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Revolutionary War Pension Files Transcription Mission

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The stories of over 80,000 men and women who lived through the American Revolution are waiting to be told. Will you help us tell them?


Help transcribe military pension files from the Revolutionary War!

In celebration of the 250th anniversary of American independence, the National Archives and the National Park Service are collaborating on a special project to transcribe Case Files of Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Applications Based on Revolutionary War Service, ca. 1800 - ca. 1912. These Revolutionary War Pension Files consist of applications and other records pertaining to claims for pensions and bounty land warrants. 

These records may contain valuable details about Revolutionary War veterans and their families, such as rank, unit, period of service, age, residence, date and place of marriage, and date and place of death of spouse. Also within these records, you may find copies of marriage or other family records, information pertaining to military activities or details about soldier’s lives, along with letters, diaries, or family trees.  Read more about these records and what you may find from the National Park Service's article Tips and a Guide for the Curious.

Not interested in transcribing cursive? Join our Revolutionary War Tagging Mission - read the transcriptions by other Citizen Archivists and add tags to enhance searchability.

Share the stories

As you transcribe these records, did you find a surprising or intriguing story? An unexpected artifact? Let us know in our survey! The stories you share can be used to help others learn more about the lives of Revolutionary War veterans and their families.

Are you ready to join us?

We invite you to help transcribe these records to unlock the details and stories found within these rich records. 

The case files have been organized by location or category. Choose from the list below and get started transcribing!





Frequently Asked Questions

I'm new; how do I get started?
You will need to have an account in the National Archives Catalog to contribute transcriptions, tags, and comments. Visit our Register and Get Started page for step-by-step instructions. Check out our Resources page for instructions to help you with your work as a Citizen Archivist. 

I'm a volunteer from the National Park Service. Do I need to do anything special?
Welcome! Follow the instructions to create a National Archives Catalog account. To count as coming from the NPS, please start your user name with “NPS” [example - NPSJaneVolunteer]. This will allow transcribers from the NPS to be identified. 

How do I change my username to show I'm a National Park Service volunteer?
Once logged in to the National Archives Catalog, click on the icon next to the welcome message at the top right.  In your Account, click on Settings and Change to make the edit.

How can I learn more about these records to better understand what I'm transcribing?
The National Park Service has an excellent explainer on their website about the records found in this transcription project - Tips and a Guide for the Curious.

What do I do when I can't read a page?
Some digitized pages are very low contrast or the original page was damaged and may be difficult to transcribe. You are welcome to skip any page that you are unable to transcribe.

The transcription panel looks different from the last time I transcribed, what happened?
Based on user feedback, we've made changes to the contribution panel. Please review Get Started Transcribing if you need instructions on how to use the undocked contribution panel.

So many pages have already been transcribed, how do I find a page that needs to be transcribed?
We always have thousands of pages available for transcription, but it may take some looking to find them. If you are still struggling to find a record with pages to transcribe in a Citizen Archivist mission, skip to the middle or the end of a list of records in a mission; often they have not yet been transcribed or tagged. Be sure to review the step by step instructions How to find a page to transcribe found in Get Started Transcribing if you need more help.

How can I find a specific veteran?
To find a name, you can do a Search Within the series. For best results, place the name in quotations (ex. "George Washington"), you may need to try different combinations of the name or just look for the first or last name alone.  You may also search for a pension file by file number (ex. "S. 14,796").

Can I add tags to these records?
Yes. Our first priority is transcription, but you may also add tags. Please review What Makes a Good Tag in order to add meaningful and helpful tags to these records.

I transcribed an amazing pension file. How do I share this story?
Please fill out this survey to share any interesting stories you come across. 

Should I log out of my Catalog account when I'm done?
Yes.  Be sure to log out each day. Users need to log in and log out of their Catalog accounts each day so that if so if our developers make any code changes to the Catalog overnight, your account and Citizen Archivist experience will work properly.

I transcribed a page, but the Publish and Close button is grayed out. What do I do now?
The Catalog is experiencing an error where, for some users, the Publish and Close button is not working. Our developers are working to fix this error and they have determined that they can restore the transcriptions that are not appearing due to this error. If you experience this error after transcribing, you can move on to another page. The developers are working through the list of these transcriptions and eventually they will be live in the Catalog. In the meantime if you encounter a transcription page that has a username at the top, but it is blank - please skip this page. The transcription will eventually be restored. Even if it is your username, please do not try to re-transcribe the page.

Additional questions? Contact us at