United States, War of 1812 Index to Pension Application Files (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.

Contents

Record Description

This is an index to pension applications which corresponds to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) publication M313. It covers the years from 1812 to 1910 and is arranged alphabetically by veteran's name.

The images are the face side of the file jackets. Most of the files are for veterans and their widows who were on the pension rolls in the 1870s and 1880s. The last pensioned veteran died in 1905. Widows continued to receive pensions after that date.

Historical Information About These Records

The War of 1812 was fought between the United States and the British Empire, including Great Britain, Canada, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland. The Treaty of Ghent, which became effective on February 18, 1815, ended the war. With the signing of the treaty the U.S. and Britain recognized the pre-war boundaries between the United States and Canada, and gave the United States fishing rights to the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

This documents individuals who fought in the War of 1812. These records are generally reliable.

Record Content

Information found in these records varies greatly depending on the type of service rendered. However the following facts are usually found in the records:

  • Name of soldier
  • Name of widow
  • Military unit in which served
  • Date of enlistment and discharge date
  • Birth date of soldier
  • Marriage date of soldier and widow
  • Maiden name of widow
  • Death date of soldier
  • Death date of widow
  • Discharge Papers
  • Other Supporting Papers

The section of the Index of 1812 pension application cards that reads “Service” may often include the rank of the solider followed by the name of the unit that he was assigned to. That may be confusing because the units are named after commanding officers.

How to Use the Record

To begin your search it is helpful to know:

  • Full name
  • Identifying information such as birth date or name of widow

Search the Collection

To search the collection fill in the requested information in the boxes on the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the individuals in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to look at the information on several individuals comparing the information about them to your ancestors to make this determination. Keep in mind:

  • There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
  • Your ancestor may have used different names, or variations of their name, throughout their life.
  • If your ancestor used an alias or a nickname, be sure to check for those alternate names.
  • Even though these indexes are very accurate they may still contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.

For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line video at FamilySearch Search Tips.

Using the Information

When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family. This information will often lead you to other records. For example:

  • Use the age to calculate an approximate birth date.
  • Use the birth date or age along with the residence or place of birth of the deceased to locate census, church, and land records.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • Death dates may lead to death certificates, mortuary, or burial records.
  • Compile the entries for every person who has the same surname as the deceased; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
  • Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have been seeking the pension.
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.

Unable to Find Your Ancestor?

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for alias names, nicknames and abbreviated names.
  • Look for an index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.
  • Try alternative search methods such as only filling in the surname search box (or the given name search box) on the landing page leaving the other box empty and then click on search. This should return a list of everyone with that particular name. You could then browse the list for individuals that may be your ancestor.

For more information see the wiki article: Steps for research in United States Military Records.


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Contributions To This Article

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. Guidelines are available to help you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide. If you would like to get more involved join the WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

Citations for individual image records are available for this collection. Browse through images in this collection and click on the "Show Citation" box: United States War of 1812 Index to Pension Application Files, 1812-1910

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.

Citation for This Collection

The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.

"United States, War of 1812 Index to Pension Application Files, 1812-1910" Index and Images. <i>FamilySearch</i>. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing NARA microfilm publication M313. Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.

 

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  • This page was last modified on 4 September 2014, at 08:31.
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