This is a consolidated edition of the most important collection of lineage records related to the War of 1812: The Roster and Register of the General Society of the War of 1812.
The Society of the War of 1812, with its six state societies, was founded in 1894. Through its Maryland state society affiliate, however, which incorporates The Defenders of Baltimore, founded in 1814, it claims a much earlier provenance. In common with all other patriotic hereditary societies, such as the Society of the Cincinnati, the D.A.R., and the Aztec Club, the purpose of the Society of the War of 1812 is to commemorate the veterans of the war, to perpetuate their memory, and to collect and preserve artifacts and records of the war. Membership in the Society is based on proof of descent from an ancestor who rendered service in the War of 1812.
Clearfield’s two-volume set, which has been authorized by the Society of the War of 1812, incorporates three earlier publications and a new supplement. The first volume is the complete Roster of the General Society of the War of 1812, compiled by Dennis Blizzard in 1989, and now updated by Mr. Blizzard expressly for this Clearfield edition.
Volume I contains both the name of the ancestor veteran and the name of the Society member, along with his application file number. Two specially prepared indexes then recast this information in order to maximize its usefulness: the first lists the name of every member of the Society admitted through 15 April 1989 and includes his four-digit filing number; the second lists all veteran ancestors and the filing numbers of those candidates for membership descended from him. All extant application papers have been filed by number and are available on microfilm through LDS family history centers and other major institutions, so the filing number aspect is quite important if further research is required. A 1999 supplement to the 1989 Roster, utilizing a similar format to the original, commences on page 243 of Volume I and furnishes the names and ancestors of the nearly 800 new members admitted to the Society in the last ten years.
Although The Roster itself is of overriding importance to the genealogical researcher, other sections of the book are no less interesting. There is, for instance, an Introduction by John W. W. Loose which is, in effect, a history of the Society. There are also lists of meetings of the Society, lists of founding veteran members, chronicles of state societies (each a mini-history in itself), and a list of archival sources drawn on in the compilation.
The second and larger volume of our consolidated work is the Society’s Register, or lineage book of members, which, of course, has a publishing history of its own. In 1972, the Society of the War of 1812 published a massive register of its living members. Some four years later, swept up in the enthusiasm of the American Bicentennial, the Society issued a 1976 Supplement to the 1972 Register (numbered in sequence with the 1972 work). Both the 1972 Register and the 1996 Supplement were extremely well received among persons both within and without the Society and have been out of print for some time. Accordingly, when the Society and Clearfield Company entered into discussions to publish a revised edition of the aforementioned Roster (Volume I of this work), the decision was made to reissue the 1972 Register with the 1976 Supplement as the second part of what must surely be regarded as the basic work on the Society.
Like the Roster, the Register commences with a brief history of the Society of the War of 1812, followed by a list of all the officers of this august organization in 1972. (A similar list of officers appears at the beginning of the 1976 Supplement.) The genealogical meat of the work, of course, consists of the lineages of some 1,500 members as of 1972, followed by the lineages of an additional 200 persons admitted to membership in the Society between 1972 and 1976. Typically, each lineage gives the name, address, date and place of birth, spouse(s), and children of the member, as well as a number of biographical details about him. The lineage then fills in the pedigree of each member going back at least to the 1812 patriot from whom he is descended. Most of the lines in the pedigree give the names of the male of the line, his wife’s maiden name, their dates of birth and death, and their date of marriage. All the pedigrees have been authenticated, of course, by the Society of the War of 1812. Every name found in the sketches can be found in one or the other of the two indexes appearing at the conclusion of the original volumes.