Whether you’re browsing the records on Fold3 just to take a look around or browsing to find information on a specific person, this method of online exploration can broaden your understanding of a conflict period and give context to records about your ancestors.
The easiest way to access the browse menu is by selecting “Browse records” from the “Search” dropdown at the top of any page. Then choose a conflict period and record collection to look through. Each collection is organized differently based on the type of records it contains, but all are easy to navigate using the browse menu.
When you’ve navigated through the browse menu to its final pane, you’ll see thumbnail images of the records in that particular part of the collection. Looking at these thumbnails can give you a general overview of how much content there is in a particular record. You can also choose the information icon under a thumbnail to view the document information, like full publication title, content source, document type, a short description of the collection, and much more. Selecting any of the thumbnails will bring you to the full-size image in the Fold3 viewer.
Your browse isn’t over once you reach the viewer. From the viewer, you can open the “filmstrip” at the bottom of the page and quickly go to other images within the record. You can also use the “breadcrumbs” (the trail of links) at the top of the viewer to easily navigate to other parts of the collection without having to start your browse over from the beginning.
Another helpful feature is “Search within.” For example, if you’re looking for JEB Stuart in the 1860 Census, and you know he lived in Kansas at that time but aren’t sure which county to look in, select the 1860 census from the browse menu, then choose Kansas. Next, type “J E B Stuart” in the “Search within” box that’s located at the top of the pane and select “Go.” This will search within the Kansas 1860 Census and return a search result for JEB Stuart’s census record. From that, you’ll learn that he was living in Davis County, Kansas. (You can also begin a “search within” by selecting a breadcrumb from the top of the viewer and searching from there.)