Mexican War Veteran Research

Introduction | Veterans' Organizations | Types of Records | Indexes to Records
Obtaining Copies | Printed Rosters | Online Rosters

Ordering Copies of Veteran Records

Once you've found your ancestor's name in one of the military service or pension indexes (or if you want to learn whether or not he applied for a bounty land warrant) you'll want to request copies of the papers which may be in the appropriate file or files in the National Archives. If you live near Washington, D.C. the quickest way to obtain file copies is to actually visit the National Archives. Failing that, you'll have to ask for them by mail. Unfortunately, a letter alone will not suffice. Effective November 2000, one of two specific forms must be used, depending upon which records you seek.

For copies of a veteran's military record, you will need NATF Form 86. The letters NATF stand for "National Archives Trust Fund." Your local genealogical library may have copies of these forms available. If not, you'll need to order them direct from the National Archives. A separate NATF Form 86 must be completed for each veteran.

To order copies of bounty land and and pension records, you will need NATF Form 85. If ordering both bounty land AND pension record copies, you will need two of these forms.

To request forms, write to:

National Archives and Records Administration
700 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20408-0001

Alternatively, you can request NATF 85 and NATF 86 Forms online at:

Whether requesting forms by mail or by email, be sure to include:

  • Your name
  • Your address
  • The number of the form(s) you need
  • How many forms you need. (There is a limit of 2 per order as of October 1, 2007.)

It may take three or four weeks for your request to be processed. Upon receipt, be sure to fill out each form according to the attached instructions. Include as much information as you can. When asking for copies of the pension file, include any pension certificate or application number you may have found in the index. Minimum information required is the veteran's name, state from which he served or from which he enlisted, branch of service, and the name of the war or period during which he served. Mail the completed form(s) to the address given in the instructions. It may be different from the address given above.

The cost for copies, per veteran, effective October 1, 2007, are:

  • Military Service Files $25
  • Bounty Land Warrant Application files $25
  • Pension Files (complete file) $50
  • Pension documents packet $25

You have the option of paying by credit card or by check or money order.

Copyright © 1999-2004 by the Descendants of Mexican War Veterans. All rights reserved.