-- Records are available in a variety of places: Different branches of the National Archives, on microfilm, and online at Ancestry and Fold3. Some are digitized; most are not. Some are indexed; most are not.
-- Not everyone who served will be found in the pension files. Several laws were passed over the years that qualified the soldier or the widow. Your ancestors may not have lived long enough to qualify.
-- Research the captain, the colonel, and the other members of the unit. This is especially useful if you cannot find a compiled military record or pension application for a particular person. By discovering where the unit was at specific times you will compile your own idea of your ancestor's service. Also, members of the unit were probably neighbors and maybe relatives.
These are points that apply to other records as well:
-- Spelling of names varies. Do not be rigid.
-- View the original record whenever possible. Use indexes to guide you to the actual record.
|War of 1812 file card available at Ancestry.|
Note that the full names of all three wives were included. This is a great find.