FGS Announces $135,000 Donation to War of 1812 Pension Project

Estate of Jon Stedman To Help Digitize Important Family History Records

June 25, 2012 – Austin, TX. The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) announces the donation of a generous gift in the amount of $135,000 from the estate of the late Jon Stedman in memory of his mother, Ardath Stedman. The donation to the Preserve the Pensions – War of 1812 Pension Digitization Fund will be used to help preserve and digitize War of 1812 Pension records.

Hollace Hervey, executrix of the estate, indicated that Jon Stedman was "always interested in preservation and bringing information to the front" so genealogists could more easily use it. Besides caring passionately for facilitating genealogists doing good research, Stedman had a deep love and affection for his mother who was a genealogist in her own right. The Preserve the Pensions project is just such a preservation and access endeavor, and FGS is honored in receiving this generous donation.

The $135,000 donation is a significant lead gift to the Preserve the Pensions project as FGS ramps up its fundraising efforts during the bicentennial of the War of 1812 which started on June 18, 2012. Members of the genealogy and family history communities as well as the general public are invited to learn more about this important record preservation project by visiting the Preserve the Pensions website at www.fgs.org/1812 and assist with honoring our nation’s heritage by preserving the records of our past.

About the Preserve the Pensions – War of 1812 Pension Digitization Fund

The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) is committed to projects such as Preserve the Pensions – War of 1812 Pension Digitization Fund that link the genealogical community by advancing the cause of preserving records and making them more accessible to the public.

In conjunction with the National Archives & Records Administration (www.archives.gov), fold3 (www.fold3.com) and Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com). FGS is helping to digitize 180,000 pension applications representing an estimated 7.2 million pages of War of 1812 Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Application Files. The collection will be available for free on fold3’s website at www.fold3.com/title_761/war_of_1812_pension_files/.

The multi-year project consists of scanning the pension files at the National Archives in Washington D.C. and creating a searchable index to the digital images. FGS has targeted the War of 1812 Pension Applications as a high priority project based on the value of the content for genealogists as well as the importance of preserving the fragile records.

FGS is proud to be leading the national fundraising to support this project and is actively seeking donations from genealogical and historical societies, patriotic and military heritage societies, as well as interested corporations and individuals. Ancestry.com and fold3 are providing a dollar-for-dollar match of each donation through a provision of services. To learn more and contribute to the Preserve the Pensions project, visit www.fgs.org/1812.

About the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS)

The Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) was founded in 1976 and represents the members of hundreds of genealogical societies. FGS links the genealogical community by helping genealogical societies strengthen and grow through resources available online, FGS Forum magazine (filled with articles pertaining to society management and genealogical news), and Society Strategy Series papers, covering topics about effectively operating a genealogical society. FGS also links the genealogical community through its annual conference -- four days of excellent lectures, including one full day devoted to society management topics. To learn more visit http://www.fgs.org.