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

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United States War of 1812 Index to Pension Application Files, 1812-1910 .
This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
United States
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Flag of the United States of America
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Seal of the National Archives
Record Description
Record Type Index to Pension Applications
Record Group RG 15: Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, 1773-2007
Collection years 1812-1910
Microfilm Publication M313. Index to War of 1812 Pension Application Files.. 102 rolls.
Arrangement Alphabetically by name of veteran
National Archives Identifier 563315
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
National Archives and Records Administration

What is in the Collection?

Index to pension applications for service in the War of 1812. Most of the pension were granted based on two acts passed by Congress in 1871 and 1878. The files cover 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. The index is from National Archives microfilm publication M313 and is part of Record Group 15 Records of the Department of Veteran Affairs.

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for United States, War of 1812 Index to Pension Application Files, 1812-1910.

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.

Collection 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 Do I Search the Collection?

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 by name:
Fill in your ancestor’s name in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about those in the list to what you already know about your own ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person.

To browse by image:
To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒Select the “Film" category which takes you to the images

With either search 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.

For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line article FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.

What Do I Do Next?

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.

What if I Can't Find Who I'm Looking For?

  • 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.

How You Can Contribute

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.

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.

Citing this Collection

Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.

Collection Citation:

"United States, War of 1812 Index to Pension Application Files, 1812-1910"Database with Images. <i>FamilySearch</i>. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Citing NARA microfilm publication M313. Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.

Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):

The citation for a record is available with each record in this collection, at the bottom of the record screen. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for United States, War of 1812 Index to Pension Application Files, 1812-1910.

Image citation:

The image citation is available by clicking on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for United States, War of 1812 Index to Pension Application Files, 1812-1910.