Category Archives: Records Preservation

Press Release: Conservation and Digitization Update

The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) published this press release earlier today.


August 1, 2017

PRESERVE THE PENSIONS ANNOUNCES RESUMPTION OF DOCUMENT

CONSERVATION AT NATIONAL ARCHIVES, DIGITIZATION SOON TO FOLLOW

Austin, Texas  – The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) is pleased to announce National Archives staff have recently resumed document conservation of the War of 1812 Pension files covering surnames M(Moore)-Q. Document conservation is the essential first step in digitizing these files. Our digitization partner, Ancestry.com, has scheduled image capture of these newly conserved documents to begin the second week of September 2017. As capture resumes, new images will be added to Fold3.com on a rolling basis. The Federation and the dedicated volunteers of the Preserve the Pensions project have worked tirelessly for well over a year to negotiate a resolution to the work stoppage. This portion of the project plan is expected to be completed by third quarter 2018.

The War of 1812 pensions are among the most frequently requested set of materials within the holdings of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), yet had never been microfilmed or digitized. Through a fundraising effort unprecedented in the genealogical community, more than 4,000 individuals, 115 genealogical and lineage societies, and industry leaders such as FamilySearch helped FGS secure the funds, matched by Ancestry.com, to preserve and share this invaluable genealogical resource. The images already captured, as well as those soon to be, are hosted at Fold3.com for free, forever.

“We are grateful to our partners Ancestry.com and NARA for their support and willingness to continue working with us towards this successful outcome. We appreciate their recognition of the unique nature of this project and the community who worked so hard to fund it.” – Rorey Cathcart, FGS President

The Federation is committed to seeing the entire collection conserved, digitized and freely online at the earliest possible date. We will continue work with our partners to secure a timeline for the remaining portion of the War of 1812 Pension files.

About the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS)

The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) was founded in 1976 and represents genealogical, historical, and lineage organizations throughout the United States. The Federation empowers the genealogical community through its annual conference, publications (including FGS FORUM) and projects. The Federation was the driving force behind the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors project alongside the National Parks Service and since 2010 has been actively involved in Preserve the Pensions, an effort to raise more than $3 million to digitize and make freely available the pension files from the War of 1812. To learn more visit http://www.fgs.org.

 

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Contact:       

 

Federation of Genealogical Societies

1812@fgs.org


PO Box 200940
Austin, TX 78720-0940
phone: +1 (888) 347-1500

 

 

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.

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.