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WAR OF 1812


Military Records Available-

Pension Application Files | Bounty Land Warrant Application Files
Military Service Records 

Pension Application Files:  These records can be most helpful to genealogists as they can contain much information.  There are 2 series of Pension Application Files that pertain to the veterans of the War of 1812.  

1st Series:  (aka- Old Wars)  pensions to the veterans of the army, navy and Marine Corp; based on service resulting in the death or disability of a veteran; from the end of the Revolutionary War period, up to the Civil War.
Besides containing information regarding a veterans service (which state the unit was from; which claim was made & type of claim) they may also include information such as the names of children; information about the veteran's widow and their marriage.

2nd Series:  Most of these applications were filed by the widow (or minors) of the veteran.  They are based on the Acts of 1871 & 1878-- which were based on the length of service that the veteran provided.

Act of 1871:  provided pensions to veterans (or their widows, if married before 1815) who served at least 60 days.
Act of 1878: provided pensions to veterans who served only 14 days.

Typically one can expect to find the "Application" of the Veteran (or Widow) and a Statement of Service.  
A widow's (or minor's) application usually contains the best genealogical information, such as:  proof of marriage; date and place of the marriage and the maiden name.

Bounty Land Warrant Application Files:  Bounty Land was available to veterans (and their widows & heirs) of the War of 1812.  Most veterans were entitled to 160 acres (a few did receive 320 acres, known as double-bounties).  The land available was located in Illinois, Arkansas and Missouri up until 1842.  And, until 1852, the was not transferrable.  
Most of the BLWA files contain:  veteran's name; age; unit; residence and period of service.  If the application was made by the widow/heir's, it contains their name, age and place of residence.  
Many veterans sold their rights to bounty land to others, so their names do not appear on the warrants.  

Military Service Records:  Military Service Records for most soldiers of the War of 1812 can be found at the National Archives.  The information in these records varies greatly, depending on the type of service.  

Compiled Military Service Records-  Most of the soldiers of the War of 1812 were volunteers or members of their state militia.  Their service records were compiled from original muster rolls and pay rolls, after the war, by the Adjutant Generals Office.  All information found on the muster and pay rolls has been included in their compiled service records.  These records usually contains information such as:  soldier's name; rank; regimental unit (the last name of the regimental commander); company commander name; dates of service and pay; whether the soldier was a substitute and date of discharge.  Other data such as:  sickness and date of death, etc... if applicable, is noted if it was included on the original record on the muster roll.

Copies of Military Service Records; Pensions & Bounty Land Warrant Application Files can be obtained from NARA using various forms.  To learn more about these records and how they can be obtained, visit NARA's website.  



This site is maintained  by Cathy Wentz-Eisenstadt
Copyright 2003-2010.  All Rights Reserved.

This page was last updated on:   02/11/2009

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