Video Release: David Rencher on The Lives of Individuals

We continue our October series releasing the new Preserve the Pensions promotional videos. Featuring D. Joshua Taylor, David Rencher and Curt Witcher, each video offers a unique take on the importance of digitizing the War of 1812 Pension Application files.

This week: David Rencher, Federation of Genealogical Societies Secretary and Chief Genealogical Officer of FamilySearch.org, shares the incredible value these pension records have in detailing the lives of individuals.

Individual Lives Remembered

Certainly historians value these documents for the details they provide about officers in the command structure and battles their units were involved in. But the ability of these documents to provide the details of an individual soldier’s life cannot be overstated. Take a moment to browse the free images associated with Joshua Albertson mentioned in the video.

http://www.fold3.com/image/271332085/

The file consists of 47 images. A few of the genealogically significant elements gleaned in just three of those images:

  • Age 90 in 1875
  • Wife’s maiden name of Catherine Crockett
  • Misidentified on the rolls as Joshua Alerd
  • He did not serve in the Civil War
  • He enlisted at Fort St. Stephens, near the Tombigbee River, Alabama but he is requesting a pension in Washington County, Indiana

Not Just Soldiers

If Horace Heffren, Townsend Culshaw or John H Calloway of Washington County, Indiana are among your relatives, you’ll find them in the pension files too! This pension application files tells us these gentlemen are all alive as of 27 November 1875. They share a common associate in Joshua Albertson.

The Power of Video

The pensions are a powerful tool in the genealogist’s and historian’s toolbox. Video is an equally powerful tool in the communications toolbox. It allows us to distill a topic we could spend hours talking about down to its essential elements within a compelling narrative. These videos offer us the opportunity to convey our cause to people who may never have heard of the project in a way sure to get, and hold, their attention.

We hope you enjoy the videos yourself and will help us share them far and wide. So we may achieve our goal of preserving this incredible collection and providing to you free now, free forever. You can see all four at our YouTube Channel:

War of 1812 Preserve the Pension

Consider subscribing if you visit. We’ll be adding additional video content on our activities at conferences, War of 1812 events and Google Hangouts On Air.

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Video Release: D. Joshua Taylor on Societies

We here at Preserve the Pensions couldn’t be more excited for the release of our promotional videos. Featuring D. Joshua Taylor, David Rencher and Curt Witcher, each video offers a unique take on the importance of digitizing the War of 1812 Pension Application files.

It is our fondest hope that you all will share these videos not just on your social streams, but at your gatherings as well. Organizations of all types – be they genealogical, historical, military or educational – can help us spread the word, raise funds and complete this grand task. Sharing the important message of our mission; to save these precious original documents, is made easier with the power of video, and your participation matters.

The National Archives reports that these pension files are some of the most requested by researchers, which means that they are handled often. Raising the funds to digitize the pension files means that these will no longer have to be pulled from shelves; and the original documents will ultimately last longer and be preserved in a way that can be shared for generations to come.

This week: Josh Taylor, President of Federation of Genealogical Societies, explains how societies of all stripes can help this community project meet it’s goal to preserve this amazing record collection for generations to come.

Each Wednesday in October we will share with you here one of four videos available for use at your events. But if you just cannot wait to see them all, you’ll find them at our new YouTube Channel:

War of 1812 Preserve the Pension

Consider subscribing if you visit. We’ll be adding additional video content on our activities at conferences, War of 1812 events and Google Hangouts On Air.

Thanks for watching. We can’t wait to hear what you think. But more importantly, we can’t wait to hear where you plan to share these videos.

PS – Have your own War of 1812 related YouTube Channel? Let us know in the comments section so we can subscribe to your channel as well.

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Thank You Montana!

Preserve the Pensions is proud to share with you a Society Matching Campaign success story:

MSGSLogo

The Montana State Genealogical Society held its 25th Anniversary Conference in Helena last weekend. The 2 day event featured speakers Curt B. Witcher and David W. Rencher and 140 participants. An umbrella society for the 18 local societies of the state, representatives of 16 attended this year’s conference. This is an excellent opportunity for all corners of the state to meet and learn from both our speakers and from each other. Time is given at the lunches for local activity reports for updates on indexing projects, possible program ideas, and new features of local websites.

The MSGS Board felt this was an excellent opportunity to increase awareness of the importance of the Preserve the Pensions campaign and agreed to match up to $500.00 in contributions given by the end of the Conference.   During the opening session the audience was asked if they enjoyed searching for original records on the internet for free and then who had ancestors in the US by 1812. After outlining the goals of the Preserve the Pension project, it was emphasized that this would offer free access to any name in the pension record including the invaluable witness testimonies which often give personal information on the informant as well. Only with digitization will these names emerge and increase the importance of these records far beyond just the family of the pensioner.   Subtle reminders by both Curt and David periodically through their sessions also helped to keep the project fresh in attendees minds.

Response was tremendous, and in just the two days we had gathered $1201! With the MSGS matching fund, the total contribution of $1701 was presented to Curt Witcher at the close of our Conference. With the matching funds of FGS and Ancestry, I am so proud that Montana embraced the importance of these records and generated $6,804 for this essential project! I encourage all societies to continue to make their members aware of the value of this project and use every opportunity to raise funds for its support.

Shawna Valentine, President
Montana State Genealogical Society

Preserve the Pensions, War of 1812, Society Matching Campaign

Shawna Valentine, President MSGS presents donation to Curt B. Witcher

Societies, and organizations of all types, participating in matching campaigns are essential to achieving our fundraising goal to preserve the War of 1812 pensions. They increase awareness of the project and take advantage of matching funds to compound the value of donations received. If your society would like to consider hosting a matching campaign, or if you’d like information on existing matching campaigns to forward your donations, please feel free to contact us at 1812@fgs.org.

Our thanks go out to Montana State Genealogical Society for hosting a Society Matching Campaign and to their membership for such a generous giving.

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