US War of 1812 Pension Records

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How to Find the Records[edit | edit source]

Online Resources[edit | edit source]

Index[edit | edit source]

Online Copies of Pension Records[edit | edit source]

A large portion of pension records are digitized and online:

Order Copies from National Archives[edit | edit source]

Copies of military pension application files can be obtained three ways from the National Archives (NARA):

  • Ordered online from NARA
  • Ordered by mail using the NATF Form 86.
  • Visiting the National Archives Building in Washington, D.C. in person and request to see the original compiled military service records.

Pension Application Records[edit | edit source]

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. 

The files may contain any of the following information:

  • Personal account of war experiences
  • Reasons why an individual joined the war effort
  • Company, rank, duties
  • Dates served
  • Companions with whom served
  • Officers under whom served
  • Depositions from neighbors and friends authenticating the testimony of an individual or affirming his character
  • Age at time of enlistment or time of filing application
  • Residence(s) since the war
  • Wife or widow's information including the death date of the veteran
  • Date of marriage (especially if widow filed for pension)
  • Dates of birth and names of children
  • Pertinent medical information and/or physicians' statements
  • Supporting documents
  • Signature of the veteran


Index to Pension Application Records[edit | edit source]

These index record cards may contain:

  • Name of soldier and spouse
  • Military unit
  • Enlistment and discharge dates

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.

Other War of 1812 Pension Records Indexes[edit | edit source]

Books[edit | edit source]

  • Index to War of 1812 Pension Application Files . Searcheable Family History Library films 840431–500. This lists the soldier's name and often the name of his wife. Also locatable at 847501–32; Worldcat
  • United States Veterans Administration. Index to War of 1812 Pension Application Files. (Washington, DC: National Archives, 1960). This index may have name of soldier, dates of enlistment and discharge, pension and bounty land numbers, residence of soldier or widow, maiden name of widow, date and place of marriage, date and death place of soldier, date of death of widow. National Archives Microfilm Publication M313. On 102 FHL films beginning with FHL film 840431
  • White, Virgil D., transcriber. Index to War of 1812 Pension Files. Two volumes.(Waynesboro, Tennessee, National Historical Publishing Company, 1992). This index is arranged alphabetically. Applications are based on service between 1812 and 1815. Also listed in the index are the Bounty Land Warrants for which no pension application was made. There is a cross-reference to the wives, widows and other family members. Transcribed from the National Archives microfilms. FHL book 973 M22i 1992
  • White, Virgil D., transcriber. Index to Old Wars Pension Files, 1815-1926. (Waynesboro, Tennessee: National Historical Publishing, c1993). FHL book 973 M22wh; Worldcat.
  • Bell, Annie W. B. Major index to pension list of the War of 1812. (FHL book 973 M24); (Worldcat)

Other Pension Indexes[edit | edit source]

Discharge Certificates[edit | edit source]

Society Records[edit | edit source]

  • 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).


See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]