The American colonies fought England in the 1770s during the American Revolution. However, battles occurred again between the new United States and England in the early 19th century which resulted in what was called the War of 1812, which actually lasted 3 years. You might have some ancestors who were part of the major historical event. They would have been born between 1762 and 1799.
This was during the time the United States suffered many costly defeats at the hands of British, Canadian and Native American troops over the course of the War of 1812, including the capture and burning of the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., in August 1814. The ratification of the Treaty of Ghent on February 17, 1815, ended the war.
The FamilySearch.org site has a database on the service records of soldiers and Navy personnel who served during that war. The information comes from the National Archives. There are approximately 622,984 records which covers 1812 to 1815. It identifies the name, the military company they were in and their rank.
Also with FamilySearch.org is a database on the pension applications of those who served during the War of 1812. These records numbering 91,832 provide additional information, some dating to the early 20th century because the veteran or his spouse lived that long. Not everyone who was listed with the service records put in an application for a pension. Some application were from the widow of a War of 1812 veteran who applied. Generally, there is more information on the pension applications – where they lived, spouse’s name (including maiden name), the military unit they served with and when they entered the service and when they were discharged. Death dates for the veteran and / or the widow are many times written on the record. If bounty land was given as part of their pension, that information was also included.
All these records from the National Archives on the FamilySearch.org site have been scanned so you see the handwritten records and it is also transcribed for you.
Another collection of War of 1812 information is found on Cyndi’s List. Here are listed and links for many of the individual states who have information or records for their citizens who served in the War of 1812.
Photos: Burning of the White House by the British in 1814; Service record for Abraham Bixler of PA ; Pension record for Samuel Craft of VT.
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