Skip to main content

ISGS $10,000 War of 1812 Pension Match Challenge

The Illinois State Genealogical Society is proud to support the Federation of Genealogical Societies’ “Preserve the Pensions” campaign.

In support of this digitization project the ISGS announces the ISGS $10,000 War of 1812 Pension Match Challenge. ISGS will MATCH any contribution (up to the first $10,000) made to the Preserve the Pensions project before December 31, 2012. For instance, if you donate $100, the ISGS will match your contribution for a total of $200! In addition, has announced it will also match ALL ISGS contributions which would mean any contribution you make will actually be QUADRUPLED! Your $100 contribution would become a $400 contribution! Any size contribution is welcome! A $10 contribution equals about 80 pages of Pension files digitized as part of the Preserve the Pensions project.

The goal of the “Preserve the Pensions” campaign is to raise the $3.7 Million needed to digitize the War of 1812 Pension Application Files that are currently stored in the National Archives and make them freely available online. There are over 180,000 Pension files that total over 7.2 million pages! The National Archives gets over three thousand requests per year to photocopy these records and this hard use is taking its toll on the original documents. By digitizing these documents we could halt further damage to these historical documents. The pages are being digitized as funds become available and some of these files are already viewable by visiting

To make a contribution via Pay Pal or for more information visit our web site at . Or mail a check, made payable to Illinois State Genealogical Society (Put “War of 1812” on Memo line), to: Illinois State Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 10195, Springfield IL 62791-0195.

The War of 1812 – America’s Second War for Independence

The War of 1812, often called the “forgotten war”, shaped the identity of the United States. The War of 1812 is well known for giving us the “Star Spangled Banner,” the burning of the White House, and the Battle of New Orleans. Over 300,000 people took part in the War of 1812, including three presidents (James Madison, Andrew Jackson, and William Henry Harrison), and members of eighteen Native American tribes.

Illinois and the War of 1812

During the War of 1812 the Illinois Territory was on the border of a great conflict between Great Britain and a newly born United States of America. The Territory of Illinois survived the War of 1812 and gained its statehood in 1818. For more information on how Illinois was affected by the War of 1812 please visit