- Galafilm’s War of 1812: This French/English multimedia Web site is an extraordinary resource. Within its six major sections are links to the war’s people, stories, events, locations and images. The “Background and Ideas” section details the causes of the war as seen from every side and debates the conflict from a historian’s perspective. If you find the war’s many issues confusing, this section will guide you through them in an easy-to-follow format. For a play-by-play of each skirmish and to see regional maps, go to “Events and Locations.” You can then follow each region to specific battles. From the South Region map, for example, click on “Battle of New Orleans.” You’ll find articles on the British approach to the city, Andrew Jackson’s defense and eyewitness accounts. Want to know more about the people involved? Click on “People and Stories” to read about Indian heroes, British career officers and American War Hawks. Don’t miss the little-known tale—at least in the United States—of Canadian heroine Laura Second. Once you know your 1812 ancestor’s fort, you can return to the site’s “Images and Catalogues” section to see a floor plan.
- Research Outline—US Military Records: Learn about (or brush up on) methods for researching soldiers in your family tree here. To access this Family History Library Research Outline’s excellent tips, click on “Sorted by Subject,” select M and under “Military History,” click on “US Military Research Outline.” (If you have Adobe Acrobat Reader, download the PDF file—it’s faster.) The guide includes references to the 1812 records held by the National Archives and state agencies, as well as the addresses to write for records. If you’ve never researched military records, this is a great starter site. Not only does it explain how and where to write for records, it also covers the types of military records, including pension files, bounty land records and service files.
- The Ohio Historical Society War of 1812 Roster of Ohio Soldiers: Ohio was the center of some of the strongest pro-war sentiment. In all, more than 25,000 Ohioans enlisted for service. The database indexes the full text from the Roster of Ohio Soldiers in the War of 1812, published by the Adjutant General of Ohio in 1916. When searching for a soldier’s name, the results page will return hits ranked in the order of their relevance to your query. When you click on a hit, you’ll see the actual roster page, which includes the name of the soldier’s company and the county of origin (if known), plus the name and rank of everyone in the company. For best results, search with both last name/first name and first name/last name formats.
- Database of Illinois War of 1812 Veterans: Here’s the place to look for War of 1812 soldiers from Illinois. Housed at the Illinois State Archives site, this database searches the muster rolls published in the ninth volume of the 1902 Report of the Adjutant General of the State of Illinois. To search the database, use the last name/first name format. Searches are not case sensitive. If your veteran shows up in the database, his rank, company and place of enlistment will be listed.
Visit this site to search an index of 40,000 names from the 1851 Pay Rolls eagle.vsla.edu/war1812/f Militia Entitled to Land Bounty Under the Act of Congress of Sept. 28, 1850, and its 1852 supplement, Muster Rolls of the Virginia Militia in the War of 1812. Search using the last name/first name format. If you’re unsure of a first name, just enter the surname. The search results will tell you which page of the index your ancestor appears on. Once you’ve found the name, follow the instructions on the page to order a copy of the records.
- The War of 1812 Website: If you’ve ever wondered what the “other side” felt, this Canadian-slanted Web site is the one to visit. Its content focuses on Canadian and British soldiers and policies. You can read personal stories of the war as told through soldiers’ letters home, chronicling the horrors of battle as well as life in an Army camp. Among the articles is a summary of major battles and eyewitness accounts. Follow the links page to period newspaper articles that debate the war’s pros and cons. Period songs such as “The Bold Canadian” will give you an inkling of how Canadians felt about the American invasion of their country.