A pension walk

Sponsor me!


The Legal Genealogist confesses.

I am not a morning person.

My lifestyle is ridiculously sedentary.

And I’m fundamentally lazy.

walkSo why in the world would I even think of talking a one mile walk at 6:30 in the morning?

As in a.m.

As in oh-dark-thirty, for cryin’ out loud.

Because it’s for a good cause.

A great cause even.

A cause I passionately believe in.

It’s to Preserve the Pensions — to help pay for the effort to digitize millions of pages of fragile documents in grave danger of deterioration: records of War of 1812 pension records held by the National Archives. The records documenting more than 180,000 pension records for War of 1812 soldiers and their families are among the most heavily requested documents at the National Archives and, because of their use, their age and their fragile nature, they really need to be digitized to protect them forever.

The effort to get these wonderful records digitized is being led by the Federation of Genealogical Societies, with matching funds support from Ancestry.

And, two weeks from tomorrow, at the 2014 FGS Conference in San Antonio, FGS is sponsoring a Fun Walk to the Alamo as part of the Preserve the Pensions effort.



Walking a mile at oh-dark-thirty. Presumably a mile each way even. Before breakfast even.

But hey… I can do this.

I can be up, dressed, outside and ready to walk at 6:30 a.m.

Sure I can do this.

And with your support I will do it.

You see, every walker can be sponsored. By those who attend and by those who can’t be there.

The cost to sponsor a walker is $25. Every dollar from the walk goes directly to the Preserve the Pensions effort. And every dollar from the walk is doubled by Ancestry.

And everybody who walks — and everybody who sponsors a walker — gets a shirt.

So… sponsor me. Post your commitment in the comments below or email me. We’ll work out the logistics on how you can pay (PayPal will work) and how you can get your shirt (“hello, USPS?”) later.

But don’t let me turn over and go back to sleep two weeks from tomorrow.

Make me get up and walk… and Preserve the Pensions.

I’ll even post pictures.

How ’bout it?

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133 Responses to A pension walk

  1. Susan Clark says:

    Done! Lace up those sneakers woman.

  2. Ginny says:

    I’m in. But I expect photographic proof that you walk all the way to the Alamo. ;->

  3. Chris in ABQ says:

    Count on my $ — and count me as a sloth who dislikes mornings with every bone in my body! Even SLIG classes start too early for my brain :-)

  4. Roger Moffat says:

    Since there’s no amazing quilt to buy raffle tickets to this year, I’ll help ensure that you’re up and moving by 6:30AM. Count me in with $25.

    (And I note in the original article, it says the $25 will be doubled by FGS and then doubled again by Ancestry so becoming $100.)



    • Diane Scannell says:

      Roger — there IS A QUILT which will be raffled sometime Saturday morning (mid day). It was created by some very talented ladies, members of the San Antonio Genealogical and Historical Society (co-sponsor of the conference) and will be on display at the SAGHS booth in the vendor area. Members will be on hand throughout the conference with tickets for sale.

      That said, consider sponsoring Judy and taking a chance on the raffle!

      I will sponsor Judy since I have asthma and will not be able to make the walk, in spite of being a morning person myself. *GRIN*

    • Judy G. Russell says:

      I’ll let you know the logistics, Roger — thanks!!!

  5. Linda Deppner says:

    I *think* I could manage to get up at 6:30 a.m. for a such a good cause (I’m not much of a morning person, either!), but since I don’t live anywhere near San Antonio I’ll just have to sponsor you, Judy. Go get ‘em!

  6. Mary says:

    As one who has a copy of her ancestor’s War of 1812 pension papers, I count myself lucky that the Archives were even willing to make a copy given the fragile state. So, yes, I would love to sponsor you!

  7. J. Paul Hawthorne says:


  8. Nancy says:

    Since I have 2 known ancestors who fought in the War of 1812, count me in as a sponsor. :-)
    I’ve never been a lark either. :-(

    Good luck!

  9. Shirley says:

    I just did a “Preserve the Pensions” fundraiser at our county Fair two weeks ago. But I really want the tee shirt. I’m in!

  10. Good for you to take on this walk! I donated in May when I visited the FGS booth at the NGS Conference, but I’m happy to so again. Count me in! My experience when visiting Texas in August was 100+ every day for a week! Hope your temps are a lot milder.

  11. Nan W. Dozier says:

    I would love to sponsor you and get a shirt! I love the idea, but I am too far away to make it. Bon Voyage!

  12. Pay Pal works for me.

    I’m in.

    Thank you,


  13. Laura Cosgrove Lorenzana says:


    It’d be my honor, as a true-to-the-heart morning person, to knock on your door or call your cell or whatever other manner of commotion is required to ensure you’re up an out the door in time to join everyone walking for the Pensions. I’ll be there too, coffee in hand, hoping our little walking effort will generate big returns to get the Pensions digitized.

    See you there!!


  14. Susan Graben says:

    You’re a better man (woman) than I am, Gunga Din! My doctor has gently suggested that I start walking, but there are too many difficulties…..it’s too hot, it’s too cold, it’s raining….. If I could pay someone to do it for me AND get the results, I would. But so far you are the closest thing. Count me in for $25…PayPal works for me too,

  15. Dave Mitchell, Cape Town, South Africa says:

    Remember the Alamo!

    Hi Judy,

    You’ve got me backing you too.

    PayPal works well.

    All the best and enjoy the breeze …!


  16. Sharon says:

    Video with a GoPro maybe??? hehehehe

  17. Connie Breckenridge says:

    I will sponsor you. I, too, have benefited from the War of 1812 pensions, and will be glad to see them digitized.

  18. Karen V Sipe says:

    My husband loves the hour of 6:00 a.m., but not me. More power to you have fun and count us in for one sponsorship.

  19. I’ll sponsor you for $25. And I THINK I’ll walk. How do we sign up and do the donation thing? If that were more clear, we could start promoting this on Ancestry.com, Fold3 and Newspapers. hmmmmm….what am I missing?

  20. Gloria Carbaugh says:


    Count me in! If I lived closer, I’d get out there, too. PayPal works just fine.


  21. Constance (Connie) Shotts says:

    I am very happy to sponsor you on this walk, and, sharing your views on both being up at 6:30 a.m. and walking, I admire your willingness to do this, but it is for such a great cause. I can do the $25 donation through PayPal. Just let me know how and when! Thanks for not only promoting this cause but doing something to support it.

  22. Judy,
    As a fellow “non-morning person,” I truly appreciate what you are doing for Preserve the Pensions. I was fortunate enough to solve a case last year because the surname began with a “B,” and those were digitized. I made a donation then, and I will commit to a $100 donation from Colonial Roots for your upcoming walk. Just let me know where to send the check!

    Thanks for all you do for the genealogy community.

  23. Janice Haynes says:

    I’ll sponsor you too. Paypal is good for me.

  24. I will sponsor for walk. I will also ask society members and I bet Paul will tomorrow also. Susi

  25. Be happy to sponsor you for a good cause. You do so much to help all of us with our genealogy challenges — including this!

  26. Candace Wilmot says:

    I’m in, too. Paypal works for me.

  27. Suzanne M Johnston says:

    I’m in with Paypal. Sorry I can’t be there to take the photos.

  28. I’m in! Especially since I can’t be at FGS this year at least I can participate in this. Paypal works for me.

  29. Better you than me! I’ll be sleeping in :)

    But you have my pledge. Paypal is fine … just let me know where I need to send it.


  30. Kay says:

    I’m in. Wish I could join you — sounds like fun to me!

  31. Ann says:

    My War of 1812 ancestors were on the other side (sorry), but I’ll sponsor Judy for the sake of all out there who might benefit from preserving the pensions. Have a great walk about!

  32. Barbara G. says:

    I won’t be at FGS, but I’ll be happy to sponsor you. You will be wearing authentic 1812 clothing, right? Cash, check or Paypal, all ok.

  33. Kay Haden says:

    Since I won’t be at FGS this year – yes, I’m in for $25. PayPal or Credit card works fine. Just let me know how to make sure I’m sponsoring you!

  34. Doreen Bloomer says:

    Get your walking shoes ready Judy, just let me know where to send the money. Thank you for soing this and good luck

  35. Kelly from SATX says:


    That sounds like lots of fun!!! Is there a link to sign up for the Fun Walk- is there still time to help? Here in SA it’s all about history. Your post is the first I’ve heard of the walk benefiting the Preserve the Pensions- and I live here!


  36. Wanda Day says:

    Can’t attend FGS this year, but happy to help roll you out of bed in the early am! PayPal works for me.

  37. Kim Elizabeth says:

    Judy, I feel your pain! I am not a morning person either. I’d much rather sleep late and stay up late! However, since you’re going to walk at that ungodly hour, the least I can do is support your endeavor! Count me in, and make sure you take a thermos of coffee :)

  38. Jim Poole says:

    I would sponsor you, but I already made my $$ contribution to the site some time back, but you can consider it a “virtual sponsorship” if it will help you roll out of bed on time ;) .

  39. Margaret Fortier says:


    Count me in. I think we should see the selfie at 6:30 am though.


  40. Judi McDowell says:

    What a creative way to support this effort. Count on me to contribute.

  41. Skip Duett says:

    Already donated earlier in the year but it’s a great cause so I’ll sponsor you! PayPal works for me, just let me know where to send it so you get credit. I hope they have coffee for you!


  42. Pam White says:

    I’m in, too, Judy. PayPal will work.


  43. Well, at least you picked a good reason to get up early. Guess there’s no getting out of it now :) Sign me up!

  44. Barbara Schenck says:

    Rather you than me, Judy! But I’m happy to sponsor you. I might een wake up, then roll over and go back to sleep in your honor. You don’t even hve to sponsor me!

    Very happy to do this. I benefitted from the index of unindexed pension hopefuls the year we were in DC at NIGR. My guy was rejected because he’d been dead 30 years and his kid didn’t know who his commanding officer was. Too bad for the kid, but great news for me as he said whose son he was!

  45. Paula Hinkel says:

    I have been thinking about getting back to walking again. But then I remember you have to, you know, walk. So kind of you to do it for me! Sure I’m in. I’m with Anne, too. If we can get more information, I would be glad to spread the word I’m sure that both if my followers would help. :)

  46. Ken Parks says:

    I’m in! Let me know how/where to donate. Paypal is good for me.

  47. Ken Parks says:

    Let me know how/where to donate. Paypal is good for me.

  48. Kathleen says:

    I will sponsor you! Please let me know where to send the $…Paypal works just fine. Wish I could be there, too, but will actually be hiking in Ireland then… 6:30 am is no problem for me (ask me about night time, though…) ; }

  49. Dana says:

    I live near San Antonio & am disappointed I won’t be able to attend… & walk! (I’m a runner & a morning person & LOVE to get up & get out there!) But, my daughter is starting high school that week!! And, we just moved. So, I think I’ve got to stay home. That’s ok, though! I’ll sponsor you & look forward to seeing your photos! Right? ;)

  50. I’m in, Judy! Paypal works. Now I wish I was going so I could walk with you. I’d be that happy one. I love early mornings and walking!

    And yes, I’ll need photographic proof too!

    What a good sport you are to do this for the cause! I applaud you! [clap, clap, clap!!]

  51. Linda Vert says:

    Wish I could be there as well, I’m in and will gladly sponsor you. Let me know how/when to send the funds. Pay Pal works. Have fun!

  52. Rene Baron says:

    Count me in for $25. I’d much rather send the money than get up that early and walk.

  53. David Roberts says:

    Paypal doesn’t work for folks like me but the U. S. Mail does. Let me know where to send my check.

  54. Chris Christensen says:

    Send me the logistics when you have them. I’ll cough up a donation.

  55. Peggy W. Norris says:

    I’m in, but please don’t send me a t-shirt. Way too many of those in the drawer. Peggy

  56. Phyllis Legare says:

    Hey Judy. Count me in. I’m totally supportive of the 1812 digitization effort. And of you doing the walk. Just wish I could be there to do the walk also. let me know where to send a check.

  57. Thea Baker says:

    I will be at FGS and plan to see the Alamo while I am there, just not at 6:30 am. But I am happy to sponsor you to see it!

  58. Sure Judy. I’d love to sponsor you. Will be well worth the photos:) And even more worth it because I don’t have to be up at that ungodly hour in the middle of the night. If I send you some extra funds, will you buy some quilt raffle tickets for me too? Heck, might just win:) Can’t think of a more worthy cause!!!

  59. Would be a pleasure! Thanks for giving us all the opportunity to help out! We are all rooting for you! You can do it! Let me know where to send the $25 and it will be on it’s way.

  60. Susan Bankhead says:

    Okay Judy! Can’t think of a better cause, and am so glad YOU’RE doing it. Count me in for $25.

  61. genie Holt says:

    I’ll be happy to sponsor you for such a great cause. Love your blog.

  62. erica says:

    I’m sponsoring you!

    Go Judy!!

  63. Jennifer Shoer says:

    Thank you for putting out this request, Judy. I love the idea, but won’t be in Texas so am happy to sponsor your jaunt.

  64. Kristin Harms says:

    Yes, definitely! Wish I were there to do it myself, thank you for walking! I’ll wait to hear how to get the money to you. Good luck!

  65. The only birds I wake up to are the ones in my house or on my alarm app, so I will have an extra cuppa in your honor and contribute to your determination, Judy.

  66. Helen Smith says:

    Done! Paypal works for me. I have to support such an endeavour!

  67. Karen says:

    Count me in Judy! It’s a great cause, and I’m thrilled to support it and you. Enjoy the walk, the relative cool of early morning San Antonio, and the sunrise.

  68. Sara Gredler says:

    Wow Judy you got tons of sponsors! I’ll be joining you on the walk, and so will at least one of my “genealogy posse!” :)

  69. Tirrill Leslie Mehana says:

    But OF COURSE!
    Do I send a check? to Preserve the Pension with your name on it???

  70. Laurence J. Smith says:

    Count me in Judy! At this rate you may be able to pay for the project through your sponsorship alone!

    • Judy G. Russell says:

      Thank you! To sponsor online, go to this Preserve the Pensions page: https://www.preservethepensions.org/donate

      Fill in all the donation info and then make sure you check my name in the “Sponsor someone for the San Antonio Fun Walk” section.

      If you need to handle this by sending a check, please use the Ask TLG link at the top of the page to email me and I’ll send you info on where you can send a check.

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