Video Release: Curt Witcher, No Document Left Behind

We have already released two videos in the month of October, and today we release another. The new Preserve the Pensions promotional videos, featuring D. Joshua Taylor, David Rencher, and Curt Witcher, offer a unique take on the importance of digitizing the War of 1812 Pensions Application files.

The third video on our series features Curt Witcher, MLS, FUGA, IGSF. Curt is the Genealogy Center Manager and Senior Manager of Special Collections for the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He also serves as a Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) Director.

The War of 1812 Pension files can only be found on paper, they have never been microfilmed, never been digitized. Until now. These pension packets can include dozens, sometimes hundreds, of documents that likely cannot be found anywhere else, and they are in urgent need of preservation. Just as the Marines say today, “no man left behind,” we at Preserve the Pensions say, “no document left behind!”

 

 “We all share a common interest of preserving these valuable historical documents, and making them accessible for generations to come.” ~ Curt Witcher

Whether you are a historian, genealogist, military enthusiast, educator, or interested in these documents in another way, we all have one thing in common: this is our history. Every citizen of the United States shares this story. Every citizen has the ability to play a part in preserving these pieces for all future generations.

The Power of Video

The pensions are a powerful tool in the genealogists’s and historian’s toolboox. 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:

Preserve the Pensions YouTube

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: 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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