Fold3 is a subscription website that provides convenient access to US military records, including the stories, photos, and personal documents of the men and women who served. It’s a very useful site for Historians, Family Historians, Researchers, Teachers and much more.

For my readers who live outside the U.S. the Fold3 names is derived from a traditional flag folding ceremony in which the third fold is in remembrance of those who served in defense of their country and maintain peace throughout the world.

This year 2012 is a popular time for researching ancestors who served in the War of 1812, which started 200 years ago on June 18 when the United States declared war on Britain.

In honor of this time Fold3 is opening up its War of 1812 records free of charge during this month. Here’s an outline of what you can research among the 400,000 records and images until June 30th:

War of 1812 Pension Files (are always free)

The first applications were based on disability or death of a soldier. Beginning in 1871, they were based on service. A veteran’s pension file typically includes his rank, place of residence, age or date of birth, and time of service.

War of 1812 Prize Cases, Southern Dist Court, NY (Free)

These records contain noteworthy documents relating to the seized ships, their owners and cargos. Of particular interest are answers to interrogatories asked of sailors, witnesses, and others associated with the prize vessel.

Letters Received By The Adjutant General (Free)

These letters were received from officers and enlisted men of the Army, the Secretary of War, the President, officials of other Government departments, Members of Congress, private persons, and business firms.

War of 1812 Service Records (Free)

Military service records for the War of 1812 are comprised of cards created from muster, pay, receipt and other rolls for soldiers and sailors who served in the war

Click on Fold3 to access the records.

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