by Delia

We like to think that all of the records that we will ever need for our family history research will always be available when we want to need them. And we just know that all of these records will eventually be digitized and available online for us to examine at our leisure. But the sad fact is that some records from the War of 1812 languish in the National Archives, difficult to search; protected and preserved, but slowly deteriorating all the same. The federal government does not have the $3.7 million to digitize the pension records from that war.

The Federation of Genealogical Societies is spearheading a fund-raising project among historians, family historians and others interested in preserving our heritage. Preserve the Pensions! wishes to have these records digitized and made available for free by the end of the War's bicentennial in 2012. The cost of preserving two documents is only $1, and since Ancestry is matching the project's donations, every dollar that is donated will actually digitize four documents! More than seven million documents are waiting. One can donate in honor of a living person, as a memorial for a deceased loved one, or in honor of a specific War of 1812 service person.

Learn more about how you or your society can assist in this vital project by visiting Preserve the Pensions! Help preserve their stories!