I am here at the National Archives today. If you have never been here, change that. Because I'm working on a client's project (not genealogy) I am actually at the NARA in College Park, MD. Regional NARA centers are all over the country, including the Boston area, and some may have things relative to your family. If I get a chance I plan to visit the NARA in Washington, DC to look for a War of 1812 pension record. I found a pension card on fold3.com (which digitizes mostly military-related records, many from NARA in DC) and so know that something does exist on the ancestor of a woman who is trying to join my DAR chapter. She is missing a good link from her patriot to his son, who served in OH in 1812. Mayflower applicants might well be looking for the same sort of thing. War of 1812 pension records are not often consulted and not having anyone in my family who collected a pension for service in that war I have never bought an 1812 record online at NARA. (Putting in a plug for U.S. Daughters of 1812 and the General Society of the War of 1812, remember it is still the official "bicentennial" through the end of 2015, a great time to see if you have an ancestor who contributed during this important conflict.) This is a very short trip so I probably won't get to the Library of Congress. If you want to find out whether one of these agencies has anything at all on your ancestor of a nonmilitary nature, go to the National Union Catalog of Manuscript Sources (NUCMC) "nuck-muck" - there is also a link on the links page here - and do a search by name and by place (town, usually.) Some surprises may turn up - correspondence, church records, a family physician's records, storekeeper's records, minister's diaries, and more.
Dr. Maura Mackowski is an Arizona research historian who enjoys the challenge of looking for Mayflower descendants, hers and anyone else's.
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