Thursday, June 14, 2012

War of 1812 Pension Application Files Indexed on

I was browsing through the list of Recently Added or Updated Databases on this morning, and noticed that there was an entry for the War of 1812 Pension Application Files Index, 1812-1815.  There are 81,265 entries in this database.

The last time I checked in the Ancestry Card Catalog, this record collection was not indexed - I wrote about it in Unindexed Databases on in May, 2009.

The information about this index says:

"This database contains an index to War of 1812 pension application files. Pensions were applied for and granted to War of 1812 veterans or their survivors.
"The application files indexed in this collection relate to claims of military service between 1812 and 1815. Most of the applications were filed as a result of acts instated in 1871 and 1878 (read more below). These acts made it possible for veterans and their survivors to receive pensions based on service alone. Earlier acts provided pensions only for service related deaths or disabilities.
"This index consists of the fronts of the envelopes containing the actual pension applications. These envelopes are arranged alphabetically according to surname of applicant. The amount of information shown on the front of the envelope varies. However, the following information is generally provided:
  • Name of veteran
  • Name of widow, if she applied
  • Pension claim or file number(s)
  • Service type or organization
"Some of the envelopes also contain personal identifying data about the veteran and/or widow. Some of the envelopes contain information written in the upper right-hand corner relating to bounty land applications."
I wanted to find the information in this index about Isaac Lanfear of Lorraine, Jefferson County, New York.  On the search screen for the database, I entered the surname:

The search results turned up three matches for that surname:

There were two matches for an Isaac Lanfear, so I clicked on one of them:

The index card for Isaac Lanfear, and his wife Rosannah, is:

The information on this card indicates that there are two applications:
*  W.O. 11,838
*  W.C. 27,857
The service information for Isaac Lanfear is:
*  Service: Capts. Gould & Wilcox's Co's, N.Y. Mil.
This index card was on:
*  National Archives Microfilm Publication M313, Roll 56.
With the pension file numbers, the actual War of 1812 pension application files can be ordered from the National Archives.  However, is digitizing these pension application files.  The records for surnames starting with A and B are available in the War of 1812 Pension Files.  Note that all War of 1812 files on are FREE through 30 June. 
Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

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