Fenner, a member and former president of the Society of the War of 1812 in New Jersey, hopes to persuade state officials to find and preserve all of the records for future generations, as they are required to do by a state statute that remains on the books.
He would also like to see them transferred to the New Jersey State Archives in Trenton for safekeeping and to provide unemployed veterans jobs finding missing burial information.
"We want to know that veterans and their service are recognized and their records respected," said Fenner, 83, an Evesham resident and Army veteran. "I'd like someone in the state to pick up this issue and roll with it.
"Either do away with the law and forget history, or make the counties keep records up to date."
Fenner, members of the Society of the War of 1812, and other volunteers spent years checking the state's 21 counties to determine which had burial records, and visiting dozens of cemeteries to record information from headstones.
The society, which seeks to educate the public about the war and memorialize its veterans, has 35 members in New Jersey and about 4,000 across the country in 32 states.
Burial records were found in 17 counties, and the last resting places of 850 veterans of the war were located. About 5,000 New Jerseyans fought the British force.
"I had an ancestor in the war - Zephaniah Clayton," said Fenner, a retired chemical company executive. "He was a private who lived in Philadelphia and was sent to Marcus Hook to defend that area in case the Brits came up the Delaware River."
This month, Fenner delivered boxes of research to the Gloucester County Historical Society Library in Woodbury. Included were copies of county burial records and a spreadsheet of names of War of 1812 soldiers, their ranks, burial locations, and headstone inscriptions.
"It's fantastic because some people are looking for ancestors and have no idea they were in the War of 1812," said Barbara Price, librarian at the Gloucester County Historical Society Library. "Some of these burials had no tombstones or had some that were unreadable."
"Except for the WPA card, there is no tombstone," no way of determining where to place flags on Memorial Day, she said.
The records of Burlington County veterans are contained in about 15 boxes at Burlington County Library headquarters in Westampton. The records in the library's New Jersey collection include information on veterans from all wars, including many from World War II and some from the Vietnam War.
"They are really, really well used," said Paula Manzella, coordinator of adult services and supervising librarian. "They've been very useful to historians, genealogists, and people looking into the history of cemeteries, wars, and veterans.
"I think any preservation of historical records helps everyone that has access to it. All too often, records are lost because people don't think they will be valuable to future generations."
But Manzella said "that's not necessarily true; history repeats itself." Knowing history is "the only way to learn, to move forward and not make the mistakes of the past."
Preserving the burial records "was hard work but absolutely worthwhile," Price said of the work of Fenner and other volunteers. "Soon the information would have been lost."