US War of 1812 Pension Records
Pensions were first granted to soldiers who were disabled while in the service and to heirs of soldiers who died during the war. The first pension acts based on service were not passed until 1871 and a second was passed in 1878.
To locate War of 1812 pension records follow these steps.
- War of 1812 Pension Application Index. (Free national index by the Indiana Society of the War of 1812). This index consists of links to surnames in alphabetical groups (not sorted by state). These links connect to the desired roll of the digital images (see step 2)
2. Digital images of the War of 1812 Pension Cards at Internet Archives. (Free ). These record cards may contain name of soldier and spouse, military unit, enlistment and discharge dates, bounty land warrant number, residency of soldier and widow, marriage date and place, and death of soldier and widow.
3. To access the actual pension file:
- a. Go to Fold3. Though this project is not complete, the entire pension file for those digitized is accessible. iArchives and the Federation of Genealogical Societies are responsible for this digitization project. (Free). The current digitization progress can be checked on the Fold3 website.
- b. Pension files not available in digital form may be ordered from the National Archives.
To Order Copies
Alternatively, National Archives' copies of military pension application files based on Federal (not State or Confederate) service between 1775 and 1903 (before World War I) can be ordered online, as well as through NATF Form 85.
Categories of War of 1812 pension files available using NATF Form 85:
- A complete Federal pre-Civil War military pension application based on Federal military service before 1861 (includes the Pension Documents Packet.)
- A partial Pension Document Packet that contains reproductions of eight documents containing genealogical information about the pension applicant, to the extent these documents are present in the file.
1883 Pension Roll
The 1883 Pension Roll is available online. On December 8, 1882, the U.S. Senate required the Secretary of Interior to submit a list of pensioners on the roll January 1, 1883. The Secretary of Interior submitted the completed list to the Senate on March 1, 1883. The 1883 Pension Roll was published that year in five volumes as "List of Pensioners on the Roll, January 1, 1883...". The majority of pensioners listed were from the Civil War. However, there were pensioners from other wars, including the War of 1812.
- Ancestry.com has an online index (subscription required)
Other Pension Related Records
- List of Widows receiving pensions, War of 1812
Includes Revolutionary War pensioners and invalid pensioners of War of 1812 under act of 1818.
Cyndi's List, 1820 Pension List for Revolutionary or Military Services January 20, 1820,The 1820 pension list is a report of the names, rank and line of every person placed on the pension list in pursuance of the act of the 18th March, 1818.
Index to War of 1812 on film or in print:
- Index to War of 1812 Pension Application Files. National Archives Microfilm Publication M313. (FHL films 0840431–500 and 0847501–32.) This index has the veteran’s name, widow’s name, rank, unit, dates of enlistment and discharge, application and certificate numbers, and bounty land warrant numbers.
- United States. War of 1812 Index to Pension Application Files. Available online at FamilySearch.
- White, Virgil D., comp. Index to War of 1812 Pension Files. Two Volumes. Waynesboro, Tennessee: National Historical Publishing, 1992. (FHL book 973 M22i.) Volume 2, pages 1888–2109, contains a cross-reference index to wives, widows, and other family members listed in the main index.
- White, Virgil D., transcriber. Index to Old Wars Pension Files, 1815-1926. Waynesboro, Tennessee : National Historical Publishing, c1993. (FHL book 973 M22wh.)
- Military Records: Pre-WWI Pension Applications (16 minute online video)
- 2 FamilySearch Research Classes Online, 2010
- United States. Pension Bureau. List of Pensioners on the Roll January 1, 1883: giving the name of each pensioner, the cause for which pensioned, the post-office address, the rate of pension per month, and the date of original allowance, as called for by Senate resolution of December 8, 1882, Volume One. Washington, Government Printing Office, 1883.