A user needs a guest account on Fold3.com in order to access the War of 1812 Pension Files. Not every Pension File has been digitized yet, but they have them for the A to M surnames for most states. These are the actual pension file records, not just an index.
The process to find them is fairly simple:
1) On the Fold3.com home page, click on the "War of 1812" category link on the left-hand side of the screen, and the list of Publications for the War of 1812 category will open:
There are quite a few FREE collections in the War of 1812 category!
2) I chose the "War of 1812 Pension Files" and the list of states opened, and I chose Massachusetts. The list of surname letters for Massachusetts appeared and I chose "B." That opened the list of surnames beginning with B:
3) I chose the "Buck" surname, and the list of pension files for Buck appeared - there were two, Elisha Buck and Isaac Buck:
4) I clicked on the first image, and saw the first image of the file for Isaac Buck:
I can use the left and right arrows to navigate to the previous or next images. I can save the images to my hard drive.
From this file, I was able to obtain the marriage date and place for the marriage of Isaac Buck and Percy Stevens (I didn't know Percy's maiden name, either), the birth and death dates of Isaac, and more. This file has 26 images.
5) These War of 1812 pension files are being digitized and put online for free access through donations to the War of 1812 Pension Digitization Project - see /http://preservethepensions.org/. There are about 360,000 images already digitized, but that is only 50% of the task. If you donate $20, that will digitize about 40 pages, but Ancestry.com will match your donation and digitize 40 more pages.
If you have War of 1812 soldiers in your ancestry, this is an excellent opportunity to find their pension file if it exists, and to glean information about the soldier, his family, and his service.
I know of only one War of 1812 soldier in my ancestry - Amos Underhill in New York, so I have to wait until they get through the U surnames. I have found the Pension File for Isaac Lanfear of Jefferson County, New York, and have reviewed it, but did not see any information about my Devier J. Lamphear Smith in it.
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Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver
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