Tag Archives: Research

Accessing War of 1812 Pension Records

You’re following us here at Preserve the Pensions. You’ve signed up for our email newsletter. You’ve helped to spread the word with your tweets, pins, posts and likes across social media. Maybe you’ve even donated online or at one of our events. But have you actually looked at the fruits of all your hard work? Read on to learn how to access the collection, use features unique to Fold3 and search effectively.

View the Pensions at Fold3.com:  FREE

Our partners at Fold3 have a lovely page set up just for War of 1812 Pension Applications at http://go.fold3.com/1812pensions/ with it’s own search bar and browse button. This is your best access point to the collection if you are not a subscribing member of Fold3.

But what about those times when your working away from home or on a different computer and don’t have your favorite places or bookmarks? You can still access this collection easily at Fold3 with a few simple steps.

From the home page, about halfway down on the left, you’ll have the ability to select the “War of 1812″ record group.

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Search for a specific military engagement.

But don’t jump the gun! If you search for your ancestor here, Fold3 will look for that name across all record groups. Even if you select “War of 1812″ from within the search returns you’ll still be directed to a “Free Trial” sign up page. Instead, scroll down just a little farther.  You’ll be able to directly select the “War of 1812 Pensions” record group.

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Free Forever on Fold3.com

Now here’s what you came for: FREE. If you are after a specific ancestor, feel free to jump right in with a name search. Personally, I prefer the browse option myself. And here is why:

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Browse through the records.

For my Kentucky Cassity ancestors, surname variants are the norm rather than the exception; Casseday, Cassidy and Cassity to name a few. Here in one place I am quickly reminded of all the surname variants I should be looking for. Selecting “Cassity” leads to a single entry for Peter. Clicking on his name brings up a group of thumbnails to choose from. Selecting the first image in the set will open Peter Cassity’s index card.

Favorite Fold3 Feature: Filmstrip.

Once you’ve selected your way through either Search or Browse to the full size image level you have the option of opening and pinning a filmstrip of the entire collection. Hover your cursor over “Open Filmstrip,” click on the pin icon to lock the filmstrip open.

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Filmstrip feature on Fold3.com

Once you do you’ll see the advantage. Quickly scroll between record sets among same or closely named individuals. You’ll be able be to browse and select the images you want to view full size. In some of the larger pensions, the ability to scroll back and forth among the thumbnails to the exact image you want is far faster than using the back and forward arrows to navigate.

Free! With Limitations

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Sharing made easy!

Much of what you can do with these images once you’ve found them will be reserved for subscribing members. However there are a few very important features still available in the free version. Share a link to the image with email or social media. Sharing is done page by page but this is true for subscribers as well. You will also have the option to save a reference to your Ancestry family tree.

Did You Check? Search Strategies

As I mentioned, I like the browse option expressly because I can see potential name variants I might miss on direct search. Beyond the browse option, if you are having trouble finding your ancestors, consider the following: First, if you are unable to locate your ancestor in the state militias, look for them at the federal level.

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Review all the options, regularly.

Second, check back often. My Cathcart ancestors will at times be found under Kathcart and Kithcart. The collection is up to “J” currently.  According to today’s stats at Fold3, 19% of the pension files have been added. While that number may seem small, they also report the addition of over 55,000 records just last month.

The Long March to Victory

With the help of contributions from genealogists, historians, military enthusiasts, preservationist and educators alike we are working hard to raise the funds necessary to preserve the War of 1812 Pensions files. The success of our Celebrity Fun Walk fundraiser at #FGS2014 will add greatly to the number of images digitized. Your continuing support is essential to completing the collection.