Researching Family during the War of 1812

Last night, Judith Ueland and M. Diane Rogers’s session at the BC Genealogical Society meeting was on researching family involved in the War of 1812.  Their handout is now posted on the BCGS Education Handouts page. (This is a .pdf file with live links so it can easily be downloaded onto your computer for easier on-line searches or printed out.)

Their talk and the handout included information on research in Canada and the US. Some of the tips for Canada were:

  • direct information on militia and other military units is fragmentary. Search both on-line and off. Library and Archives Canada and the relevant provincial Archives are the best places to start.
  • recognition and pensions and settlements for service and losses came years later. Look for confirmation in land and pension records. But, if the person did not survive long after the war, there may not be a record.
  • in Canada, people were on both sides of the conflict. You might have both ‘patriots and traitors’ in your family. For ‘traitors’, check for records at the Provincial Archives of Ontario, for example.
  • check for older articles written about your family or the places they lived during the period – PERSI, the Periodical Source index will be a good resource for that.
  • if in BC, check at the BC Genealogical Society’s Walter Draycott Library in Surrey, BC which has many 1812 related books and articles available to visitors.

One BCGS member has traced his relationship to Canada’s 1812 heroine, Laura Secord. This research was mentioned in the talk. And since the talk last night, another member (who stayed up till early morning) has now traced her relationship to Laura Secord’s own family, the Ingersolls. If you too are related to the Secords, or anyone else involved in the War of 1812, we’d love to hear from you.



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About DRogers

M. Diane Rogers is a Director and Editor and Co-webmistress of the British Columbia Genealogical Society, teaches genealogy and family history year round, and blogs at CanadaGenealogy, or, Jane's Your Aunt. She's been doing her own family research since the 1980s in Canada, the UK and the United States, Sweden and further afield. She has a lifelong interest in Canadian and women's history and is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, the Genealogical Speakers Guild and the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors

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