Tag Archives: Preserve the Pensions

Press Release: Conservation and Digitization Update

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

August 1, 2017



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.





Federation of Genealogical Societies


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



War of 1812 Books, Part Two

The introduction to our autographed book fundraiser as part of the FGS 2016 Conference in Springfield, Illinois continues! To learn more about this effort or the other books available, please click here.

Citizen Hamilton by Donald R. Hickey & Connie D. Clark (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2005)

A man of extraordinary talent and boundless energy, Alexander Hamilton left a remarkable legacy in America’s history. A member of George Washington’s staff during the American Revolution, a delegate to the Constitutional Convention, an author of the Federalist Papers, and the nation’s first secretary of the treasury, he played a seminal role in the nation’s founding.
In this elegant collection, Donald R. Hickey and Connie D. Clark bring together enlightening, important, and amusing selections from Hamilton’s speeches, published writings and personal letters. As we come to understand Hamilton’s thoughts on subjects as diverse as the Constitution, love, war, liberty and honor, we find that his words are often as applicable in our own time as they were in his.

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An autographed copy of “Citizen Hamilton” will be available at FGS 2016.

The Rockets’ Red Glare: An Illustrated History of the War of 1812
by Donald R. Hickey & Connie D. Clark (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011)

Offering readers an impressive array of images―some rarely before seen―and a crisp narrative, the book recounts the war’s main battles and campaigns, from William Hull’s ignominious surrender at Detroit in 1812 to Andrew Jackson’s spectacular victory at New Orleans in 1815. Learn about Oliver H. Perry’s remarkable victory on Lake Erie and the ensuing death of the great Shawnee leader Tecumseh. Witness the devastation on the Niagara Front as the balance of power shifted back and forth. Watch as Thomas Macdonough executes a masterstroke on Lake Champlain, winning a great naval battle and saving upper New York from occupation. Experience the demoralizing British raids in the Chesapeake that culminated in the burning of Washington, D.C., and the successful defense of Baltimore that inspired Francis Scott Key to pen “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The Rockets’ Red Glare recaptures in vivid detail not only the military history of the war but also its domestic and diplomatic history. Authors Donald R. Hickey and Connie D. Clark show why the fragile young republic, which was still a second-rate power, declared war against Great Britain, an established global power. They also explain why Americans remember the conflict as an unalloyed success, even though by the war’s end, the United States faced military uncertainty, financial stress, a punishing British naval blockade, and the intractable opposition of Federalists in New England.

The War of 1812: A Short History by Donald R. Hickey (University of Illinois Press, 2012)

This abridged edition of Donald R. Hickey’s comprehensive and authoritative The War of 1812: A Forgotten Conflict has been thoroughly revised for the 200th anniversary of the historic conflict. A myth-shattering study that will inform and entertain students and general readers alike, The War of 1812: A Short History explores the military, diplomatic, and domestic history of our second war with Great Britain, bringing the study up to date with recent scholarship on all aspects of the war, from the Gulf of Mexico to Canada. With new information on military operations, logistics, and the use and capabilities of weaponry, The War of 1812: A Short History explains how the war promoted American nationalism, reinforced the notion of manifest destiny, stimulated peacetime defense spending, and enhanced America’s reputation abroad. Hickey also concludes that the war sparked bloody conflicts between pro-war Republican and anti-war Federalist neighbors, dealt a crippling blow to the independence and treaty rights of American Indians, and solidified the United States’ antipathy toward the British. Ideal for students and history buffs, this special edition includes selected illustrations, maps, a chronology of major events during the war, and a list of suggested further reading.

Want to make an impact now? Donate today to help digitally preserve the War of 1812 Pension files held at the National Archives and Records Administration – and save this precious piece of American history!

We’ll be cheering Mike on in person in just one week!

Here is Mike’s latest report on his efforts to run, bike, and swim 1812 miles in 2015! We hope to see many of you in Syracuse, New York, for the big finish!


We are in the final stretch of my march towards completing 1812 miles by swimming, biking, or running for the Preserve the Pension project. As you might already know this my own personal triathlon campaign for the War of 1812 Preserve the Pension project! Remember the challenge is out there for one and all to complete the project with funds raised before I complete the 1812 miles combined, and the miles on bike as a stand-alone goal. The table below shows my progress to date:

Disciple/Month February March April May June July August Total
Swim Miles 1.25 .5 .5 2.5 3.0 1.0 .25 9
Bike Miles 80 240 168 112 308 121 166 1195
Run Miles 49 97.3 99.1 62.3 153 52.15 81.65 594.5
Grand Total Miles 130.25 337.8 267.6 176.8 464.0 174.15 247.9 1798.5

So with 1798.5 total miles completed as of Monday, 7 September 2015 that leaves 13.5 miles to completion of the combined challenge, and 617 miles for the completion of the additional stand-alone bike challenge.

On Saturday, the 8th of August I ran in Herriman Black Ridge Sprint Triathlon (1/4 mile swim, 15 mile bike, and 5k/3.1 mile run) in Herriman, Utah. I had a really fun and enjoyable race, finishing 3rd in my age group. It was huge surprise realizing that I had finished on the podium. It was the icing on the cake of all my training this year with triathlons. I have loved the opportunity to race in triathlons this past year, as it has reminded me of how the veterans of The War of 1812 endured the various hardships placed upon them both during and after the war. Many of the veterans had to fight proving that they were eligible to receive a pension. Yes, nothing has changed with government “red tape”!

Showing off my medals upon completion of the Herriman Black Ridge Sprint Triathlon.

Showing off my medals upon completion of the Herriman Black Ridge Sprint Triathlon.

On Saturday, 15 August, I was in Cape Town, South Africa for the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), and while there I decided to participate in a trail race. It was held in the Kogelberg Nature Reserve, Kleinmond, South Africa. It is a very beautiful National Park along the southern coast of the country. I ran the East Cape Winter Trail Series Long course (15K/9miles). My time was not that great due to the fact that I stopped several times to take some pictures. From the race course, you can view both the Indian and Atlanta oceans as they meet here. It reminded me of those War of 1812 sailors, and Marines who cruised the world looking for British shipping to disrupt. I wonder how many of them sailed these waters of the Cape of Good Hope, and then had to sail the rougher seas of gaining a pension in their later years.

The back half of the trail race overlooking the Indian and Atlantic oceans.

The back half of the trail race overlooking the Indian and Atlantic oceans.

So what is on the deck for September? On Saturday, the 12th I will be racing in the ARC half marathon in Syracuse, New York. It will be my first ever half marathon (13.1 miles). Then sometime between the 17th and the 19th of September I will complete the War of 1812 Triathlon challenge at the New York State Family History Conference/Federation of Genealogical Societies Regional Conference also in Syracuse, New York.

During the War of 1812, the veterans trained and fought hard often wondering if they would ever win, which they finally did. As I have raced, my goal was just to finish, but the couple of times that I ended up on the podium made all that training worthwhile.  As I have traveled, I have also wondered what those valiant veterans were enduring just to survive so that they would see their loved ones again. It was easy for me to return home with all the conveniences of modern day life. For me to return home from almost anywhere in the world only involved a couple of days of travel at the most, while those War of 1812 veterans had to endure days and months of tedious travel, often uncertain if they would ever see their loved ones again. Let’s not forget the War of 1812 veterans or their families.

So if you see me out and about in Syracuse, give me a big smile, honk of the horn, or just a simple shout-out, and I will return a big smile and a wave! But better yet, visit the Preserve the Pension Project website and contribute to a great cause.

THANK YOU and Semper Fi (Always Faithful)!