Tuesday, March 23, 2010

War of 1812 Pensions - Help FGS Preserve Them!

The Federation of Genealogical Societies, the National Archives, and the genealogical community have started a project to digitize the War of 1812 pension files—a fitting beginning to the bicentennial commemoration of this important war. Many know how information-rich military pension files can be, with comrades and family members providing service, family, and personal data. A sample of a War of 1812 widow's pension file can be viewed on an FGS associate member website.

With 7.2 million images in 180,000 files, there is much digitization to do. A donation of $25 will digitize 50 images—a donation of $500 will digitize 1000 images.

A Tribute to Marsha Hoffman Rising

As a past president of the Federation, Marsha Hoffman Rising had long supported the preservation of these documents. When informed of the pension digitization project, she remarked on how helpful the pensions had been when she was compiling her book, Opening the Ozarks: First Families of Southwest Missouri (4 volumes published by the American Society of Genealogists). The information in the pension and bounty land files helped her add much family detail and identify places of origin for the settlers.

Friends and colleagues have established a special category of contributions to Preserve the Pensions Fund, titled A Tribute to Marsha Hoffman Rising. Donations received in Marsha's name will go towards making these records available online for interested researchers. The names of donors will appear in FORUM magazine and a notice will be sent to Marsha's family.

To donate to the fund, please go to this page and click the green Donate Now button.

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