Search Military Records Online – With Fold3

Well, hello again. We are going to delve into a great topic, historical military records. Many of us have family members who have served in the military in some of the most current conflicts. If not, we all have high respect for those who serve to defend our country and other countries worldwide. I have several members of my family who have served, and I am proud of their sacrifice. As I continue in my genealogy research, I have found ancestors whom I was unaware that have served. There are pride and satisfaction in this type of discovery.

I have found another fantastic research website to check out, Fold3 – by Ancestry; it contains 543,356,276 Historical Military Records. Oh my gosh, I can hardly wait to see what it has to offer as we search military records online.

Let’s check out Fold3-a bit of history


[i]The Fold3 name comes from a traditional flag ceremony in which the third fold is made in honor and remembrance of veterans who served in defense of their country and to maintain peace throughout the world.

[ii] The perfect site name can learn a lot about a business by its name. Fold3 has years of experience, first as a digitized business starting as iArchives in 1999 with historical newspapers and other archive content from leading universities, libraries, and media companies. iArchives developed a unique understanding of the value of an online repository for the world’s source documents. Thus, patenting the process of digitizing paper, microfilm, and microfiche documents. And using its platform to provide access to these historical collections.

In 2007 they launched with over 5 million original documents and established it as a go-to website for historical documents, especially military documents. In 2010 purchased iArchives and Footnote, then in 2011, Footnote was rebranded as Fold3 as a premier site for military records.

The history of Fold3 has established it as an authority in the field of military records these records are perfect for:

  • Historians
  • Researchers
  • Family Historians
  • Veterans & their families
  • Genealogists
  • Enthusiasts
  • Institutions

As you can see, Fold3 benefits everyone. There is much information from the billions of records to the Memorials by Fold3. Spotlights, which features article after article of stories from different conflicts throughout the world and much more.

Fold3 Discovery – What l lies in this comprehensive site?


We will now look deeper into the features of Fold3; on the home page, there is a 7-day free offer. I will show you the membership plans later in this article. Even without a membership, you will be able to use the search bar. So go ahead and enter a name; once you do it, show you how many matches it has found, I began with my father’s first and last name; I found 934 records.

As I look through the list, I am looking for publications in areas where I know my father lived. Upon opening one, the requirement is that I sign up for a free trial membership or the basic free membership.

Once a membership established, the following is available:

  • Browse Military Records by War
    • Revolutionary War
    • War of 1812
    • Mexican American and Early Indian Wars
    • Civil Wars
    • Spanish-American War
    • World War I
    • World War II
    • Korean War
    • Vietnam War
    • Recent Wars
    • Non-military Records
    • International
  • Explore the Honor Wall
    • Honor Veterans from any U.S. conflict
  • Search Various records
    • Conflict/War
    • City, State, Country: Worldwide
    • Publications by Type: Census, Social Security, Muster rolls, Draft Registrations cards, Veterans Affairs, Enlistment records, Pension numerical index, FBI case files, Naturalizations, to name a few.
    • Publications by Name
    • Record Type: Image, Index record, Memorial, Publications
    • Publication Language: English, German, French, Japanese, Spanish
  • Memorials
    • S. Honor Wall
    • S. Vietnam Wall
    • S.S. Arizona Wall
    • Create A Memorial: For a person, For an event, place, organization, or topic
    • Your Memorials: Your memorial of your ancestors
  • Bookmarks: Image records, index records, Memorials
  • Your Gallery: All images, only Fold3 images, Your uploads

There is also a Fold3 Blog roll that goes on and on; a person could find so much history; a person could lose themselves in the blog roll alone.

Fold3 Training

The Fold 3 Training Center is exceptional; there are various degrees of help available. Here we will find a substantial amount of training sessions that include the following. The Fold3 Tour Video has a broader view; if you click on the Green Button at the far right on the bottom of the video, this opens in Ancestry Academy.

  • What’s new in Fold3 Search?
  • Search the SSDI by Death Date
  • Using Add a Place Button to Filter Locations
  • Four Different way to Seach for Records in a Specific War
  • Using Key Words effectively in Fold3 Search
  • How to select Dates for your fold3 Search
  • Finding Records using Filters in the Fold3 Search Bar
  • Finding Fold3 Records using Filters in the Side Panel

Also, Ancestry Academy’s more advanced search instructions is a very professional presentation.

Finding Your Military Veterans on Fold3
  • Introduction to Fold3
  • Primary Military Service Records
  • Secondary Military Service Records
  • Additional Military Service Records
  • Leaving a Tribute: The Honor Wall
  • Conclusion

[i]“Fold3 has a search engine that is both simple and powerful. You can search on names, dates, places, publication names, conflict periods, document types, and more. It’s best to start with a simple, broad search such as a name or keyword search, then narrow those results using dates, places, and the available filters on the left side of the page”.

Membership plans with Fold3

All considering the plans offered by is a reasonable rate when you consider the search capacity and the amount of help available.


It is quite visible that either membership would be great. If you are looking to do much research on Fold3 full membership for 79.95USD is a reasonable price. But if you are not going to be doing substantial research, the way to go would be either the 7-Day Free Trial. And get as much information as you can in those seven days. Or Register for FREE Basic Fold3 Membership; from what I see, you would still have access to many records then later if the need upgrade to premium membership.

I want to share with you one of the records I found, showing the Draft Registration Card for my great-grandfather. Seeing this document that he filled out personally in his handwriting (how cool is that) helps me get to know him.


It is documents like the above that gets me excited to continue my research with Fold3.

I love Fold3 because I enjoy history and am fascinated by the bravery of those who have and are serving. In the various conflicts that have occurred and are occurring in the world. It is the history of our protectiveness of what is ours.

I hope you have enjoyed learning about Fold3 as much as I have. Please let me know what you think about what you have found by commenting below.

Thank you for taking the time. I appreciate you sticking with me as we reviewed this informative website.

Kindest Regards


[i] Search training Section Quote

[i]  Section-Why the Name Fold3? Quote

[ii] Combined information from Sections-Company History and Fold3 are Perfect for.

4 thoughts on “Search Military Records Online – With Fold3”

  1. Hi Rose!  This looks like a very interesting website.  I know my father served in the National Guard and my son served in the army.  It would be interesting to see all the information they have on just these two.  I might even delve farther back to my grandfather and great to see if there is anything on them.  What countries are included in this data bank?  Is it just in the United States?  I think my greats might have been from Canada.  I think I’ll sign up for the free and see what is there.  Thanks for bringing this to us. 

    • Hello Lynn, Glad you find the site interesting it is my passion. Sound like you have a great military family that is awesome. You might be able to find information about your living serving relatives, but these are historical files so definitely for those who are deceased. In answer to your question, these records are worldwide. Although here is an article about a website dealing in hard to find English and Irish records  Genealogy Research Sites – Let’s Compare check out Find My Past. 

      Have fun researching. If I can assist in any way, please let me know.

      Kindest Regards


  2. My grandfather was in world war II and I was quite young when he died so therefore, do not know much about him.  A few family members have given a few little facts here and there.  There apparently is a possibility of direct relatives in Europe as a result of his presence there.  I wonder if this site would help find out?

    • There is a certain amount of pride that comes with knowledge of a family member who served in the military. Searching military records is undoubtedly an excellent place to find more information about a relative. There is a possibility you would find the places your grandfather was stationed, which would help in your families search for additional family members.

      If I can assist in any way, please let me know.

      Kindest Regards


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