Posted by Ancestry Team on October 1, 2013 in Contest



You asked. We listened! We are excited to announce the Branch Out contest where six (6) lucky Grand-Prize Winners will have the opportunity to work with ProGenealogists to help shape their family tree. Whether you are just starting out, or you have been building your tree for years, now is your chance to work with an expert!


You can enter the Sweepstakes by completing the registration form requesting your name, complete mailing address, email address, phone number, and a brief story (not to exceed 500 words in length) of your family history (the “Theme”). Submitted stories will not be judged or graded, however, providing a valid Theme-related story is a mandatory step in entering the Sweepstakes.

Official Rules can be found here – please note this is open to legal residents of the 50 United States (or the District of Columbia).

The six (6) Grand-Prize Winners will be selected from the entries submitted during one of the six Promotional Periods taking place between now and August 2014. The first Grand-Prize winner will be selected on November 5, 2013. Winners will then be selected in January, March, May, July, and September 2014*.


The Grand Prize winner, upon confirmation of eligibility, will receive the following prize package:

(a)   Twenty (20) hours of ProGenealogists research, which can be used in one of the following areas:

  • Starting Your Tree: Researchers will start your family tree online at
  • Using Demo: Researchers will start or review your tree, show you how to use features of the site, add an ancestor to your tree, and teach you how to connect to other users
  • Family Finds: Researchers search for records on a few 19th and 20th century ancestors and find 2-3 records in the tree with an analysis of what the records show
  • Find the Star in Your Tree: Researchers will comb through your tree to find a story focused on a single ancestor or single family
  • Branching Out: Researchers will search multiple generations in the tree for a story that we can tell with an assortment of records, stories and locations
  • Research Plan: Researchers will dive into your family history brick wall and create a research plan for the member to use to try and make a breakthrough
  • Brick Wall Research: Researchers will pool their expertise to try to break through a brick wall in a member’s family tree. The request must be specific and focused and made for research in a country we have expertise in and there are available records to search

(b)   One (1) year World Explorer Plus Membership

(c)   One (1) DNA kit

(d)   One (1) 8×8 Premium Leather Photo Book from

The Grand Prize package has an Approximate Retail Value (“ARV”) of $3,346.


Excited yet? I know we are. Want to enter for a chance to win a Family History Package from Complete the registration form before 11:59:59 p.m. PT on October 31, 2013. The first Grand-Prize winner will be selected on November 5, 2013.

Good luck!




*, at its own discretion, may select additional winners during the Promotional Periods.


  1. Sandy

    Not quit sure what you mean by a “theme”? Is a family story that a person would like to confirm or the last name that you are researching and only have a few clues?

  2. Pam Velazquez

    Sandy, Here we mean a short summary of your genealogy story. It could be about how you got started, what you want help researching, an interesting discovery you’ve made or why you are interested in exploring your family history. And if you have a family story that you would like to confirm, that works too! -PV

  3. K Ashley

    Will our personal information be kept confidential? Name, address, phone number and email; and mother’s maiden name is quite a lot of personal information to submit.
    What assurances do we have that we will not be inundated with advertisements, or great offers from companies other than
    I don’t mind offers from Love your company!

  4. Katy Klose

    EEEK..I was filling out the registration form and slipped up and hit submit before I wrote my theme”
    Rules say only enter once-can you tell me how to attach my theme or negate my entry????

  5. Nancy James

    I would love to have entered this but since I don’t live in the US, it won’t let me enter. Too bad, I use Ancestry all the time.

  6. Debbie Hughes

    I think I entered but everything blanked out – so not sure it it went through. How can I confirm?

  7. Phyllis Schaffer

    Thanks for the chance to win such an exciting prize! It would be like Christmas every day for a whole year as I opened up ‘presents’ in the form of new details on my family tree!

  8. I am not sure, but I think members of my family have done research on your site and may have added, contributed, etc. to my surname. In your category listings would it be possible to research and possibly update from this package? I am completely in the dark about how to go and research. I am really interested in this but have no idea how to proceed nor can I afford a subscription. It used to be free years ago and I did visit once but was clueless then.

  9. Kristie Wells

    #5: Yes K. Ashley, all information submitted will be kept confidential. Though I don’t recall us asking for your mother’s maiden name, so make sure you are on the right form.

    And this information will not be used for anything but selecting a winner.

    #6: Katy, we have seen this happen a couple of times. We will advise the Sweepstakes company to scrub the list for all entries without a story/theme, and then they will remove any duplicates to ensure only complete entries are in the running, and only one entry per person. So go ahead and resubmit with your story attached.

    #7: Nancy, while this specific contest is for US residents only, we are sharing the requests for international contests with our regional counterparts.

    #8: Debbie, employees will not see the specific entries (keeping the integrity of the contest intact), so I cannot verify it went through. I would suggest submitting again. As I mentioned to Katy above, the list will be scrubbed for duplicates before a winner is selected.

    #10: Lisa, you might consider the ‘Starting Your Tree’ option. If records/trees already exist for your surname, the research team can validate the information is correct and maybe help extend the line another generation or two.

  10. Christie Scott-Swentko

    Thank you for this opportunity Ancestry, it’s like our own little WDYTYA! 🙂
    I shared this on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, twice.
    Good Luck Everyone!!!!

  11. Elsie Lively

    Today I got the first notice about the contest. It let me join, but then when I read the dates I wondered if the year was wrong or if this was an old contest that the announcement was sent out by mistake? Oh, I just saw in one of the comments above another contest starts Dec 1st, I guess they did not update the dates?
    Very Confusing.

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