Posted by Ancestry Team on July 26, 2017 in AncestryDNA, News

Have your AncestryDNA results inspired you to travel somewhere new or achieve something great? Tell us about it!

Nothing speaks to the power of Ancestry better than our very own customers. We’re currently in search of the most compelling and unique customer stories to feature in a future Ancestry commercial.

Visit our entry pages to submit a short video including a little about yourself and the exciting discoveries you’ve made with the help of Ancestry.

Entry page for AncestryDNA stories

Entry page for Ancestry family tree product

Entry page for AncestryDNA + tree product

The deadline for entries has been extended to August 2, 2017.




  1. Wendy Henderson

    I have been a member of Ancestry for a few years. I had my DNA done this year.
    It has been passed down through the Ferguson Family that James Ferguson the Scottish Astronomer was my 4 th Great Grandfather. But we had no proof. My first DNA match was with a fellow who was related to Isabella Wilson James Fergusons Wife . We now have proof because of my DNA. If not for Ancestry The Ferguson Family would never have known for sure.

  2. Gabby

    I tried uploading my video all day yesterday and it kept rejecting it–then last night i was playing around with the settings but it was after 12 and i guess i missed the deadline. I was going to call that trouble number but it was too late and now the submission page is gone. is there any way to still get it in??!! I am so upset!

    • Jessica Latinović

      Gabby, The deadline was extended to August 2 so the entry pages are still live. Please call the help line at 800-221-0785 to troubleshoot the uploading issue you’re experiencing. We look forward to receiving your video.

  3. Sandy

    I was able to retrieve the DNA from my half sisters father when he as 84 years old, he has since died. We made a mistake and used FTDNA. He only had 1 very, very, very distant match. Is there any way we can upload his results to AncestryDNA? I would love to tell a story how ANCESTRYDNA had the results we needed, not FTDNA. Please, Please give me a chance to be able to say ANCESTRYDNA is much better than FTDNA!!!!

  4. Judy Burke Holya

    I tried to do a video for you but my phone is not big enough to transfer it to email so I couldn’t send it to you. A smaller file will still not upload either. I have the greatest story EVER! I’m at my summer home in Pinetop, White Mountains, 3 1/2 hours east of Phoenix. Phone 480 704 6104.

    In the 1980’s I found out I had a half sister given up for adoption. My father had an affair with a friend of my mother. The girl was born in 1962. When I heard this I VOWED I would find my sister. I only have two brothers. She has two brothers and four sisters on her mother’s side (2 of the sisters are dead.) I used all the adoption websites and researched, but I got nowhere- for years! I was pretty sad and depressed as I would go to my grave never knowing my baby sister.

    Her brother, Steve, on her mom’s side, wanted to find her too. He was sure her name was Sonja. This went on for OVER 33 Years!. Finally my cousin, Bonnie, got DNA results from ancestry in January! There was a first cousin named Sonja O’Brien!!! WOW!!! I found her on facebook and called. “Is this Sonja, born in 1962 in Clarkston, WA?’ I heard a tentative “yes,” but “I’m not adopted.” Whoa! Well, I explained everything. She had lived in California. Her birth parents (my dad Art, her mom, Florence) are long dead, and her first set of adoptive parents are dead. They died when she was six. She was put in foster system (unpleasant story) and adopted again at age ten by a wonderful family. They recently passed too so she thought she was all alone, except for very nice adoptive relatives. But no ‘blood relatives.”
    We talked for two –three days until we crashed! She is in New Jersey, me Phoenix, my brothers are in Seattle, her bro Steve, San Jose, two sisters Seattle and Tacoma. In March she and I flew to San Jose and met Steve and family. A sister from Tacoma came. It was the most wonderful weekend of our lives! In a few weeks she is flying with her husband to Seattle and will meet all of them. We have so many weird things in common. It is so exciting!

    The story has to be told. Sonja found two ladies, Anna and Kerri, who work in production (ABC sports). They had been looking for a good story to do a documentary. They met us in San Jose and filmed it, everything, even our first meeting when I got off the airplane and we saw each other for the first time. Lots of happy cries. They went to New Jersey and interviewed her, will come here to Arizona and they will go to Seattle in a few weeks. They are compiling photos, interviews and are professionally filming our journey.

    I really wish my video could get to you, as we are both great on film. We exude joy!Please try to get this to the people who might use our story.

    We love you ancestry. You made a difference in so many lives. Sonja now has tons of loving family. We call her “the Baby” and we all just love her!!!! Sisters forever!

  5. I have over one million dna matches on my trees. I tested my father and my mother and did their trees as well as mine. Because their dna mostly originated in Europe and the UK I was able to find two missing lines. My maternal grandmother died when my mom was young. My paternal great grandfather was absent from my grandpas life. His grandmother was Hernietta Gates and on my mother’s maternal side are Maxwells. I know I am related to Bill Gates but most of that line has been hidden i think because Mary Maxwell Gates was kidnapped. Now since there is a feature that allows you to only show matches your ancestry I am hoping i will be able to discover more. The interesting thing is many of my dad’s ancestors have records of being Harvard graduates. I have an appraisers licenses a dental hygienists licenses and a builder’s license in Michigan (and Texas). I am significantly hearing impaired and am a descendant of noted deaf nobility. My father though slightly hearing impaired is a retired accountant A from Ford. Because my parents lines crossed many times and also some cousins though many times removed were in the states when my fthers were in Europe I also picked up a lot of slave and Native american lines from my DNA matches. One thing that helped significantly is that peple mostly stayed in one place though most of time unless there was some hardship. My mothers line was a Quaker and Mennnonite line which provided a solid anchor record wise. My father’s mother was related to Lady Diana Spencer and her mother came form England. In terms of everyone on ancestry the biggest help is the railroad records. When the railroad started issuing birth records it helped a lot of people who were transient and not church going to get birth certificates. Many of our American stick families could not otherwise be traced at a time when people were heading west. I also found out that my mothers family had many Mormon matches including the Prophet Joseph Smith, and because of the Morman’s good records I was able to find some of our family that moved up the Oregon trail though DNA matches. Keeping in mind that everyone is your 17th cousin, we are all connected in some way and part of the World Tree. I am connected in three places to t he world tree and have put together a huge ameba web of all the DNA connections weaving in and out of my family. Some of this may be wrong or duplicated but there are well over a million that are right. I am hoping that someone like Bill Gates can come up with a quantum computer, or Zuckerberg will create and AI that will eventually use my tree to break the DNA code so that when people with alzheimers are lost or bodies are found they can triangulate this massive web off me and my parents and find the families. As an appraiser when you appraise a house you find comparable sales, and with this model along with some games I played as a child I have come up with an idea for a quantum computer brain that could potentially sort this out. If you want to take a look at my tree and put me in touch with someone who could work with you to effectively carry this out I would be happy to share. I would like the world to feel connected as a huge family and to get involved in the World DNA project. I would like it to be that anyone can find their place in the world family without a pedigree or having to pay a geneologist which they may not be able to afford. So I would encourage everyone to ask the oldest members of their family to participate and even if they don’t have records to encourage to just connect their parents to it. Someday this will all be sorted out. I am sorry that I cannot make a video, but I have about 2500 friends on facebook . I am more concerned about helping than winning. Sincerely, Sheila Thomas Walters

  6. Rita Reynolds

    Jessica, I know I missed the extended deadline, but it was unavoidable. My cousin just found me after 70+ years that my aunt has looked for me. I did submit the video even though it was passed the deadline. Sorry, Rita

  7. sandra

    I have an alarming number of tragic deaths in generations of my family that are too numerous and strange to explain. These are family members descended from Henry Taitt who managed a slave plantation. Incidentally, near his property is a place the locals know as Hangman Hill. As a genealogist I see this pattern of tragic deaths when I pull all the family stories together within a few generations. There at least 4 instances were adult siblings die within minutes or hours of each other, tragically.

  8. Karen Budnick


    I am not interested in being in a commercial, but I would like to share that after over 30 years of searching for my biological family, a little over a year ago, I decided to join Ancestry . In June of this year, I contacted a 2nd cousin linked to my dna and we were trying to work together to find where I would fit in his tree. Two weeks later, I had a 1st cousin appear and nearly fell out of my chair!! We researched for 3 weeks, sent a letter, assuming that this young cousin was a cousin and turned out to be my half sister, I thought that my birth mom was found, instead it was my birth father who had never wanted me to be adopted out and so for 52 years I was lost. Now we are both found and in just a few weeks we have been communicating by phone and Skype and tomorrow, August 9th, I am going to meet my dad for the very first time! My heart is full. I hope this gives others hope that their roots can be found.


    Karen Budnick

    • Karen stoddard

      Your story inspires me! I too am adopted and trying to see where I fit in. I have people contact me and I them, but not sure how to start this process. Any advice or help would be great. I hope to have the same experience and find my history. It would be great. Thank you in advance. Karen

    • Tammy Garrison

      My father adopted me too. I don’t know much of anything of my biological father, but when I took the Ancestry DNA test, it tells me I have someone that has a high degree of certainty that they are my first or second cousin and curiously, he has the same last name of my biological father! I can’t get a response from him but I’d like to talk to him so, so, so much! Meanwhile, by putting in the information I had on my mother’s side, I discovered a great, great aunt that is still alive!!!! And she lives where my adopted father’s family has lived for generations!!!! SO of course we met! She welcomed me and my mother in with open arms, and we now have a very special relationship with her and my 4th cousins! I couldn’t have done it, would never have found her without the help of Ancestry. Thank you so much! Thank you for my new family on my mother’s side. Thank you for the possible connections I may have found on my (biological) father’s side. But more than anything, thank you for providing me with roots and a past I didn’t think I would ever, ever have.

      • Member Services Social Support Team

        @Tammy: That’s so nice to hear! We’re so happy you have been able to make these connections through AncestryDNA. Thank you very much for sharing this with us.

      • Member Services Social Support Team

        @tammy Thank you for sharing your story with us, we’re delighted that Ancestry played a part in connecting you with your family! We appreciate you taking the time to share this with us, and we hope you continue to make new and exciting discoveries!

  9. Paula

    I was wondering if we would be getting some sort of email confirmation that our submission was received. I submitted the form and a video on 8/2/17 and haven’t heard whether it was received or not. I did get a quick flash on the screen that said “Thank you for your submission” but nothing further. Just wondering.

    Thank you,
    Paula Celentano

  10. Jessica Latinović Murr

    Jessica Latinović
    I went into my ancestry on 8/2 & saw the info on sending a video. I work 12 hour night shifts & I did not have adequate time to prepare ( finding pictures/practicing). I did send a video in & feel my story was not relayed effectively. My dad & his 5 siblings were placed in an orphanage in KY & my grandfather remarried & moved to CA. I joined ancestry in 2012 to find possible siblings of my fathers, I found 2 in CA & contacted them in 2015 & my uncle actually moved to KY to get to know his family. My father was told he had no cousins however my research on ancestry revealed my dads uncle had abandoned a child & I have located & contacted the family we did not know about ( in Washington). My fathers aunt had a child we did not know about, I located this family ( in Oklahoma) & am in contact with them. In my quest I located family in Iowa that had pictures of my grandparents & great-grandparents
    ( what a emotional gift). I reached out to the families in Washington & Oklahoma & shared the pictures with them. We are traveling to Oklahoma & Iowa in October 2017 to meet our long lost families. Not sure my video painted this picture as I had just a few minutes to throw it together.
    From a little leaf in a tree that continues to grow bigger each day…….

  11. Barbara Williams

    I haven’t received my results yet but I have started building my family tree and found a consin already found out some very valuable information hope to find more

  12. Barbara Williams

    I haven’t received my results yet but I have started building my family tree and found a consin already found out some very valuable information hope to find more information

  13. Mary Borchardt

    I submitted a ancestry story for consideration back at the end of July for your commercial search. It was a story about Piere Dame a salt smugler ancester. Has the decision been made about who you will use or are you still decideing? I just want to know if I still may hear something. Thanks Mary Borchardt

  14. Jeffrey DeDecker

    I just found both my birth parents working backwards from distant relatives on Ancestory. My story would have won.

  15. Michele Mekeel

    My aunt was contacted by a 16 year old young man a few months ago. Of course they were both members here on Ancestry. He asked her if anyone in her family was an egg donor? She

  16. Michele Mekeel

    My aunt was contacted by a 16 year old young man a few months ago. Of course they were both members here on Ancestry. He asked her if anyone in her family was an egg donor? She Replied yes! My niece. He then told her he believed she is his biological mother. My aunt had my mom take a DNA test last year and his was a match. My aunt got him and I in contact with each other. I then took a DNA test and just got my results today. Looks like I’m a mother of him and his twin sister! When I donated my eggs 17 years ago, I never imagined seeing them or hearing their voices on the phone.

  17. Carol Byers

    We’d like to know why we haven’t heard a word on our AncestryDNA?
    We sent it to you at least 3 months ago – so far – not a word from you ! What is wrong ???

    • Member Services Social Support Team

      @Carol: We apologize for the delay and we would of course like to assist you with this. What can you see when you log in to your account and click on the DNA tab? Was the kit activated online before sending it back to us? If not, do you still have the activation code? Since this is an account specific query we would advise you to please call us at 1-800-ANCESTRY (1-800-262-3787) between the hours of 9am to 11pm EST, seven days a week and we can help you with this directly.

  18. Judith Castillo

    I have been an ancestry subscriber for several years. It has become my addiction! I started not knowing more than both sets of grandparents. It has taken me beyond my wildest imagination. My one stumbling block is my maternal grandmother. We were told by a person we thought was her sister that they ere not related and she gave my mom a small picture of a woman appearing to be Mexican. My grandmother lived in Colonia Dublan Mexico at a Mormon commune and married a man there from TN. They were married in Salt Lake at the temple. I have the certificate. I am stuck getting access to records of residents during that time. I very much would love to learn her “true” mothermother’s name. Any suggestions? Your help is greatly appreciated. SinceJudith Castillo

  19. Jennifer H

    Hello to Jessica Latinović. I TRULY hope you contact me about this story. Even though it is still developing. I am adopted and recently met my first cousin on after working on a family tree. I just had a few bits and pieces of info about my birthmother and enough to piece together some of the family tree. I also had sent away my DNA sample. This cousin, is my first cousin and we have the same grandparents. I am a scuba diver and underwater photographer and I love to travel and have been on the water most of my adult life. I have also worked on a cruise ship and traveled across the ocean. I learned that my grandfather, great grandfather and many more uncles and relatives were all mariners and sea captains. The wanderlust a huge part of my life.
    I have also learned that I have two brothers and a sister! We have spoken on the phone but have not met in person yet. It’s such a great surprise, for myself, and for them! This all came about just 3 months after my adoptive mom passed away and I am the last in my family – so it’s been a real roller coaster ride. But, I’ve so far had some really great conversations with my new family.
    However, getting in touch with my cousins, also allowed me to learn of something extremely and urgently important. My birth family has a rare genetic type of small intestine carcinoma. It is slow growing, and very difficult to detect, and by the time a person is symptomatic, the cancer has usually spread. About 6 or 7 members of my family have this cancer. Many members of my family are taking part in a clinical trial through the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD. so some of the top doctors in the world can study this rare genetic cancer. The most amazing part of this is now that they can identify me through DNA that I am directly related, so the doctors are allowing me to be part of the family study. I have recently had some unidentified health issues, and now they have agreed to let me into the clinical study as part of the family. I travel to Bethesda, MD, next month where they will do all kinds of various testing. I am a little scared, but at the same time, I truly believe that I’ve got my two moms (now angels) looking out for me and making sure I will be all right.
    If it were not for and me building a family tree and also for the DNA test, I would never have known that this existed. I leave on September 29 to head to NIH for the clinical trial and study. Thank you.
    Thank you.

  20. Elizabeth Pritchard

    I have a great story about returning a WW1 medal to its family using but the site kept rejecting my video.

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