Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Preserve the Pensions of the War of 1812

While doing some research for writing yesterday, I ran across a program that was well discussed and somewhat publicized about a year ago. I thought it was time to bring up the subject again. Here is an introductory quote from the Preserve the Pensions website about the War of 1812 Pension Digitization Project:
The Pension Records from the War of 1812 are among the most requested documents at the National Archives. Unfortunately, these fragile documents are in urgent need of digitization. In support of this monumental task of digitizing 7.2 million pages, has provided a dollar for dollar matching grant, so every dollar you contribute will make four more pages accessible and free for everyone.
There are apparently 7.2 million documents to scan and about 935 thousand of those documents have already been scanned. This is a cooperative effort of individuals, and, the National Archives and the Federation of Genealogical Societies. The organization to accomplish this goal was created by the Federation of Genealogical Societies. Here is some additional explanation about the project:
The National Archives reports that these War of 1812 pension files are among the heaviest requested materials. With that level of use, these valuable records, available in no other format, arein danger of grave deterioration. 
As these valuable historical documents are digitized, they will be made available to all at no cost, and the original pension files can be retired to much less active use. 
Completed images and associated indexing are posted incrementally. Genealogists, historians, teachers, patriotic societies, and history buffs all have access to the images that have been digitized right now. Images will be offered for free at Fold3 indefinitely. is now owned by Yes, indeed, the documents are freely available on If you had ancestors in the United States during the time period of the War of 1812, you might take a look and see if you can find some connections. I think you will be surprised at the documents already produced.

1 comment:

  1. James,
    Thank you for writing about the ongoing Preserve the Pensions effort. We are quite active on social media and would like to invite you to connect with us on the various platforms, as well as any of your readers. Thank you for the support!
    ~Preserve the Pensions social media team

    Twitter: @1812pensions
    G+: War of 1812 Preserve the Pensions