War of 1812 Pension File, 1866–1879. 2.64. Department of the Auditor General, Record Group 2. Pennsylvania State Archives, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
This database contains pension records related to Pennsylvania soldiers who served in the War of 1812.
The War of 1812 between Britain and the United States arose mainly over grievances surrounding maritime rights. The United States declared war in June 1812, and the conflict ended in 1815, following the Treaty of Ghent. Pennsylvania, legislation passed in 1866 and subsequent subsequent acts, granted pensions and other benefits to War of 1812 veterans (or their widows) who had served for at least two months or been wounded or disabled in the conflict.
What You May Find in the Records
The pension files in this database typically contain either of the following types of notarized documents:
Applications of Soldiers. These were submitted by veterans and provide the veteran’s name, signature, residence, ranks, military units, commanding officers, periods of service, and approximate dates of enlistments and honorable discharges.
Applications of Widows. These were submitted by wives of deceased veterans and generally contain information similar to that found on the Applications of Soldiers. Marriage dates and husbands’ death dates are often included starting in the 1870s. A few applications also provide ages and the veteran’s place of death.
Though these records typically don’t indicate race, there are some that identify a soldier or sailor as African American.