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.
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:
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.