Federation of Genealogical Societies Announces $2 Million Dollar Mark Surpassed for Preserve the Pensions Project

The following announcement was written by the Federation of Genealogical Societies:

Significant Milestone Reached in Landmark Project Thanks to Donors

preserve_the_pensionsJanuary 19, 2016 – Austin, TX. The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) announces the $2 million dollar mark has been surpassed in 2015 with the support of donors in the fundraising efforts to digitize the 7.2 million pension images for the 180,000 pensioners of the War of 1812 in the Preserve the Pensions project.

This is a landmark project. It marks the first time the genealogical community has come together to raise such a significant amount of money to preserve priceless documents. When completed, this project will save tax payers $3.45 million dollars. FGS’ previous successful efforts to index the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System with the help of volunteers produced a $6.3 million dollar tax savings. Hence, these two projects will result in nearly a $10 million dollar savings to tax payers.

“We are deeply appreciative of so many within the family history community who continue to support the Preserve the Pensions project,” says D. Joshua Taylor, FGS President. “This important milestone is the start of the ‘homestretch’ and is evidence of the passion and commitment amongst genealogists to preserve records for the future.”

For every dollar raised, .98 cents goes directly to digitizing the documents. There are no salaries paid for this project—the project costs are primarily to print materials to publicize the project.

Additionally, in 2015 the project raised $208,401 in total cash donations. This amount, coupled with the generous match from Ancestry.com, doubled the funds raised to $416,802 bringing the total amount raised for the project thus far to $2,032,198!

With generous donations and continued help in sharing information about the project, significant progress can be made in 2016—possibly completing the fundraising for the project. The images for pensioners with surnames beginning with the letters “A” through “M” have already been posted on the Fold3 website and will remain free forever thanks to donors!

Furthermore, due to record preparation and image capture issues at the archives, there is a delay in the publication of images on the site. It is anticipated that these issues will be resolved quickly and that image publication will resume within the next 60-90 days. There is always a publication preparation delay between record capture and publishing the images online. In the meantime, because of the support of donors, great fundraising progress has been made to complete the project, and further donations can be made on the War of 1812 Preserve the Pensions website.

About the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS)

The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) was founded in 1976 and represents the members of hundreds of genealogical societies. FGS links the genealogical community by helping genealogical societies and family history enthusiasts strengthen and grow through online resources; through theFGS FORUM magazine; through marshaling the resources of its member organizations for preservation projects like the Preserve the Pensions project; and through its annual national conference which provides four days of excellent learning opportunities for both societies and family history enthusiasts. To learn more about FGS, visit fgs.org. To learn more about the next annual conference to be held in Springfield, Illinois, visit fgsconference.org. To learn more about the Preserve the Pensions project and/or make a donation, visit PreservethePensions.org. Also, find FGS onFacebook; on Twitter @FGSgenealogy; and on the FGS Voice blog. Find Preserve the Pensions onFacebook; on Twitter @1812Pensions; and on the Preserve the Pensions blog.


Has the National Archives considered selling the original documents to descendants once they are photographed? I would pay to have my ancestor’s pension papers. What a treasure for a family to have! And the funds could pay to have more records published.


I think we would all love to get the originals of ancestor’s records but who gets them? You? Your third cousin? Me? And what happens to the original when you are no longer able to have it, will some clean out service pitch them? With modern technology we should be able to get copies that look as good as the originals.


It doesn’t seem like Fold3 has updated the 1812 pensions in several months. They’ve been stuck on the M’s since early in 2015. I realize M is one of the most common last name first letters, but it really seems like they should be onto the N’s or O’s by now.


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