Friday, May 14, 2010

NARA - Genealogical Records of the War of 1812

National Archives records created during and after the War of 1812 offer the genealogist a diverse and fertile ground in which to obtain invaluable family information. These records were created by a variety of government agencies to include various bureaus and offices of the War, Interior, and State departments in response to specific federal laws. Most War of 1812 - era records in the National Archives having genealogical value were created by the War Department, particularly those generated by the Adjutant General's Office (Record Group 94).  The General Reference Branch and the Military Reference Branch of the Textual Reference Division now service the records. Unlike many records of genealogical value from the Revolutionary War era, similar records for the War of 1812 period have not been microfilmed and are not available through interlibrary loan. The notable exceptions are a number of name indexes for the compiled military service records and pension application files.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

National Archives in Riverside, California

On Tuesday, May 11, 2010, I drove out to the National Archives in Riverside, California. I arrived around 11:00 a.m. and I was the only one there. The parking was free and as I walked into the front door, a very nice lady greeted me and asked me what I was looking for.

I told her I was researching an ancestor’s military records from the War of 1812. She asked me to sign in and then she called someone from the back to help me out. After a few minutes, two gentlemen meet me in the front office and I explained to them what I was looking for. They invited me into the research room and the three of us sat down, I explained what research I had completed and what I was looking for. After a few minutes, one of the gentlemen excused himself, and the other guy named Terry help me find the index to the War of 1812 records and told me where I could order the full records.

I also found out that all the records from the National Archives in Laguna Nigel were transferred to the National Archives in Riverside. This is a modern one-story building, well lighted, and has a very friendly staff to answer your questions. They also have Ancestry on all the PC’s there and printing is free. I asked Terry how they could do this and he replied that it was my tax dollar at work.

I really enjoy my day at the National Archives in Riverside and I would highly recommend this place to anyone researching in Southern California.