Frontiersman in the War of 1812. By Glen Conner. (2015. Pp. 360. $26.95. Hardback. Morley: Acclaim Press. P.O. Box 238, Morely, MO 63801. http://www.acclaimpress.com/) ISBN: 978-1-938905-90-2.
When reading about the War of 1812, Conner was surprised to learn seventeen men from his home county, Allen County KY, had been in the war. Seventeen seemed like a large number at the time; shouldn’t he have heard about them sooner in Allen County history? Most interestingly to Conner, an ancestor he had heard served in the war was not on this list of 17 men. The driving question became: who had served from Allen County?
For anyone who has struggled in their research (and who hasn’t?!) Conner feels relatable and encouraging. Records that may have more easily answered his questions were destroyed, but Conner was able to work backwards from land grant and pension records to learn of the men who had served. In doing so he was even able to reconstruct some of their stories, which he shares in the satisfying conclusion of his book.
All levels of researchers should expect to benefit from the methods and tips he shares as he recounts maneuvering around research obstacles. His in-depth handling of land grant and pension records will be of particular interest as the Preserve the Pensions project makes those records more available. This “Community Digitization Project” hosted by FGS, National Archives, Fold3, and Ancestry.com is working to make available, for free, the pension records of the War of 1812.
In the end, Conner finds that the 17 men he initially read about constitute only a small percentage of those from Allen County who actually served. Recalling that the militia called into service all free able-bodied white male citizens between the ages of 18 and 45 we, too, may find pieces of our Kentucky ancestors stories come alive through the War of 1812 pension records. When researching your War of 1812 ancestors, KHS has some resources available including the Adjutant General’s report and “Kentucky in the War of 1812” by Andersen Quisenberry. Of course, the real treasures lie in the pension records. As the digitization efforts grow, you have a better chance of finding your ancestors. Head on over to Preserve the Pensions to learn more about the wonderful efforts underway to preserve these valuable historical records.
“The frontier militiamen of the War of 1812 resembled the minutemen of the Revolutionary War in many ways. The soldiers in both were poorly trained, poorly equipped, and relatively undisciplined. On the other hand, they were similar in that the call for duty was answered with patriotism, allegiance, and honorable service.” Glen Conner
free sample just need to mind that the that nix would vary.