The Federation of Genealogical Societies recently launched its "Preserve The Pensions!" campaign, which aims to raise $3.7 million to digitize the War of 1812 pension files held at the National Archives and make them freely accessible to the public. The National Archives has over 180,000 of these pension files, containing more than 7.2 million pages. They are among the files most frequently requested by researchers. Pension files can contain valuable information for researchers - not just information on the day-to-day life while in military service, but also information on the soldier's widow and next of kin.
Indiana and its earliest settlers played a significant role in the War of 1812, with the Indiana Territory the site of several battles, including the Battle of Mississinewa and the Battle of Tippecanoe. In 1816, just one year after the war ended, Indiana officially became a state.
In recognition of the importance of this digitization effort, the Indiana Genealogical Society has issued a $10,000 Grant Challenge. From now until June 30, 2011, IGS will MATCH any donation, up to the first $10,000. That means that if you give $10, IGS will give $10; if you give $100, IGS will give $100. IGS will then present the money raised from this Grant Challenge to the Federation of Genealogical Societies at their 2011 Conference in Springfield, Illinois.
Any donation will help - a $500 donation will digitize 1,000 images; a $25 donation will digitize 50 images. Even a $5 donation will digitize 10 pages!
You can donate online with just a couple clicks - visit http://www.indgensoc.org/projects/1812_pensions.php