge for files over 65 pages. Here is the link to her Civil War Pension file service. She took a month to fulfill the request. The file was scanned well and was exactly what I wanted.
The website is pretty cool. You set up a free account. You can browse providers to find someone who will do something you need, then you can either message them or submit a research request through their submission form. They accept the request. Then you submit payment which is held by genlighten until the research is completed. The researcher does their work and then submits their files to you through the website. You download and review the files, write a review of their work, they get paid, then they can write a review of you as a customer. Great system.
The bottom line? I would recommend genlighten and dchristina if you have a Civil War Pension file you would like to order. Just know she is slower than she says she’ll be but her work was worth the wait for me.
Have you ever hired a researcher? What was your experience like?