Records of the War of 1812

Genealogists are often on the forefront of efforts to preserve historical records. For example, over the past few years the Federation of Genealogical Societies has been actively fund-raising for the digitization of pension records from the War of 1812. The Federation put out another news release  this week announcing the creation of a new society to promote the preservation of records and reward contributors: The Society of Preservation Patriots.

Why the emphasis on the War of 1812? Although best known for inspiring one of the nation’s most famous patriotic songs, it was this war that helped establish the credibility of  the young United States. The pension record digitization effort will create 7.2 million images from the 180,000 pensions of those who served. These records are among the most requested documents at the National Archives.

The Newberry has a large collection of materials that may also be of interest to genealogists with ancestors involved in this conflict. Consult the War of 1812 Military Research bibliography for a partial list of resources. And for more general background, see the Newberry digital exhibition on the War.

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