Fold3 is an online genealogy database with free and subscription resources. Records are searchable by war with dedicated pages specific to military events. Originally part of iArchives, Fold3 was purchased by Ancestry.com and has millions of documents, photos, and other genealogical resources.

The Good

  • Good Resource for Searching Military Records
  • Allows Access to Publicly Unavailable Records
  • A Division of Ancestry.com

Good Resource for Searching Military Records

Fold3’s records are focused on military databases, which makes it easy to search and locate information related to events, archives, and documents from the military. Compared to more general search resources like the National Archives or the U.S. Census, Fold3 makes a targeted search possible.

Allows Access to Publicly Unavailable Records 

Fold3 provides access to historical documents and images otherwise unavailable to the public. The primary alternative would be to visit a physical location, unrealistic for most researchers.

A Division of Ancestry.com

Part of the family of brands connected to Ancestry.com, Fold3 receives significant credibility being associated with this larger company. Ancestry.com is one of the pioneer industry leaders with millions of records and a very large customer base, a sophisticated team of engineers, and full business funding. Compared to smaller databases or companies, Fold3 can draw on the resources of Ancestry.com without having to operate its own comparable infrastructure.

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The Bad

  • Issues with Cancellation and Refunds 
  • Difficulty Locating Specific Records
  • Disconnected from Larger Ancestry User Interface

Issues with Cancellation and Refunds 

Customers have complained that they have not been able to cancel after beginning the free trial and were charged for a yearly membership. It seems that if you email or reach out on Facebook, the company will refund you quickly.

Difficulty Locating Specific Records

Some customers have not been able to find the military records they were looking for. This defeats the purpose of using a military-specific database and is a frustration for those searching for genealogy records using Fold3.

Disconnected from Larger Ancestry User Interface 

Although part of the Ancestry.com company, you can’t sign in using your username and password from Ancestry.com. This seems like an easy thing to fix, which indicates the software itself is not a high priority for Ancestry, which certainly would have the technical capabilities to make this type of sign-in integration.

The Bottom Line

For the average genealogist, Fold3 is probably too specialized to utilize, unless family or historical needs center on military information. If that’s the case, starting with the free resources or the seven-day free trial subscription would be a good place to begin.

However, be aware that some customers have had issues canceling the subscription, so understand that it may take a few tries to cancel if longer-term use is not beneficial for you.

 

User Reviews

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Sandra Douglas

February 9th, 2020 Evanston, WY

It’s a great site for military service information. I haven’t used it much, but what I have found, has been very useful.

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Lareasha Washington

September 24th, 2018 Euless, TX

I was charged for a years subscription after I cancelled my trial. Not I'm not about to speak with anyone.

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Marcus

September 13th, 2018 Arlington, VA DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Absolutely terrible customer service. No response to emails or calls.

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Marilyn Greer

July 21st, 2018 Saint George, UT

This is by far the best place to go to find military information for your ancestors. The information you get is very thorough.

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