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Military records on Fold3

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Military records on Fold3

Postby JaneyH » Tue Sep 12, 2017 1:46 pm

Does anyone with more knowledge of military records than me (not difficult) know much about Fold3? I can see that it's part of Ancestry, although it requires a separate subscription. It's piqued my interest twice in the last 24 hours.

First, there was a note in the latest copy of the WDYTYA? magazine saying that "616,118 1918-1940 RAF personnel records are now on military records website fold3.com". Second, I've had a couple of Ancestry hints for a person that are in the Royal Hospital Chelsea records (series WO 97 and WO116 at the National Archives).

While I would expect to have to pay extra to see military records from outside UK & Ireland (my current Ancestry subscription) I'm a bit miffed that British records are only available to me via an additional subscription to Fold3. While I can try to save up as many hints as possible and have a hit with a free 7-day trial, that doesn't get me very far.

Any thoughts?
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Re: Military records on Fold3

Postby AdrianB38 » Tue Sep 12, 2017 4:13 pm

See the thread http://www.whodoyouthinkyouaremagazine.com/forum/topic14223.html

In short, some of the Fold3 stuff is in FMP and some of it in TNA Discovery's online stuff - in fact, some of the Discovery stuff is free - though you may need to download a lengthy PDF - digital microfilm, I think they call it.

Try and use the TNA references if you can, to navigate / search as FMP's titles are a bit odd at times. Certainly some of the WO116 stuff is online from TNA.

By the way, I tried to find out about "1918-1940 RAF personnel records" when I saw that announcement. It's pretty much a con. Sorry, I mean that the provider has been mislead by the archivists' titles. The full 1918-1940 RAF personnel records are still locked up in the Ministry of Defence. Ancestry refers to UK, Royal Air Force Airmen Records, 1918-1940, and says that they are from AIR 79 Royal Air Force Airmen Records, 1918-1940. In Discovery, AIR 79 is dated by TNA as 1901-1944 . The TNA description says (part quoting)
This series contains service records for airmen of the Royal Air Force (RAF) who served during the First World War ...

Some AIR 79 records are noted as 'Record Not Available'. There are two reasons for this. Either the individual was commissioned from the ranks and his RAF airmen's record no longer survives, or the airman served after the late 1920s and in many cases into the Second World War and his record is still retained by the Ministry of Defence for business and administrative purposes. ...

The records of those airmen whose service continued into the 1930s and 1940s (where a record of service survives) will be transferred at a later date.

My emphasis. So, to be fair to Ancestry, the dating up to 1944 comes from TNA and it was, I think, dated like that to cover any later transfer of stuff from the MoD. That hasn't happened yet. Now,every so often (yesterday!) I get proven wrong. I'd love to be proven wrong in this case but...
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Re: Military records on Fold3

Postby JaneyH » Tue Sep 12, 2017 4:52 pm

Many thanks, Adrian.

Initially I thought these were newly-available records as the Ancestry hints are new, but for a person who's been in my tree for many months. I'm certainly not going to fork out and subscribe to fold3, but between TNA and FMP I should be able to follow up these hints.

I've still not had a decent session doing my research since my holiday so I need to ring-fence some time and crack on!


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Re: Military records on Fold3

Postby ianbee » Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:35 am

Ancestry is giving free access to UK military records this weekend. Starting now.
The Fold3 records indexed on ancestry can be viewed for free too, if you are registered with the site (like ancestry, you can register on Fold3 as a free member)

I think they may be giving access to rather more on Fold3 than they did on the last occasion - for example we can view images of the Courts Martial Registers, 1806-1930.

A good time to take advantage if you have ever felt curious about Fold3!
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Re: Military records on Fold3

Postby JaneyH » Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:49 am

Thanks for this Ian. My only problem will be squeezing in some time for this over the weekend. What with my son's birthday party tomorrow and a Remembrance Parade on Sunday it'll be a challenge!


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Re: Military records on Fold3

Postby AdrianB38 » Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:00 pm

ianbee wrote:... we can view images of the Courts Martial Registers, 1806-1930 ...


Disappointingly (to me) these are just one line entries - anyone looking for a full transcript to be made into a film starring Tom Cruise as their ancestor will need to carry on looking!
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Re: Military records on Fold3

Postby meekhcs » Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:51 pm

Whilst I appreciate the offer, although sadly I wasn't able to take advantage, it's the least they can do.

I still object strongly to the fact that ALL military records were removed from my Ancestry worldwide subscription, thereby increasing my subscription for the remaining records I had access to. A new level of subscription "All Access" was then created above worldwide, at an additional cost, to include the newly created Fold3, the cost being marginally cheaper than having a separate Worldwide subscription and a Fold3 account.

Sally
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Re: Military records on Fold3

Postby AdrianB38 » Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:14 pm

I dislike the Fold3 thing intensely because it breaks the promise of worldwide access. (Which bit of "worldwide" do they not understand?)

However, in the interest of fairness (with gritted teeth) you surely haven't lost all military access? I can still access Medal Index Cards, Medal Rolls, Burnt and Pension Records, Soldiers' Effects, etc, etc., and I certainly don't have a Fold3 subs. Certainly it appears that anything new in the military line is only going to be on Fold3 (indexes aside) and I have an idea that some new stuff appeared on Ancestry for no more than a couple of weeks before disappearing into Fold3. But that aside, I certainly haven't lost anything - though Ancestry have certainly lost some of my goodwill over the episode.

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Re: Military records on Fold3

Postby meekhcs » Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:45 pm

Now that is interesting Adrian, and I humbly stand corrected!!

I have just gone back to the particular person I was researching when this whole Fold3 business evolved and sure enough some records are there, but some are viewable only at Fold3.

I seem to remember there being a whole issue with records being posted on Ancestry and then moved quickly to Fold3, so I obviously just got caught out with this particular person.

I have few military ancestors from days gone by but I have just checked and their records are still there.

I still dislike the action Ancestry took because I think it leaves the door open for them to make similar decisions with other records.

Sally
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Re: Military records on Fold3

Postby AdrianB38 » Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:34 pm

I agree with the dislike. And if you remember a quick move from Ancestry to Fold3 as well, then it must be right.

It's always worth a look elsewhere - at the time that Fold3 acquired the UK stuff, I had a quick look and some of their stuff was nowhere outside Kew, some was on FindMyPast and some was on the TNA website either on pay per view or on free digital microfilm. The latter is a PDF containing a full piece (usually?) and with no index but - the price is right!

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