Category Archives: War of 1812

Stories about the War of 1812 including important battles, dates and people who helped fight America’s Second Revolution.

A Song About the Song: O Say Can You See?

Our ancestors enjoyed music in their lives as much for education as for entertainment.  Francis Scott Key’s immortal poem about the Battle of Baltimore, set to melody, was the musical rallying cry that built morale and spread the news of the Battle of Baltimore across the nation with lightning speed.  “The Star Spangled Banner” is as moving now as it was then.

Today, Jonathan Jensen shows us that music still fills that role.  Jensen is a bassist for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, but also enjoys folk music and composing.  He brings us a delightful story-telling folk song that tells the story of the battle and Francis Scott Key’s participation which inspired our national anthem.    His catchy tune, pleasant voice, and the beautiful images in this video put us in the mood to take a few minutes to again consider the significance of our national anthem and the impact of the War of 1812 on our current freedoms.

 

 

Many thanks to Jonathan Jensen for sharing his talent and inspiration with us.  Share it with your friends, and while you’re at it, you can take a peek into the War of 1812 Pensions being digitized right now and available to view for free at fold3.com.  Where do you think your ancestor was the first time he or she heard “The Star Spangled Banner”?  You may not learn that in the pensions but there is so much you could learn about your patriot ancestors and their part in protecting our nation.

 

 

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.

 

 

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.