Book Review: Tracing your War of 1812 Ancestors, 200th Anniversary Special Edition Magazine

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Since this is the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 it seems like a good time to learn more about researching the War, its veterans, and the documents the conflict left behind. With the special edition magazine "Tracing Your War of 1812 Ancestors," from the publishers of Family Chronicle magazine, you can begin to research your War of 1812 veteran.

This special edition will appeal to a wide range of researchers: it includes resources for USA, Canadian and British research. Articles cover the history of the war to the sources themselves. The table of contents includes:

War of 1812: An Introduction

US Government Records

Canadian War of 1812 Records

British War of 1812 Records

US Army Records

United States marines

Naval Records

Prize Money: Spoils of War

Militia Service

Bounty Land Warrants

Cemetery Records



Privateer & Naval Pensions

Newspapers: Breaking News

Prisoners of War

Last Survivors

Aside from learning more about the War of 1812, I was especially interested in the articles on pensions, impressment, and prize money; there are some interesting historical facts to be learned in this work. A recent blog posting told of the death of the last Revolutionary War widow (who received a pension based on her husband's service) in 1906. In the article on last survivors, "Tracing Your War of 1812 Ancestors" documents that in 1912, 238 War of 1812 widows could be found on the pension rolls. The last known widow of a War of 1812 soldier died in 1938 (page 82).

A five-page chronology of the War of 1812 that begins with a timeline starting in 1798 will help readers not only understand what went on during the war (the timeline ends with June 30, 1815) but what led up to the conflict. Genealogists are probably familiar with the recent efforts to digitize this war's pension records. This magazine includes information about these pensions as well as other veteran benefits such as soldiers' homes. Not only were there soldiers' home for those who were disabled and infirmed but there were also war widows' homes.

In my opinion, one of the benefits of these special edition magazines is that they focus on a subject and give you the information you need for your research without having to spend too much time researching the topic itself. These magazines help you to learn what you need so you can get down to researching your ancestor.

There aren't many resources for learning more about sources for tracing War of 1812 ancestors. This work fills in a much needed gap and helps researchers learn to identify what sources exist, no matter what side of the conflict they were on. This magazine is available from some booksellers as well as from the publisher's website.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of "Tracing Your War of 1812 Ancestors" for free from the publisher. I also write for this publisher's magazines "Family Chronicle" and "Internet Genealogy."

Tracing Your 1812 Ancestors, complied by David Norris. From the Publishers of Family Chronicle, Internet Genealogy and History Magazine. (2012)

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