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
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
United States
United States flag.png
Flag of the United States of America
NARA seal300.jpg
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
Archive
National Archives and Records Administration


What is in This 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.

What Can These Records Tell Me?

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. You will need to view the image to see all of the information on the pension index card.

Collection Content

Sample Image

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.

How Do I Search This Collection?

To begin your search it is helpful to know:

  • The full name of the soldier
  • The birth date and birth place of the soldier
  • The name of the soldier's widow

Search the Index

Search by name by visiting the Collection Page.
  1. Fill in the search boxes on the Collection Page with the information you have
  2. Click Search to show possible matches


How Do I Analyze the Results?

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next ?

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?

  • 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
  • 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

I Can't Find the Person I'm Looking For, What Now?

  • 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
  • Consult the United States Record Finder to find other 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 and Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : 14 June 2016. Citing NARA microfilm publication M313. Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.

Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation is found below the record.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.

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