Fold3 HQ

Content from SmallTownPapers and Gannett Leaving Fold3

On September 15th we will be removing from Fold3 some of the newspapers that came from two of our partners, SmallTownPapers® and Gannett.  This is due to contractual issues and we have no plans to remove any other content from the site.

Here are a few questions that you may have about this change:
Which titles will be removed and which will still be available on Fold3?
All titles from SmallTownPapers and Gannett will be removed.  Nearly all of these titles are from our newspaper collection.  To help you see which titles will be affected, we’ve collected those that will be removed into a category called “SmallTownPapers and Gannett” in the “Other Records” category of the browse on the site until they are removed on the 15th.

Only titles from SmallTownPapers and Gannett will be removed and we will still have great historical newspapers on the site including The Chicago Tribune, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Washington Post, The Atlanta Constitution and The London Times.

What about images from these titles that I have added to my Gallery or downloaded?
All Gannett images will be removed from the site and will no longer be accessible on Fold3. From the SmallTownPapers collection, we have negotiated ongoing rights to images to which users have contributed (for example, bookmarked, commented on, annotated, spotlighted or added to their Gallery or to a memorial page). All other SmallTownPapers images will be removed from the site. Of course this will not affect any copies of images you have downloaded to your hard drive.

How does this affect other titles on Fold3?
This only affects titles from SmallTownPapers and Gannett. We have ongoing rights to all the other titles on the site and have no plans to remove any other content.


  1. Susan Brehm says:

    So how do I get a refund? The sole reason I subscribe to fold3 was to read the poughkeepsie journal. You must have known this was coming, and should have had a notice of the impending changes to the site posted,

    I’m serious. I have no interest in fold3 without the poughkeepsie journal.

    • Gordon says:


      Thank you for your comment. Please Contact the Fold3 Support Team so they can review your specific account details and options.

    • Mary says:

      I agree. I do not know why you did not post this earlier. I fbind your search engine to be bad, but I am interested in the Poughkeepsie Journal and have found several articles and hoping to find more.
      Very disappointed.

    • Sal says:

      Extremely disappointed, especially with the short notice. I too was using the Poughkeepsie Journal. My research project now has a very tight deadline! And didn’t you guys just send out a note saying that no existing content would be removed? I was worried when I heard Ancestry had acquired the site. Shame on me.

  2. Cindy Ratner says:

    I too only subscribed to see the Poughkeepsie Journal & have no interest in fold3 if you no longer carry the Poughkeepsie Journal. I’d like a refund.

  3. MotherB says:

    Reader Forum on this topic on Gannett’s Poughkeepsie Journal Web Site – another place to publish your thoughts on this absurdity and read what others are saying – the People in Charge of the Poughkeepsie Journal will perhaps be more likely to see your comments here.

    • MotherB says:

      The Media in this country leaves much to be desired but this just frost the cake.

      Gannett and Poughkeepsie Journal must not have liked this Forum – they removed it – I know the person who started this Forum didn’t remove it. Forums

      We are sorry, the page that you are looking for is no longer available.

      Click here to return to where you came from.

  4. Fred Roe says:

    I have to say that I suspected something was in the works as 1) new images were not being uploaded, 2) access to the PoJo went from free to FEE, & 3) footnote was bought and the name changed and most probably the focus for the content also changed. So I can see this as a business decision but it does leave users with a bad vibe. Some of whom have invested considerable time in making annotations etc that presumably will be lost forever.

    Let’s hope Gannet is pursuing another hosting site.

  5. Sharon Harris says:

    I am angry to see that this is happening. I am going to be calling up “Fold3”.

    The “smalltownpapers”, with it the Saguache Crescent, is precisely WHY I have Footnote/Fold3 in the first place. There is no where else I have found that has this Colorado paper.

    I have just renewed my subscription, and I can guarantee you that I will be extremely upset at loosing this portion of this site. I will insist on getting a refund. If I would have known in advance that you would be doing away with this portion of the site, I would never have renewed, and I certainly wouldn’t have been recommending your site.

    I can only hope that there is somewhere else that I can go get what I am looking for.

    If you feel so “sorry for the inconvenience”, then 1) give me/us our refund, and 2) help us find another resource for what we need.

    Sharon Harris

  6. Debra says:

    You may not realize it, but most people in this country lived in small towns, not major cities like today. In addition, those major papers, like the Tribune or the Times, have published indexes available in any good public library for free. The loss of small town papers from this site is a major one, and one I’m going to miss a great deal.
    You give us very little notice on this deletion, at a time when many folks are getting children back to school or going on vacation, so that we have no reasonable chance to get what we need before you obliterate it, and no info on unsubscribing/refunds.
    I’m a longtime member of ancestry, and think that this new site should rightly be included in our hefty subscription price for that site. I didnt mind paying for footnote, as it had unique content, but am not interested in more military content whatsoever.
    Where can one get small town content now?
    Where does one get a refund and stop the subscription?

    Oh, and if other users havent seen this yet, you’ve gotta know this: often when doing a search on, one will find items that, when clicked on, direct the searcher to this site, which immediately asks the user for more money!!! They’ve spent a lot of time to include these items, in order to force users into yet another subscription price, but apparently dont care to spend any money to continue to provide the content we have come to depend on from footnote. Typical.

    • Sharon Harris says:

      Well written, Debra! This is frustrating me to NO END. I am in Florida, and have no way to get the info I need across the country. I was OK with paying for this subscription, even though they had spotty coverage through the years. I have been with for some time now. I cannot understand why they apparently are involved in the purchase/changes of Footnote/Fold3, and how this is being negatively impacted by “contractual issues” with Gannett. I cannot even figure out how to find out through Gannett about if they plan on doing something with their huge archives! I am still looking though. Please let me know if you find out anything! Fold3 didn’t even have the courtesy (or the nerve?) to call me to let me know if there is going to be another place to access these papers.
      Sharon Harris [email protected]

  7. MotherB says:

    Footnote/Fold3’s first big mistake was affiliating themselves with Ancestry. I’m paid through Oct. 2012 here but probably won’t be visiting as often since Military is just a small part of any historical focus.

  8. MotherB says:

    This really stinks – Fold3 is now sending e-mails to people who were watching our Poughkeepsie Journal annotations, spotlights, etc. that we removed them when we didn’t – Fold3 and Gannett did.

  9. Erica S. Maniez says:

    I logged on today to do research and have found that one of our main sources has disappeared. Like many other subscribers, our organization subscribed to the former for the sole purpose of accessing the Issaquah Press through SmallTown Papers. I will be contacting your customer service department for a refund. Other posters have already said it well, but I will say it again — poorly executed, Fold3. REMOVING content with little notice, and no clues as to where and when the information is available now, is not a winning move when it comes to customer service.

  10. Erica S. Maniez says:

    P.S. To the other users who are looking for the SmallTown Papers content — it appears that this content is now being hosted on Not all of the issues are available yet, but customer support says that they will be adding them.

    • Sheila Jackson says:

      Thank you for sharing info about This looks like an excellent resource. (I hope doesn’t buy them up too.) I enjoy reading old newspapers and now that is no more, I am looking elsewhere. I’m NOT renewing my membership due to all the changes.

  11. Jeanne Icolari says:

    This is really disappointing. I needed access to the Poughkeepsie Journal for most of the research that I do for others. You must have seen this coming. I have written to you for a refund.

  12. Vanda says:

    Since you have removed the Spirit of Jefferson Farmer’s Advocate newspaper, I have no interest in renewing my subscription. This is so disappointing!

  13. Bill Burgi says:

    I am VERY disappointed in FOLD3 for dropping the Poughkeepsie Journal. I hope someone else will pick it up. I have already canceled my membership with FOLD3.

  14. Sheila Jackson says:

    I will miss perusing the old newspapers available on Footnote (these are now hidden under “other”. Fold3 is just a way to create a second/split revenue stream for Ancestry so that subscribers are required to pay two Membership fees for services that should be combined into one single pay site. Ancestry could have added a Fold3 military tab or portal onto their site for those interested in this particular research area. Sadly, Ancestry seems to be the “conspiring evil corporate empire” in the minds of many.

    Last year, as part of the acquisition of Footnote, Ancestry could have granted expanded access to Ancestry to Footnote’s members (as an act of goodwill) through the remainder of their current membership cycle.

    Ancestry’s management should closely study Netflix’s recent customer missteps and the resulting departure en mass of many of its loyal members.
    Ancestry/Fold3 should apologize to its members, and rectify matters by offering an easily accessed “cancel my membership” option on the Fold3 site along with processing prompt refunds.
    By the way, borrowing again from Netflix, this Ancestry/Fold3 management apology should not include a business processes explanation of why Ancestry is operating two separate sites with separate membership fees. Customers do not care what is important to your business processes/investor objectives.

    Hopefully a strong competitor will step forward to create a supply/demand benefit to customers. Access to the National Archives should not be monopolized by one capitalistic corporation.

    • BettyMama says:

      Please explain this to me, because after reading all of the posts, I am a little out of the loop.
      I am a member of both ancestry and fold3. Just now when I looked for a Civil War record on ancestry, I was directly to fold3.
      Does this mean I will have to pay 2 fees to to see something that I normally saw there AND also on footnote?
      Thank you

    • Peter says:

      There are some titles, for now mostly Civil War service record titles, that Fold3 has, but Ancestry did not have. We gave a copy of our indexes to Ancestry and you can now find and see the full indexes for those titles on their site. The images are still on Fold3. Again, these are titles that Ancestry did not have previously.

  15. Jim Morris says:

    I am very disappointed in the deletion of the Poughkeepsie Journal from your website. This was a great resource for myself and family. We have found some wonderful items in the military info at Footnote as well as wonderful items from the Journal. We were looking forward to linking items to Ancestry!

  16. Jeanne Icolari says:

    Perhaps we should contact Gannett Co, in West Virginia at it appears they are the culprit. I went onto their website but there is no email address for the CEO listed, just a phone number which I am sure will get us nowhere. Once again, it’s all about greed.

  17. Matt Stein says:

    I think any business has a right to change direction. However, any good business would:
    #1 Answer their telephones during business hours instead of directing you to VM
    #2 Send a service change notification in old fashioned Email to their customers announce their plans and providing a pro-rated refund for cancellations.
    #3 Any employee of Fold3 would be upset if their cable company pulled all english speaking stations and replaced them with something in any other language and then expected their customers to continue to pay through the end of their contract. A lot of us joined Footnote (not Fold3) for the small town newspapers feature – While this may be nice for military buffs, it is not for me. Not only that, I decided to search for records for some of my ancestors who fought in the Civil War and I can get documents on other sites but get no “hits” when I search on Fold3 –> I guess this point is irrelevent since my purpose for joining this site was so I could find articles about my WV relatives in The Spirit of Jefferson. newspaper and several others.

    • Matt Stein says:

      Follow up – Footnote sent me an Email this morning and said that they are in the process of refunding $59.99 to my credit card.

      Thank you Fold3!

      I hope that you and Gannett can come back together in the future and provide the variety of unique content (other than military records and select major news papers) which drew me to your site to begin with. The impact to me as a result of the “loss in service” was minimal compared to those unfortunate folks that lost lots of work with associated annotations.

      Good luck!

  18. mark thaddeus williams says:

    My membership in was all about The Poughkeepsie Journal. I will not renew with Fold3. I added hundreds of annotations to PJ including many items missed by the OCR software and am angry that this work (and that of so many other researchers) has vanished into digital oblivion.

  19. Bob Bryan says:

    Removal of the small town newspapers is a great loss and reduces the worth of Fold3 to me and many others as can be seen by the posts here.

    Being “sorry for the inconvenience” is not helpful! How about resolving the “contractual issues” and putting the collection back?