Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A War of 1812 Pension and 1940 Census Mashup!

[Editor's Note: this post originally appeared at the 1940 Census Community Project blog at]

Recently the news featured the death of one of the last remaining persons still receiving a Civil War Pension: Stella Mae Case died on June 10, 2012 at the age of 94 and was still collecting a pension based on her father John Harwood Pierce’s service.  To see how many other pensions are still being paid here is a list of Veterans of U.S. Wars and Their Dependents.

Did you know that the last person receiving a War of 1812 pension was still living as late as 1946 and can be found in the 1940 census?

The Last Survivors of the War of 1812

Hiram Cronk, the last veteran of the War of 1812, died in 1905 at the age of 105 and enrolled in the United States Army at age 14. You can click below to view a video clip of his funeral which was a major event in New York City.

And the last widow of a War of 1812 veteran - Lydia Kimble Graham - died in West Virginia in 1936 at the age of 97.

Esther Hill Morgan – Last War of 1812 Pensioner – Still Living in 1946

News articles in 1946 mentioned the fact that a War of 1812 pension was still being paid:
It was 130 years ago that John Hill, private in Clark and McCumber's Companies, New York Militia, came home from the war and hung up his trusty rifle. 
A daughter, Esther Ann Hill Morgan, 88, Independence, Ore., still receives a $20-a-month pension from the Federal Government, under a special congressional act, passed in 1927. 
She is the only person receiving a pension on account of service of a soldier in the war of 1812.
Source: Pension Still Paid for War of 1812,  The Binghamton Press, Wednesday, January 16, 1946 via Fulton History.

Morgan died less than two months after the publication of the article, on March 13, 1946, in Dallas, Polk County, Oregon. See Find-A-Grave Memorial 61212052 for Esther Ann Hill Morgan, 1857 – 1946. View Esther Ann Hill Morgan in the 1940 Census here on line 35:

1940 Census page for Esther Hill Morgan, last War of 1812 Pension recipient
Click to enlarge

Source citation: 1940 U.S. census, Polk County, Oregon, Independece City, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 27-23, sheet 2A, dwelling (blank), household no. 32, Esther Ann Morgan and family; digital image, ( accessed 20 June 2012); citing National Archive microfilm publication T627, roll 3378).

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Oregon is just one of 24 states already indexed in the 1940 Census (See for an interactive map of states indexed and which states still need to be indexed).  You can help make it easier for others to find their ancestors and family members in the 1940 Census by becoming a volunteer indexer with the 1940 US Census Community project – sign up here.

And don’t forget that the War of 1812 Pension records are a vital source for genealogy and family history research in dire need of preservation! You can do your part by making a donation of any size to the Preserve the Pensions project ( today. In fact, if you use this link to donate through the Illinois State Genealogical Society, you can have your donation matched and help digitize even more War of 1812 Pension records!  These records – some are now available at Fold3 ( – will be kept free and available to the public with your help!

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