War of 1812 Preserve the Pensions Project update

You may have read previous posts I did about this exciting project. I just checked the FREE images on the Fold3 website www.fold3.com/title_761/war_of_1812_pension_files/ and there are now 253,498 images on there. I think July 4th is a great day to honor this project. I have donated twice and will donate again in August at the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) 2012 conference in Birmingham and to the Illinois State Genealogical Society of which I am a member (see below). We are getting closer to the D section of the alphabet so I can check for some of my brother-in-law’s Dubois family. Then let’s get moving faster so I can check my late father-in-law’s Hatfields, Johnsons, and Warrens.

I am a member of the FGS Board of Directors and we recently learned of two major things which have greatly impacted this project. 

On Monday, June 18th (the 200th anniversary of the start of the War of 1812), the Illinois Genealogical Society (ISGS) issued the ISGS $10,000 War of 1812 Pension Match Challenge. ISGS will MATCH any donation up to the first $10,000 that is made before December 31, 2012. This means:

  • If you donate $10, ISGS will match your donation with another $10
  • If you give $100, ISGS will also give $100 to the project
  • In addition, Ancestry.com will also match the overall amount donated by individuals and ISGS, which means that the $10,000 raised plus the $10,000 in matching donations will become:
  • $40,000! 
  • Your $10 donation to help digitize these files actually becomes $40!

Find out all the details at the Illinois State Genealogical Society’s webpage. If you’re interested in donating to the project, giving through the Illinois State Genealogical Society will ensure that your gift is quadrupled in value! One certainly cannot beat that kind of an investment.

Then on June 25th, the Federation of Genealogical Societies announced another major gift for the project. The FGS press release on that said:

“The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) announces the donation of a generous gift in the amount of $135,000 from the estate of the late Jon Stedman in memory of his mother, Ardath Stedman. The donation to the Preserve the Pensions – War of 1812 Pension Digitization Fund will be used to help preserve and digitize War of 1812 Pension records.

Hollace Hervey, executrix of the estate, indicated that Jon Stedman was “always interested in preservation and bringing information to the front” so genealogists could more easily use it. Besides caring passionately for facilitating genealogists doing good research, Stedman had a deep love and affection for his mother who was a genealogist in her own right. The Preserve the Pensions project is just such a preservation and access endeavor, and FGS is honored in receiving this generous donation.

The $135,000 donation is a significant lead gift to the Preserve the Pensions project as FGS ramps up its fundraising efforts (to raise $3.7M) during the bicentennial of the War of 1812 which started on June 18, 2012. Members of the genealogy and family history communities as well as the general public are invited to learn more about this important record preservation project by visiting the Preserve the Pensions website at www.fgs.org/1812 and assist with honoring our nation’s heritage by preserving the records of our past.”

© 2012 – 2014, Paula Stuart-Warren. All rights reserved.

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