Louisiana War of 1812 Pension Lists (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Louisiana War of 1812 Pension Lists
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Louisiana, United States
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Flag of Louisiana
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Location of Louisiana
Record Description
Record Type Louisiana War of 1812
Collection years 1812-1815
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites



What is in the Collection?

The collection consists of pension lists for years 1812-1815, recorded between 1873 - 1879. Some lists are arranged in alphabetical order by surname. Also included are lists of veterans and lists of claimants. These lists were maintained by the Auditor of the State of Louisiana.

These records pertain to service rendered in 1812, 1814-1815 but were filed beginning in 1873 continuing to approximately 1879.

To Browse this Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Louisiana War of 1812 Pension Lists.

General Information About this Collection

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 lists. 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 he 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.” 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.

These lists are arranged in alphabetical order according to the applicant. There are several types of lists in this collection, including pensions paid by the State Auditor and pensioners granted pensions under the various acts passed by the Louisiana State Legislative Assembly. Many veterans of the War of 1812 and 1815 were excluded from federal pensions granted in 1871. The act of 1878 abolished the requirement of loyalty 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 was the surviving spouse but not necessarily the mother of the soldier's children.

What Can These Records Tell Me?

Information found in most pension lists includes:

  • Name of soldier
  • Soldier's company and year of claim
  • Given name(s) of widow
  • Eligibility status
  • Amount to be paid each quarter
  • Date of pension payments
  • Ordering officer


Collection Content

Sample Image

How Do I Search the Collection?

Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

  • The name of the individual
  • The place where the soldier lived

View the Images

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:

  1. Select the Title
  2. Select the Image range which will take you to the images.

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.

For more tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line article FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.

What Do I Do Next?

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

  • Use these lists in conjunction with the War of 1812 pension applications. The Louisiana state pension records provide proof of residency within the state at the time of the war and at the time of petition.
  • Copy the citation below, in case you need to find this record again later.
  • Use the age or estimated birth date to find other church and vital records such as birth, baptism, marriage, and death records.
  • Use the information found in the record to find land, probate and immigration records.
  • Use the information found in the record to find additional family members in censuses. Witnesses were usually family members.
  • Repeat this process with additional family members found, to find more generations of the family.
  • Church Records were kept years before counties began keeping records. They are a good source for finding ancestors before 1900.

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

  • If your ancestor does not have a common name, collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you find possible relatives.
  • If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, then try searching records of a nearby town or county.
  • Try different spellings of your ancestor’s name.
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names. Try searching for these names as well.
  • Check the info box above for additional FamilySearch websites and related websites that may assist you in finding similar records.

Citing This Collection

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation
"Louisiana War of 1812 Pension Lists." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : 14 June 2016. State Archives, Baton Rouge.
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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