Preserve the Pensions Project to Digitize Important Pension Records and Provide Free Access to the Public
December 11, 2012 – Springfield, IL. The Illinois State Genealogical Society (ISGS) is proud to announce that it has completed its recently launched $10,000 War of 1812 Pension Match Challenge with strong support from ISGS members as well as the genealogical community.
On June 18, 2012, the 200th anniversary of the declaration of the War of 1812, ISGS announced its $10,000 War of 1812 Pension Match Challenge. ISGS made a commitment to match any contribution (up to the first $10,000) made to the Preserve the Pensions project before December 31, 2012. In addition, Ancestry.com announced that it would also match all monies donated during the campaign, resulting in all contributions being quadrupled. A total of $40,000 to be donated to the Preserve the Pensions project will result in 88,888 additional pages of the War of 1812 Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Application Files being digitized over the next few months.
The Preserve the Pensions campaign (http://www.preservethepensions.org), sponsored by the Federation of Genealogical Societies (http://www.fgs.org) along with Ancestry.com, Fold3 and the National Archives, seeks to raise over $3.7 Million needed to digitize the War of 1812 pension files that are currently stored in the National Archives and make them freely available online. With over 180,000 Pension files in this historic record set and over 7.2 million pages, access to these records will benefit not only genealogists and family historians, but a variety of researchers. In addition, the digitization project will help preserve and halt further damage to these historical documents. The files are being digitized as funds become available and many files are already viewable by visiting http://go.fold3.com/1812pensions/.
ISGS President Jane Haldeman notes: “The ISGS board made a strong commitment to the preservation of the War of 1812 Pension Records when it issued the fundraising challenge earlier this year. ISGS thanks all who contributed, especially those members of the genealogy community who are not members of ISGS. Digitizing these records will benefit ALL genealogists and hopefully result in more people locating information about their ancestors.”