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
United States, War of 1812 Index to Pension Application Files, 1812-1910. and Description of database.FamilySearch (Free). Digital images of 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. Also available through Indiana Society of War of 1812 (Free) and at Ancestry.com ($).
To access the actual pension file
- 1. 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.
- 2. Go to National Archives for Pension files not currently available in digital form.
To Order Copies from National Archives
National Archives' copies of military pension application files based on Federal (not State) service between 1775 and 1903 (before World War I) can be ordered by mail (NATF Form 85) or ordered online.
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.
Other Related Records
- The Society of the War of 1812 in the State of Indiana. War of 1812 Pension Application Index. (Free). The index consists of links to alphabetical groupings of surnames (which includes all states but is not sorted by state) that connect to digital images of Pension Cards at Internet Archives. (Free). Further indexing by name of soldier is in progress. Individual 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. (Accessed 10 June 2012).
- List of Widows receiving pensions, War of 1812
- Fold3, War of 1812 Pension Files ($)
- United States Ledgers of payments, 1818-1872, to U.S. pensioners, under Acts of 1818 through 1858, from records of the office of the Third Auditor of the Treasury 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.
- Cyndi's List, 1840 Census of Pensioners for Revolutionary or Military Services
June 1, 1840, 1840 Census of Pensioners for Revolutionary and Military Service as returned under the act for taking the sixth census.
Index to War of 1812 Pension Records 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.
- White, Virgil D., transcriber. Index to War of 1812 Pension Files. (Waynesboro, Tennessee, National Historical Publishing Company, 1992). Volume 2, pages 1888–2109, contains a cross-reference index to wives, widows, and other family members listed in the main index. Transcribed from the National Archives microfilms. FHL book 973 M22i 2 vols.
- 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.