Records for War of 1812 Soldiers

Records for War of 1812 Soldiers

What records are available for War of 1812 soldiers at the National Archives? There are four main record groups:

1. Compiled military service records. These document service during the war itself. These are indexed on Fold3. Most of them are not online, and are only available at the National Archives.

2. Bounty land applications. Most bounty land became available starting in the 1850s. These applications were submitted by the soldier or his widow and can contain information about his service and his family. Most soldiers never stepped foot on their bounty land, and would often sell it off and pocket the money. Many of these are indexed on Fold3, but the applications themselves are only available at the National Archives.

3. Bounty land warrants. These certificates were issued as the result of an approved application. They could be redeemed at the land offices, giving the holder title to the bounty land. These are indexed on the Bureau of Land Management website (, but the originals are only at the National Archives.

4. Pensions. Most pensions didn’t become available until 1871, meaning that many soldiers didn’t live long enough to ever be eligible. These are indexed on Fold3, and many of the full pension files are also digitized there.

If you have an ancestor in the War of 1812, let us know. We provide on site research and record retrieval at the National Archives and can get you a free estimate on what might be available there. Let us help you get your ancestor’s military files in your hands!


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