18 June 2012

ISGS Announces $10,000 War of 1812 Pension Match Challenge

The Illinois State Genealogical Society is proud to support the Federation of Genealogical Societies’ “Preserve the Pensions” campaign.

In support of this digitization project the ISGS announces the ISGS $10,000 War of 1812 Pension Match Challenge. ISGS will MATCH any contribution (up to the first $10,000) made to the Preserve the Pensions project before December 31, 2012. For instance, if you donate $100, the ISGS will match your contribution for a total of $200! In addition, Ancestry.com has announced it will also match ALL ISGS contributions which would mean any contribution you make will actually be QUADRUPLED! Your $100 contribution would become a $400 contribution! Any size contribution is welcome! A $10 contribution equals about 80 pages of Pension files digitized as part of the Preserve the Pensions project.

The goal of the “Preserve the Pensions” campaign is to raise the $3.7 Million needed to digitize the War of 1812 Pension Application Files that are currently stored in the National Archives and make them freely available online. There are over 180,000 Pension files that total over 7.2 million pages! The National Archives gets over three thousand requests per year to photocopy these records and this hard use is taking its toll on the original documents. By digitizing these documents we could halt further damage to these historical documents. The pages are being digitized as funds become available and some of these files are already viewable by visiting http://go.fold3.com/1812pensions/.

To make a contribution via Pay Pal or for more information visit our web site at http://ilgensoc.org/cpage.php?pt=268 . Or mail a check, made payable to Illinois State Genealogical Society (Put “War of 1812” on Memo line), to Illinois State Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 10195, Springfield IL 62791-0195.

The War of 1812 – America’s Second War for Independence
The War of 1812, often called the “forgotten war”, shaped the identity of the United States. The War of 1812 is well known for giving us the “Star Spangled Banner”, the burning of the White House, and the Battle of New Orleans. Over 300,000 people took part in the War of 1812, including three presidents (James Madison, Andrew Jackson, and William Henry Harrison), and members of eighteen Native American tribes.

Editors Note: The War of 1812 pensions can contain invaluable genealogical information and are a wonderful early 19th century set of records for a time period when not all records survive! 

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