Louisiana State Pension Applications, War of 1812 Records
Collection Time Period
These records pertain to service rendered 1812, 1814-1815 but were filed beginning in 1876 continuing to very early twentieth century.
These records cover only a small percentage of the resident population of Louisiana in the late nineteenth century, because of the requirements needed to obtain a pension for military service in this war.
The Louisiana State Legislative Assembly passed a law in 1876 granting pensions to certain residents of the State of Louisiana based on service in the War of 1812, 1814-1815. The pensioners would sue in their parish court to have their name placed on the pension list maintained by the auditor of the State of Louisiana. The pensioner was entitled to $144.00 annually. The pension was to be paid quarterly. Some of the requirements to receive the pension were as follows:
- Be a resident of the State of Louisiana during the War of 1812 and/or the siege at New Orleans in 1814-1815
- Honorably discharged from the Louisiana unit served in
- Be a current resident of the state
- Be at least seventy-five years old
Witnesses would be brought into court to testify that the requirements were met. They normally provided information regarding the name of the unit served in, commanding officers, length of service, and approximate age. The witnesses did not provide birthdates, only testimony that they believed or knew the person to be at least seventy-five. Widows could apply for the pension if all the criteria for the deceased soldier were met. The widow did not have to be seventy-five, only her deceased husband. Proof of marriage was apparently not required. Her testimony would indicate only that she was the widow of “the soldier’s name.”
Why This Collection Was Created
These court cases were used to grant pension rights to soldiers of the War of 1812 and/or the Battle of New Orleans, which occurred in December 1814 and January 1815. This was a state funded pension and not a federal pension. They consist of petitions to the court and the court proceedings proving eligibility. They are arranged in alphabetical order according to the applicant. Many veterans of the War of 1812 and 1815 were excluded from federal pensions granted in 1871 and 1878, due to their support of the Confederate cause during the Civil War.
The military service, residency and other facts that were established at the time of the trial proceeding are quite reliable, though there is still a chance of misinformation. The widow named in the petition would be the surviving spouse and not necessarily the mother of the soldiers’ children.
These records are court documents from the parish courts of the State of Louisiana.
How To Use The Collection
Use military pension records to establish military service, time period and place served. The Louisiana state pension records provide proof of residency within the state at the time of the war and at the time of petition. Use this information to search for information in other records.
Key genealogical facts found in most petitions are:
- Name of the soldier
- Given name(s) of widow
- Military service during the War of 1812 and the Battle of New Orleans, December 1814 January 1815
- Approximate age of the soldier and/or his widow
- Residency of the soldier or his widow
- Name of witnesses