Marleta Childs
P. O. Box 6825
LUBBOCK, TX 79493-6825

     Another recent addition to the popular “Genealogy at a Glance” series concerns a set of military records that is often overlooked. War of 1812 Research by The War of 1812 Preserve the Pensions Fund furnishes basic information on materials pertaining to the American and British conflict that occurred only thirty-eight years after the United States gained independence from Great Britain.

     Several noteworthy events took place during the war, which began in June 1812 and ended in December 1814. While watching the bombardment of Fort McHenry in Maryland, for instance, Francis Scott Key wrote “The Star-Spangled Banner.” When the British invaded Washington, D. C., they burned the White House and several federal buildings. Probably the best known military action is the Battle of New Orleans, which was actually fought after the war had ended.

     Useful facts to know when trying to trace a War of 1812 soldier or sailor are that more than 250,000 men participated and some of them served as little as one month. The average age of a combatant was eighteen to thirty. Due to short enlistment periods, however, men up to the age of sixty sometimes fought.

     Most of the War of 1812 records consists of three types: pension records, compiled military service records, and bounty land warrant application files. These three categories act as the main entry points in genealogical research, although there are also other kinds of resources. This new guide explains where these records are located, what sort of information they contain, and whether they are indexed, microfilmed, digitized, or available online.

     The new guide briefly discusses materials in the National Archives materials under five main topics: compiled military service records, bounty land warrant application files, regular army records, naval records, and prisoner of war records. Although data vary in the different sorts of records, genealogists may discover such facts as the individual’s name, rank, unit, and period of service; amount of pension awarded or rejection of pension application; name of widow and date and place of marriage; the serviceman’s year and place of birth; places of residence; description of any disability; signatures; names of relatives, friends, neighbors, and comrades in arms; and miscellaneous details, like references to family Bibles.

     Then the guide supplies information about additional resources. These include documents located in individual states as well as records of lineage societies and National Parks and Battlegrounds. To help flesh out an ancestor’s story, a short bibliography of reference books is included for further research. A list of online resources is also provided. Ending the guide is a research checklist for militiamen.

     Following the standard format of the series, the publication condenses into four laminated pages the fundamental details genealogists need to know about the subject. War of 1812 Research is a handy, compact guide that will aid in the quest to discover more about one’s ancestral military history.

     To the guide's price of $8.95, buyers should add the cost for postage and handling charges. For U. S. postal mail, the cost is $4.50 for one item and $2.50 for each additional copy; for FedEx ground service, the cost is $6.00 for one copy and $2.50 for each additional item. The guide (item order 1781) may be purchased by check, money order, MasterCard, or Visa from Genealogical Publishing Company, 3600 Clipper Mill Rd., Suite 260, Baltimore, MD 21211-1953. For phone orders, call toll free 1-800-296-6687; fax 1-410-752-8492; website .

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