What are World War I Bonus Records?
In 1919 Minnesota State law authorized relief assistance payments--called bonuses--for people who were in U.S. military or naval service during World War I. The qualifications included being a MN resident at the time they entered into the service and receiving an honorable discharge. Payments were made until at least 1943 and were made to veterans and/or their survivors.
Bonus records consist of the information on the payments, as well as the applications. Applications include details on applicants' military service, proof of residence, proof of honorable discharge, and other data.
How do I order a copy?
- Search the Minnesota Historical Society's Collections Online or People Finder systems for an individual's World War I Bonus Record.* In either system, search for the name and the term "world war i bonus file" in the search box on the top-left area of the screen.
- Clicking on the record title will take you to more information about the record. This should help if you see multiple records in your results list and are not sure which to order based on just the name and any possible initials. In particular, the Place line of the more detailed record will tell you where the payments were mailed.
- Click on the Buy button next to the record you want to order to start the online ordering process.
* Please note the index and research service only covers bonus records that were approved and paid. Applications could be denied for a number of reasons and the records for denied applications are open to researchers and available at the Library.
- Prepayment is required and non-refundable.
- The $15 fee includes shipping costs.
- If paying by check, select the Offline Payment option during the online check-out process and make your check payable to the Minnesota Historical Society.
- Members of the Minnesota Historical Society receive a 10% discount. Visit the Membership page to find out more about becoming a Society member.
- World War I Bonus Research Requests are completed on a first-come-first-served basis
- Turn-around time can be as much as 30 business days if we are busy, dating from the receipt of payment
- Copies will be sent via first class US Mail.