Monthly Archives: October 2015

Trouble with Surname Spellings? Tips for searching multiple names in the War of 1812 Pensions at!

Like many websites, to search for your ancestor properly, you need to change the surname spelling for every search you make. Fold3 is one of those, but there is a work-around you may not be aware of. When searching for a name with multiple spellings, try this trick. For this example, we will be using the surname “Clements.”

  • At Fold3, click on the tab “War of 1812” under the heading “Browse US Military Records by War.” When you do, a box will show up to the right about War of 1812 records available in the site. Now click on the dark blue words “Browse all War of 1812 Titles.”
  • Now your screen will show two columns. Go to the second column titled “Publication,” and scroll down to click on “War of 1812 Pension Files.”
War of 1812, military pension, pension files, genealogy, family history, ancestry, history, surname, tricks, research, researching, spelling, alterations, variations,

Layout on

  • A new column will show up on the right side, titles “State Organization.” Click on the state where your ancestor served. For this example, we will use Maryland.
  • The next column that now shows on the right is “Surname Starts With.” Here we click “C” for Clements.
  • Now another column shows to the right alongside the surname list. If we scroll through those names we find three surname spellings in the Maryland records only that may be variants of the Clements name: Clemans, Clements, Clemmer. Clicking on each of these will give the name of the soldiers who applied for pensions (or pensions applied for by widows under their husbands’ names).
genealogy, War of 1812, researching, surnames,, Fold3, pension files, pension records, widows pensions, alternate, spelling, family history, history

Surname searching on

Using this search technique, you may find surname spellings for your ancestor that you had not considered.  Don’t forget to search for your ancestor’s name (with each possible spelling) in the regular search – he may be listed in someone else’s pension, too.

Happy Researching!

Remember that records are made available online – FREE forever – by donations from people like you. Help us preserve the War of 1812 pension files and make a donation today!



Major Contribution by the American Society of Genealogists

The American Society of Genealogists (ASG) made a significant donation to the Preserve the Pensions project in the amount of $5,000. This generous gift was matched by the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) and matched again by generating a $20,000 donation that will digitize 44,445 images of the pension files.

Marsha Hoffman Rising

Marsha Hoffman Rising

The donation was made in tribute to ASG Fellow and past president Marsha Hoffman Rising who died on 17 February 2010 after a thirteen and a half year battle with ovarian cancer. She was born on 19 August 1945 in Kansas City, Missouri, to Paul and Zella (Deschner) Hoffman.



Marsha’s interest in genealogy led her to become a Certified Genealogist. In that capacity she became the President of the Genealogical Speakers Guild, the President of the Federation of Genealogical Societies, a Fellow and President of the American Society of Genealogists, the Vice-President of the National Genealogical Society and a Trustee of both the New England Historic Genealogical Society and the Association of Professional Genealogists. She published several books, the most popular of which was The Family Tree Problem Solver. She also published several genealogical references, the magnum opus being Opening the Ozarks: The First Families in Southwest Missouri.

FGS created the special tribute category for the Preserve the Pensions project to honor Marsha’s years of service to the genealogical community, its professionalism and her years of service and leadership in FGS.

If you would like to make a donation in honor of the memory of Marsha Hoffman Rising, you may do so at the Preserve the Pensions website.

FGS thanks the members of ASG for their generous donation and for choosing to support the Preserve the Pensions project and for their interest and support in helping to preserve the images the War of 1812 pension records housed in the National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.

Source of biographical information: Marsha Hoffman Rising Homepage,



Where do we stand now?

We are at that point in the War of 1812 Preserve the Pensions campaign. That point where things start to drag, where it seems like we’ve been asking for your support for forever.

So we wanted to give you an idea of where we stand. How much we have raised so far, and how much we have to go. Certainly this effort is not over, but we have much to celebrate! As a community, we have done great things to preserve these incredibly important historic documents.

As of September 28, we have raised 57% of the necessary funds to save all of the War of 1812 pension files!

Please share this image with your community – your society, your corporate fundraising program, your friends, associaties and neighbors (oh, yes! Your very own FAN – thanks Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG!). Share with your local school district – as teachers are eager to utilize this material. Share with the area community college and university, share with your public library. The more attention we can get on this program, the easier it will be to achieve.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us directly via Facebook, Twitter, or email.


genealogy, history, War of 1812, fundraising, crowdsourcing, preservation, effort, contribution, donation, free,, ancestry, military, soldier, sailor,

September 2015: Current Status

Want to make a difference now? Donate today.