This database contains an index to War of 1812 pension application files. Pensions were applied for and granted to War of 1812 veterans or their survivors.
The application files indexed in this collection relate to claims of military service between 1812 and 1815. Most of the applications were filed as a result of acts instated in 1871 and 1878 (read more below). These acts made it possible for veterans and their survivors to receive pensions based on service alone. Earlier acts provided pensions only for service related deaths or disabilities.
This index consists of the fronts of the envelopes containing the actual pension applications. These envelopes are arranged alphabetically according to surname of applicant. The amount of information shown on the front of the envelope varies. However, the following information is generally provided:
- Name of veteran
- Name of widow, if she applied
- Pension claim or file number(s)
- Service type or organization
Some of the envelopes also contain personal identifying data about the veteran and/or widow. Some of the envelopes contain information written in the upper right-hand corner relating to bounty land applications.
Acts Providing Pensions for Service Alone:
The act of 14 February 1871 granted pensions to surviving soldiers and sailors who had served 60 days in the War of 1812 and had been honorably discharged, or to those who had been personally named in any resolution by Congress for specific service of less than 60 days. The widows of such soldiers and sailors were eligible for pension provided the marriage had taken place before the treaty of peace was ratified on 17 February 1815.
The act of 9 March 1878 provided pensions for surviving soldiers and sailors of the War of 1812 who had served for 14 days or in any engagement and had been honorably discharged and for their surviving widows. It made no proviso regarding the date of marriage.
Where to go from Here:
Because this database only contains an index to the pension records, it is important to use the information gathered from this database to obtain copies of the actual application files, as more information about the veteran will likely be listed. Pension application files usually contain:
- Name of veteran
- Place of residence
- Service data (dates and places of enlistment and discharge, organization, rank, etc.)
Copies of the actual pension application files can be obtained, with sufficient information, from the National Archives (NARA). The above information taken from the Descriptive Pamphlet to Index to War of 1812 Pension Application Files, Microfilm Publication M313.