Tag Archives: progress

Fundraising in March

We’re looking forward to an incredibly successful 2016 for the War of 1812 Preserve the Pensions fundraising campaign, and we wanted to share with you where those donations are coming from!

We have two maps to share – the first represents those states from which we received individual contributions. The second will show states from which we received donations through a society program or match campaign.


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Contributions from individual donors, March 2016.

Way to go California! 23 total donations from the state!


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Contributions from Societies, March, 2016.


Take a moment to compare to previous months – you can see we had a significant increase in donations from across the country. Want to see the maps side-by-side? Check out our image gallery on Facebook.

Don’t see your state represented? Don’t wait – set up your automatic monthly donation today, and help us digitally preserve the War of 1812 pension files forever – and make them freely available to all! Can we obtain a donation from every state in the Union by year’s end? We would love to see a rainbow of color across the nation!

What has Mike been up to?

Many of you are following along on Mike Hall’s mission to run, bike, and swim 1812 miles this year as a fundraiser and awareness effort for the War of 1812 Preserve the Pensions project. You can follow his progress not just on our blog, but also on that of Judy G. Russell, CG, The Legal Genealogist, and supporter of this worthy cause!

Don’t forget to follow along in our July “show and tell” — sharing an image a day from these pension files in our Facebook group so you can exactly what your money is helping to preserve.

Here is Mike’s June update!

1812 Miles report for June 2015

By Michael J. Hall

In my march towards accomplishing my challenge to complete 1812 miles by swimming, biking, or running, I was able to add a few more miles in my best month to date. You might call 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 Total
Swim Miles 1.25 .5 .5 2.5 3.0 7.75
Bike Miles 80 240 168 112 308 908
Run Miles 49 97.3 99.1 62.3 153 460.7
Grand Total Miles 130.25 337.8 267.6 176.8 464.0 1376.45

So with 1376.45 total miles completed as of Saturday, 27 June 2015 that leaves 435.55 miles to completion of the combined challenge, and 904 miles for the completion of the additional stand-alone bike challenge.

On Friday and Saturday, 19-20 2015 I ran as part of a relay team in the Ragnar Wasatch Back Relay race. There were 12 runners on our team (Sneakers), with each of us taking 3 legs of the race. My first leg was about 8 miles straight uphill, my second was a flat 2.1 miles at 0300 hours in the morning, and my last leg was 4.5 miles straight downhill. The total length of the race was 194 miles from Logan to Midway Utah over at least three mountain passes. It was a very enjoyable and fun time with everyone working as a team to accomplish the goal. Again, my thoughts went out to those brave veterans of The War of 1812 who had to work as a team to transverse the various harsh terrain of our fledgling nation. Without that spirit of cooperation, they could not have accomplished what they did.

We have a chance to show that same spirit of cooperation and teamwork by contributing to the Preserve the Pension Project. Let us not give up until we meet the goal of finishing the project.

Mike Hall, Ragnar Wasatch Back Relay

Mike Hall, Ragnar Wasatch Back Relay

In this photo, I am at the start of my first leg (the 8 mile straight uphill) of the Ragnar Wasatch Back Relay.

So what is on the deck for July? July will start with a 10K race at the Freedom Festival in Provo, Utah on July 4th. Later, on the 25th of the month, I will be participating in the Spudman Olympic Triathlon in Burley, Idaho. It will start with a very cold one mile swim down the Snake River, followed by a 25 mile bike, and ending in a 10K run. So like the veterans of The War of 1812, I’ll be training, and honing my skills for the challenges that I will face. So if you see me out and about, 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 contributing to a great cause.

One final note, I have completed painting limited edition War of 1812 Irregular Militia, and Native Americans that fought on the side of the United States. With a one hundred dollar contribution, plus just a little bit more for postage, you can have one. There are four sailors, and 12 Native Americans left. They will be mailed to the first 16 individuals that contribute the required amount to the Preserve the Pensions Project. Until the end of next month – THANK YOU and Semper Fi (Always Faithful)!

Ragnar Team Photo:

Mike Hall and RAGNAR team

Mike Hall and RAGNAR team

Read more about Mike’s challenge – for himself and for all of us – on this blog post.

If you have a fundraising idea for the War of 1812 Preserve the Pensions, and would like to be featured on our blog, please contact our Social Media Chair by emailing 1812@fgs.org.



War of 1812 Preserve the Pensions Project Ahead of Schedule

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[Editor’s NotePreserve the Pensions chair David E. Rencher gives a progress report on the digitization and fundraising efforts involved with preserving and digitizing the War of 1812 Pension File records at the National Archives.]

The Federation of Genealogical Societies is leading the effort to raise the money needed to digitize the Pension and Bounty Land files of the War of 1812. To date, nearly one-third of the money needed has been raised through the generous contributions of many individuals, society board matching gifts, non-profit and corporate sponsors. Midway through 2012, the project was able to add a second camera to accelerate the image capture.

The Federation is working in partnership with the National Archives, the Fold3 website, Ancestry.com, and FamilySearch to make these images available. Ancestry.com has generously agreed to match all donations with an equivalent number of images for each dollar. These records were a high priority project for the National Archives since they are one of most requested documents by researchers. Prior to this project, users were required to either examine the files onsite at Archives I in Washington, DC or apply for a photocopy of the file. Each photocopy request costs a researcher fifty-five dollars. Now, these images will be available for free to researchers throughout the world.

Digital camera operators at the National Archives are producing images of the War of 1812 Pension and Bounty Land files at a pace faster than anticipated. The files are stored in 3,619 archival boxes and in October 2012, the digital camera operators imaged an average of 10 boxes per week, 3 boxes faster than originally projected. November saw even greater gains in production with their image capture rate increasing to an average of 13 boxes per week. To date, they have imaged 580 boxes, or roughly 16%.

These documents have already been prepared for digital camera image capture by the National Archives staff and volunteers who painstakingly unfolded, flattened, and filed the individual pensions. This preparatory work is required prior to any project and actually takes longer than the camera work itself. This work has directly led to the success of the camera operators being able to increase their overall productivity.

The already imaged documents are freely available on the Fold3 website at: http://go.fold3.com/warof1812/. The files are alphabetically arranged in the National Archives and the project started with the letter “A” and the work is systematically moving through to the end. The files are searchable by the name of the pensioner. The software available on Fold3 allows researchers to add value to the indexes by identifying other names within the pensions, indexing and submitting those names to the searchable database. This “indexing on the fly” software provides a wealth of additional data for researchers. Many of the files contain testimony by members of the unit of the pensioner stating that they had first-hand knowledge that the pensioner served in areas or battles of the War of 1812.

In addition to vital information about the pensioner, the files often contain marriage information, record of service, and occasionally Bible pages. Many researchers often overlook the wide array of valuable information in these files because they don’t believe they have a direct line ancestor that fought in the war. An important strategy to researching in these pension files is to investigate the lists of members of the unit in which the pensioner served and to read the files of these associates. With the files going online, this research will become much easier.

To learn more about the project or to donate to the capture of these images and making them freely available, go to www.preservethepensions.org . Each dollar donated to the project preserves two images. Ancestry.com has generously agreed to match all donations dollar-for-dollar, so in fact, each dollar preserves four images. Please add your contribution of $25, $45, $100, $250 or $500 today!