I've heard top genealogists complain that we spend far more time learning where records are than what to do with them once we find them. NARA archivist Claire Prechtel-Kluskens does her darndest to right the balance with a blockbuster article in the Winter 2008 issue of Prologue, "Follow the Money: Tracking Revolutionary War Army Pension Payments." She writes,
Pension files of Revolutionary War veterans and their widows are well known as excellent genealogical and historical research sources. Few researchers, however, venture beyond the pension file to follow the "money trail" of records documenting the actual pension payments. . . .And what a gap it is. She leads the reader through a dozen or more record groups, following her example couple, Massachusetts patriot William McCullar and wife Chloe, through the decades to Chloe's probable death in the early 1840s in Licking County, Ohio. If you aspire to squeeze every ounce of information out of these records, print this one out and study it.
Researching the records relating to pension payments is time consuming and involves understanding and using arcane, obscure, and unindexed records. It is not surprising, therefore, that no guide to this research has ever been published. This article attempts to fill this gap by going step-by-step through the research process . . . .