Posted by Tim Sullivan on August 17, 2017 in AncestryDNA, News

The entire Ancestry family is horrified and appalled by the tragic events that occurred in Charlottesville. We not only condemn the violence that occurred but are deeply disturbed by the ideologies of the white supremacist groups who marched there.

As a company, we believe in the importance of diversity, unity and acceptance, as well as the fundamental truth that we are all more alike than not. Our purpose as a company, and the intent of our products, is to bring our shared diversity into the spotlight in order to promote understanding and equality. To be clear, we are against any use of our product in an attempt to promote divisiveness or justify twisted ideologies.

Our product is built on science, which illustrates the diversity in all of us. People looking to use our services to prove they are ethnically “pure” are going to be deeply disappointed.  We encourage them to take their business elsewhere.

Diversity is quite literally part of every person in this country and this planet. We built our AncestryDNA and family history products to celebrate just that—the diversity within each of us and the connections that bring us closer together. Diversity, after all, is in all of our DNA and is the very foundation of Ancestry.

 

Tim Sullivan

Timothy Sullivan has served as President and Chief Executive Officer at Ancestry.com since September 2005. Prior to joining us, Tim was Chief Operating Officer and then President and CEO of Match.com from January 2001 to September 2004. From May 1999 to January 2001, Tim served as Vice President of E-commerce for Ticketmaster Online-Citysearch, Inc. From June 1991 to May 1999, Tim held multiple positions at The Walt Disney Company, including Vice President and Managing Director of Buena Vista Home Entertainment Asia Pacific from July 1997 to May 1999. Tim holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and was a Morehead Scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

211 Comments

    • Dee S

      this IS political. it is also a response to NEWS. unless the news is: free ancestry DNA kits, I am not interested. if I want news, or commentary in response to news, I can go almost anywhere else. I want to deal with my dead people. who may have lots of skeletons in the closet, which I definitely enjoy rattling, but who do NOT issue politically “correct” statements. and I really appreciate and enjoy my dead people for that reason. they are a refuge in a time of strife in our country and world. please don’t make genealogy and DNA a racist matter. and don’t give air time to the people you claim do that.

        • Sara

          Since when is talking about common human decency politics? Never does this mention a political party. Is it uncomfortable to talk about? Sure. Is it easier to ignore it and work on genealogy? Sure. Is that a dangerous mentality? Absolutely. I am proud of Ancestry for making this statement, and it is definitely relevant considering the way white supremacists are using their product. If you don’t think it’s happening, google it, it’s pretty awful. (Although it is pretty great when they don’t find the “pure” results they were expecting.)

      • William Caracofe

        Amen Dee! There was ZERO reason for Ancestry to issue any kind of statement about just one of a THOUSAND instances of stupidity stamped with the date of 2017. While I understand the need to protect one’s business when the wolves are at the door this statement, intended or not, reads as yet another poorly veiled attempt at shoving your politics down everyone’s throat. People do not pay your subscription fee’s to be politically indoctrinated. I’m sure you have a Facebook account Mr. Sullivan, this statement will be well supported there.

        • Brenda

          There is a reason. I resently told a friend I was working on my family tree here. She is involved in many ancestry type sites. She has been hearing for months if not at least a year that Ancestry.com is owned by a major white serpremicist group as a way of making money. Well, his post, besides being about Charlottesville is very possibly debunking that information. Now the choice is, do we believe him or chatter on the internet? Of course if you are a (as I call them) white inferiorcist, then of course you’d hate what he said.

    • richard Kimberly

      they are doing what they paid for get trump and putin of the front page! it was a long time for some and never for most. My Grandfather Father was a Nurse almost died by disease not able to fight on battle field, his southern cousin 100 his Northern 200 plus 2 million catholic irish that did not want! the hot and cold runs thur blood as you fine each one! Chas A. Kimberly was shaving my face one hundred years in his picture being on the steamship Mapleleaf that sink in Jacksonville Fla. While Charles E. kimberly was in Maryland getting information as a Nurse on the wrong side of the river. Lt. Kimberly, die at Andersonville prison while Sgt. Kimberly was made to watch over them never being paid. never being paid? was the reason for the war, “nickel a day was all our labor” back or white even today a week labor does not pay as it does up north, it good california a long way off. as a nation i think the battle we live on alway reaches our souls, who goes there

      • c gordon

        Richard, it is clear that you feel strongly about something, but from your comment I cannot decipher what it is. The entire paragraph is incoherent. Whatever the point was that you were trying to make it completely lost.

    • Ali f

      We all at times feel the need to get away from the troubles of the world but referring to what is going on right now as “nonsense” or something you feel a business has no business commenting on because it makes you uncomfy is very selfish, dismissive, and entirely the reason the KKK has not only continued but it is thriving in our nation. To ignore what is going on because genealogy is enjoyable to you and therefore allows you to be blissfully ignorant and pretend that this group is advocating death n it only to anyone different from them but all those of us who disagree with them should have your undies in such a bundle that to disband and have zero tolerance for this thriving hate group would be at the top of your list. If the Tim Sullivan’s of this great nation and ALL OF THE REST OF US do not take a stand in EVERY situation from today on then we have no right to refer to ourselves as human or decent. It’s so inspirational to learn just now as I have that doing your genealogy is just so much fun and you don’t want to be bothered by what’s going on in the world, especially when it has to do with irradiating other races and how happy the other side is that someone died protesting what we all need to be protesting as decent human beings. I’m sorry that all of this “nonsense ” is crowding you. Please, do continue. Btw– the ” other side ” did have permits. Two of them. And anyone of you who states that in this case “both sides” have rights, you need to march on over and get your hood and gown and learn how to salute. Hows that genealogy coming?

      • Janet

        I agree with your comments. And I look for those companies/businesses that stand up for what is right, and against hate groups. I try to know who I am dealing with, and for those who are with the hate groups, I don’t deal with them. Thank you, Ancestry, for standing up to violence, bigotry and hatred.

    • Jeanie Russell

      Stay out of politics and you just have to comment, state that both sides were wrong. And I am not a white supremist but I am not a leftist thug either.

    • Helen

      I agree 100% with you I come here to get away with all that political crap. I’m kind of disappointed to have to read this on here .

    • Marcos

      What about the violence of Antifa? Why do they get a pass? I certainly hope Mr. Sullivan doesn’t share Google’s interpretation of “diversity,” who fire employees for not kowtowing to the liberal party line –in required employee essays about diversity!

      A lot of Ancestry subscribers are Civil War buffs, present company included. I’m proud of my two Confederate soldier ancestors. One of them died in Gettysburg –and I’m a card-carrying of the NAACP– but would that even matter with Mr. Sullivan’s “me too” attitude during the current Stalinist purge of all Confederate symbols?

      I find it hypocritical for Ancestry to promote neo-hippie, Kumbaya ideas of “unity and acceptance,” when the whole point of genealogy is to find out the unvarnished truth of our family trees. The present “historical cleansing” is incompatible with the ancestor worship inherent in this type of personal research.

      What would Mr. Sullivan have us do? Wallow in self-hatred? If anything, genealogy teaches us how our ancestors fit in the historical struggle of ideas. It’s a personal example of preserving and recovering history. Given the nature of this historic conservation, why on Earth would we pull down statues, just like the Taliban and the Islamic State?

    • James Brogen

      Agreed! I was going to sign up to get away from the constant barrage of politics online But you can’t even Escape it here!
      guess I will check out other options.

  1. Michele

    These divisive and inflammatory comments have absolutely no place on this page. I doubt your clients use your services to prove ethnic purity. If they do, then that is their right, but nobody cares, or values them for it. Please don’t ruin the journey for the rest of us.

    • Natasha Lee

      I am glad to read this statement. I agree with this CEOs views and I think it’s upon all business and individuals to stand up to hate groups. Thank you .

    • Sandy

      Apparently you haven’t been reading the articles. That’s exactly what the white supremacists are doing. When the results don’t come back they are pure they are saying the testing is inaccurate. Ancestry is just trying to make their point of view clear to everyone and to assure its members that they stand for diversity.

      • Pauli

        I wish Ancestry would stay out of the “headlines” issues. When they took a stand against Bill O’Reilly several people pulled their trees. Now I have a lot of “ghost hints” Ancestry tells me I have a hint but when I go to it it says “no longer available”

  2. Jody

    As a long time ancestry.com customer, thank you so much for your comments and taking a position. I think if more people took DNA tests or researched their family tree, there would be a lot more tolerance and compassion in the world. Thank you again!

  3. Annette

    PLEASE, for the love of God. Don’t interject politics into Ancestry. It’s a refuge from the madness in the world. I don’t need OR want a lecture from the CEO.

  4. C. De Foor

    Why is Ancestry involved in any of this political stuff? Why didn’t Ancestry come out and condemn that actions of others that have attacked and killed others? Maybe because it has NOTHING TO DO WITH ANCESTRY! Maybe these folks should shut down Ancestry since everything celebrating our heritage and past is now deemed racist? Making us rethink our membership now that there are companies that serve a similar purpose but keep their views at the company door! Stick to research and save you preaching for your private life!

    • Greg

      Exactly, what does genealogy have anything to do with what took place in Virginia. Well all I can say if Sullivan worked for Disney he’s has to be a narcissistic a hole!

  5. LN

    Thank you for condemning the violence and hateful ideology of white supremacists. Seeing your statement here did not bother me in the least. In fact, it made me proud to be an Ancestry customer.

    • Jane

      I agree but am disturbed nothing is said about the counter protesters. Those who did not have a permit. When only one side is criticized, the condemnation is no longer valid.

      • Cheryle Gardiner

        First of all, they DID have a permit. Second, they didn’t really need one, since the First Amendment protects their right to protest.

      • Erica

        The counter protesters did have permits – two, in fact. They did not come with the intent to intimidate. They did not come to preach racism and discrimination and violence. They did not come with an armed guard. They did defend themselves when attacked by the armed new nazi rioters.

        If you like genealogy, you must like research. I urge you to do some more research here.

        • Vicki

          Erica – you are the one that needs to do more research! They came with face masks and clubs! They went where they did not have a permit to be in order to engage the groups being ejected from the park! Obviously, they came not only to intimidate, but to do physical harm to other human beings! You liberals cannot see the truth if it hits you in the face!

  6. Pat Richley-Erickson

    Thank you for your post, Tim. Folks may not be aware that DNA test results are proving we are more alike than we think. Of course, fair-minded people have known that all along.

  7. Larisa

    For those wondering why this statement was made, there has been news this week regarding white supremacy groups attempting to justify their views through genealogy DNA tests: http://bit.ly/2vHTdSR. Ancestry is making this statement to make sure the rest of the public is aware that they are not encouraging or condoning their product for this use. It is far better for them to make this statement and frustrate a few people who want to avoid politics, than to have their business painted as being even remotely connected to or supportive of hate and bigotry.

    • LaRita

      Thank you for trying to explain. I understand why the CEO came forward with remarks. Maybe the others were not aware of ancestry being in the news lately. I hope they read your comment again!

    • tricia minter

      Larisa,
      You are so on the money about Ancestry speaking out. This has been all over the genealogy websites the last few days. I have received several genealogy emails since this discovery was made. For anyone to think they are 100 % pure white or even black is very rare, I’m not even sure it would exist at all.

  8. Barbara

    Geez people when did standing up against hate or what is right….political? Thank you Mr Sullivan. We need more people like you to speak out against hate and bigotry. Let them know they are the ones who are not welcome…..Now you can check the DNA of those who have a problem with what you said!

  9. Michelle K.

    I for one applaud every company that comes out against the hateful and divisive positions of white supremacists, Neo-Nazis, and any and all other hate groups. I believe that if these groups were to explore their own DNA they would find that they often have a little bit within themselves of what they promote hatred of.

    Every company in the United States has the right to proclaim their views as an organization. If you disagree with those views you have every right not to use their services or buy their products. I have chosen to halt shopping at Hobby Lobby due to their stance on women’s reproductive rights – that is my choice as a consumer. But Hobby Lobby has every right to proclaim and stand up for their beliefs. I encourage Ancestry to continue to denounce hatred. I will choose to keep my business with you because I fully support that stance. Thank you Ancestry!

  10. Kenny

    Thank you for stating what should be a given – we are all put on this earth together and should learn how to respect our differences and celebrate our similarities. All of us should strive to follow this basic belief.

  11. Vickie

    For the love of God ancestry…stay away from controversy and just send me more leaves! Or, if you really want to impress us..lower your prices!

  12. Jill

    Reading these comments, it’s disturbing to note some Ancestry subscribers don’t care about learning from history. But heartening to note that some do. If you can’t appreciate Mr. Sullivan’s comments, all the more reason they needed to be written.

    • Chris

      Jill, I have to laugh, not at you, but at the idea that the 41,567 corporate entities that have weighed in this issue are “standing up” for anything. They’re covering themselves with pablum about diversity, they just want to be checked off on the “right side” of things. I’m no Confederate, but please imagine your fellow Ancestry members who have Southern ancestors are currently being maligned mainly by people uneducated in the real deep discussions needed here.

  13. Joni

    I appreciate your stand against white supremacists. I would appreciate the same stance against the blm movement. Both participated in the violence. I am an avid ancestry user. I’d like to remain so. Please present balanced truth. Your customer base counts on that.

  14. Kerri

    Thank you, Tim, for being compassionate and rational in your post. I deeply appreciate that you are addressing this issue.

  15. Jean

    Being adopted I never knew what I was. Some people where mean and made nasty comments to me as a child. I spent a family Thanksgiving in the garage because a aunt thought I had bad blood in me. I wa 5 at the time. Violence is not protesting, violence is violence!

  16. Gary

    You talk about “diversity” and yet you only blame one side. All the groups that were there are to blame for the hate being spread around the US. BLM, Antifa AND White Supremists are all hate groups. Blame them all and then you can talk to me about “diversity”.

    • Karen

      Gary, what you said is the truth. And I believe if you are smart enough to do genealogy and the research, then you are smart enough to know DNA results can’t tell you if you are “pure “.

      • Gary

        Not once did I say I was “pure”. I have been doing genealogy long enough to know where my family cones from. They are many races. Asian, European, African, Middle Eastern. But that being said. Don’t blame only one group for the hate that is going on in this country. Blame them ALL. AND they thrive on both sides of the party line.

  17. Kathy

    This really disturbs me. If you are truly against hate groups, you should call them out by name. KKK, white supremacists, BLM, AntiFa, are all about hate for people who don’t think like they do. They should all be condemned. They care nothing about diversity.

  18. Jill

    Thank you Ancestry for reaffirming your hope for peace, not through ignorance but through intelligence. If we ignore the lessons of history and are silent when hate is shouted and supported, then history will haunt us once again.

  19. S

    Thanks for letting us know how much you value civil liberties. Like the one to speak freely and assemble. Do I agree w them? Of course not. I don’t have to.

  20. Mary Ransom

    I pay to use Ancestry for research not comments about “diversity” etc… This really upsets me. We are still a free nation and Ancestry is not in the businees of preaching. Do not need to hear “Elmer Gantry” on this site. Very disappointed. I rarely comment but this is beyond the pale. So tired of relentless angry people who post comments only to make themselves feel good.

    • Chris

      Yes Mom this comment board is a sign of our *unity*. If only we could concentrate on the things we all agree on, instead finding these non-crises every 5 minutes that make us all attack each other. This is why I dropped Facebook.

  21. Cheryl Dee

    The fact your CEO caved to the media hysteria and made this statement means he is insinuating that our president and perhaps members of Ancestry.Com are “white supremacists” when they are a tiny fraction of our great country, is insulting to millions of innocent people who just don’t want our country torn apart by domestic terror groups. You are lumping white people in with white supremacists and it will not stand. I hope you clarify this horrid insult. My grandparents are from and Massachusetts VIA Italy, the UK and Canada. I am sick of people assuming we are “deplorable” due to our skin color. Shame on you, Ancestry.
    Sincerely,
    A Former Member

    • Cheryl

      You are so right. (Obviously NOT politically right, by Ancestry’s comments). How distasteful to bring all this one-sided, hypocritical lecturing to all of us who are here only for research and history. Darn if I am not going to say NOW that there is equally evil on the left. The anarchists of Antifa, BLM, black-block communists want to destroy this country. Tearing down historical statues such as the 1792 Columbus monument in Baltimore is horrible. Burning and looting is horrible. Executing police officers while sitting in their patrol cars is HORRIBLE!!!!

  22. Cheryle Gardiner

    Thank you for your words. For those who aren’t happy with them, it isn’t required that you read this blog. As for me – descended from people who owned people – I’m happy to know that I’m spending my time and money on a company with a social conscience. That isn’t important to everyone, I know, but for those of us who actively seek socially enlightened corporations, it’s a good thing to know.

  23. Eileen

    I do not go on ancestry for political comments. I go to do academic research. I have spent a lot of money on my subscriptions and many DNA kits for family members. When I want to know the news, I go to the appropriate outlets. There are blogs out there for people who wish to participate in that kind of discourse and that is where it belongs. To the ancestry company: Please keep this genealogy pursuit pure and your political beliefs out of this.

    • Eileen

      By keeping this pure I mean keep it about genealogy, not politics. Of course, most of us come from diverse backgrounds–especially if your family has been in the US for several generations. Yes, I celebrate my entire lineages and understand the trials and tribulations my ancestors went through. But using this as a platform for politics is disturbing. I resent when any company or corporation does that — on both sides of the aisle. Keep this site academic. People can go to other places to voice their political views.

  24. Bobby

    Why would Ancestry.com post crap like this. Unless you are looking for a spot in the lime light why did you even go there. I just want to look up my ancestors and do the DNA. And you brought this on. Geez

  25. TG

    Thank you for reminding us that we are one human family. I think your statement was bold and courageous. I hope more companies and institutions follow suit.

  26. Stephanie

    Thank you Mr. Sullivan for this genuine comment … I see no politics in it whatsoever, no preaching .. nothing offensive. Appreciate the thought and the time you took to write it.

    Sincerely, a long-time member and will continue to be so.

  27. Michelle Crosby

    yes we are all alike, and we should never condone violence from whatever group.. with that said why isn’t anyone standing up or discussing saving our history and historical items. People are destroying them it must stop. Even if our history is not pleasant its what it is, once we change it or ignore we lose who we are…save our history

    • Jane

      I agree with Michelle. We need to save our history and appreciate it for what it was and what it can teach us. I find it offensive that people are tearing down statues for people that were courageous heroes, no matter what they fought for. They fought for their beliefs, and that is something that we need to honor and learn from.

      • Myrna

        So, if the Germans had erected statues to Hitler and his ilk it would be ok to leave them up because it’s “history”? Do you realize that currently the neo – Nazi’s in Germany celebrate the birthdays and death days of all notable Nazis? Imagine if they had statutes to visit. Why celebrate treasonous traitors? Lynching is a part of our history but I don’t think we need statues of lynchers to remind us of that and I;m not saying all Confederates were lynchers but they were on the WRONG side of history. Time to move on and leave them in the history books or Confederate museums NOT in front of courthouses etc.

  28. Jane

    It is a shame that you seem to want to take sides in this disgusting event. It seems pretty obvious that BOTH sides were in the wrong, and both sides were guilty of savage behavior. It seems to me that Ancestry is once again proving to be a company with a distinct and obvious political agenda. It makes me wonder how many people that work for Ancestry are being insulted in meetings, silenced or intimidated by management based on the company’s obviously biased culture and political point-of-view. Why can’t companies stick to business and stay out of politics?

  29. Janice

    I’m glad that you made this statement on behalf of the company. It tells me that what I’ve read is true, that many of the white supremacists and neo nazis are indeed using your DNA test to see if they’re pure. You would know that by the increase in sales. I also don’t see this as a political post, but a post to emphasize the vast shared DNA in this world. That is science. And science is factual. We may all think we know where we come from, but until it’s proved by science, we cannot be sure of where our DNA came from. Good for you Ancestry!

  30. Teresita

    I applaud Mr. Sullivan’s message. It absolutely has nothing to do with politics. What a shame that so many have not read the message for what it is: It is a message of love, a message of hope. This message does not have to do with the taking down of statues that represent our history. I 100% believe that we need to stand up and say, ‘Enough’. That conversation must happen with each of us and their representatives.

  31. Richard Slaughter

    Wow, great article. Not political. He is simply saying we are all American regardless of race and that most of us have genetic history or genealogical history that might surprise us! Anyone that does not see this as logical, truthful and healing is just looking to be nasty and hateful. Thank you Tim Sullivan. I only wish our politicians had this much sense.

  32. Renee jones

    I dunno what 2 say it’s Spose 2 be a special day 4 me 2day,& once again my life has been smashed 2 smitherines!!!

  33. Paul

    What a bunch of ridiculous political pandering & virtue signaling nonsense.
    This statement was only issued because of Ancestry’s fear that some obviously false claims that surfaced recently (at least to a rational people they are false) and that this might damage the Ancestry brand & profits. The fact that people believe these knee-jerk statements are necessary in a world full of decent, respectful people just emboldens the unscrupulous individuals and groups that make up these false claims. Stop enabling these professional provocateurs who gain both influence & pleasure by inventing & implimenting false divisions within society.

  34. Nikki Byer

    Thank you for speaking out! It is definitely not political. I am convinced that if more people had their DNA tested they would discover that we are all one human family.

  35. Linda

    Thanks to Ancestry for stating that you don’t condone the use of your DNA tests to prove “purity.” I read an article today about separatists using DNA tests and being upset when their genetic results did not jibe with what they wanted to hear.

  36. Erica

    Thank you. This is a time when anyone who does not stand against the “white supremacists” is giving them aide and comfort. I am happy to see you stand for human decency.

  37. Patricia Castro

    I applaude this statement from the CEO and appreciate the conscientiousness and sensitivity to these horrific events. I’m also appalled at the people here saying to leave “politics out of genealogy” and “this is where I come to escape”. Well newsflash! This kind of insidious CRAP affects us all and it should make each and every one of us sick! Also, if you think these white nationalists and nazis and other twisted freaks don’t use these sites to further prove their whiteness you’re mistaken.

  38. Barbara Lazaroff

    Mr Sullivan– Bravo
    More companies, organizations, individuals, politicians, citizens, educators, performers, tradesmen & women, children and adults — all AMERICANS and global citizens & leaders around the world should be condemning the violence and hatred that occurred — and sadly has been growing in our country. This is not a political statement– it is a stand for human decency, tolerance and inclusion. Our country and its people cannot turn away from these acts of hatred, they must be halted and those who presist in expressing their bigotry through violence must be prosecuted.

  39. D Strickland

    For those of you condemning Ancestry for being “political”, you missed the point. White supremecists are using AncestryDNA tests to prove how “pure” their blood is, and are very unhappy when some of them turn out to have even a drop of non-white blood in their ancestry. These people are accusing Ancestry of somehow rigging the tests (even though they have no idea who the submitter actually is) or that the process os inaccurate. Ancestry is responding to their use in a manner which is not consistent with the purpose of the tests, and being called liars when the results aren’t what are anticipated. So, please, get off your high horses. I, for one, am glad to see them make a strong statement.

  40. Laurie

    Bravo! Great statement! I’ve always been pleased with my subscription to Ancestry but today, I’m especially proud to recommend you to my family and friends. (Customer since 2002)

  41. Rose Neff

    Thank you. I appreciate your statenent. The fact that it botger so many is a bit illuminating. Sadly.
    Again, as a long time customer knowing that this is the type of company that speaks up. That is willing to say what so many seem to be afraid to say. As americans and humans, it is important. Its not politics. It is humanity.

  42. Virginia DeMarce

    I very much appreciate this statement. As a long-time genealogist, I’m very much aware that there has been a tradition that genealogy was a field of study for the “upper class,” mostly for people who wanted to get into hereditary societies of one type or another. As the decades of my life have gone on, I have been delighted to see it broaden into a field of study for all of us who descend from utterly “undistinguished” ancestors as well 🙂 Thank you for all that ancestry.com has done to contribute to broadening the field and widening people’s interest in social history at the local and individual level.

  43. Heidi Farrington

    Thank you, Tim Sullivan. I love my membership and my research and my ancestral diversity, the skeletons and the heroes alike. They all gave me a little bit of who I am and I honor that history.

  44. Why all this stuff like this are political? Globalization has kinda embraced around the world and we are taken by the nose in what direction will the ‘ strong ‘.

  45. Connor Gray

    Thank you Ancestry. The only thing necessary for evil to flourish is for good people (and companies) to remain quiet. It is imperative now, more than ever, to learn from history. There were opportunities for people (and businesses) to stand up to evil leaders in the past and they didn’t. Those people thought someone else would say and do something or that it wasn’t their business to say anything. So THANK YOU ANCESTRY! We must all speak!

  46. Travis Horn

    I know my family history is full of diverse individuals, including American [Cherokee] Indians, Italians, Scots, and Irish, etc. Our family fought this nation’s wars, even before we founded this Republic. Many fought for the South during the war between the states, and some even fought Nazis in WWII. So many of us come to your sites to research and escape news media & political commentary. It’s a given that we all ought to codemn hate, but gratuitous political posturing like this just make us want to skip your services and look to first party resources for information instead. As a Harvard Business School grad, your CEO ought to keep that in mind when your team is crafting these news releases.

    • Barbara Whitlow

      Absolutely correct. I will take my business elsewhere or just back to regular library, courthouse, etc. research.

    • PM

      Travis,

      There was a time when people stood up against Nazism and hate, and nobody called it political posturing.

      Given that Ancestry.com’s products have been falsely used by these groups to bolster their bogus claims of ethnic purity, it seems reasonable and responsible for the company to distance itself from that kind of abuse of it’s products and services. To call this a gratuitous move is absurd.

      • Cyndy

        There was a time when people said that I may not agree with what you say but I will fight to the death for your ability to say it. That’s gone. If cameras and anti-protestors weren’t there, the bigotry would not have been given a stage.

  47. Rebecca Henderson

    Thank you for such a firm and decisive statement. Racism as no place in any aspect of life, even if you only use Ancestry.com for personal hobbies.

  48. Valerie Close

    Shew! I’m glad someone is being reasonable here and realizes that you can’t erase history…oh wait…you’re saying there AREN’T any bad apples in our family trees?

  49. Barbara Whitlow

    Please please don’t get dialogue started on Ancestry about right/wrong blame game. I come on here to find interesting facts about my ancestors AND not the blame game – plenty places to do that without adding this one. Do not get in THIS FIGHT!

  50. Monika

    And THAT ancestry is why I made such a big fuss over a year ago when you changed your format to state where people were born GEOGRAPHICALLY instead of where they were born based on the HISTORY of the time where our ancestors were born.

  51. PJ

    Thank you, Ancestry, for taking a stand for unity, humanity, diversity, and against the tragic violence (by Neo-Nazis, KKK and other white supremacists) in Charlottesville. To those who would use and / or discredit Ancestry DNA results based on unscientific and twisted notions about racial purity, Ancestry made a statement clarified that this is a scientific test which illustrates our diversity. Our diversity is what makes us human. Our recognition of differences fosters unity and compassion and courage to speak up against bigotry and hatred. Liberty and justice for all.
    Bravo to Ancestry! I am so proud of your statement and I stand up for your right to make it.

  52. Jon Ludwig

    I see nothing wrong with a company making a statement on their feelings concerning a situation. Apparently, unfortunately, reading others comments many people do. You also have a right to express your opinion. I have the right to disagree.

  53. Lynne Hastings

    I can’t watch TV news anymore & I can’t watch sports talk shows anymore…..please don’t politicize Ancestry. I’m SICK of it ALL!!!!!!!!

  54. Marcie Garnett

    Thank you for your comments and for taking a stand on this important issue. As a long-time Ancestry customer I appreciate it immensely.

  55. Robin

    Thank you Ancestry for taking a stand against bigotry! I know your statement had nothing to do with left vs. right, and most reasonable people know too. For those of you who don’t want “politics” in your life, might I suggest that if people would not have buried their heads in the sand and avoided these things for so long, Ancestry and other organizations and individuals would not have had to take a stand now. As with long-lost ancestors and family secrets, politics is a part of life, like it or not. Stand for something, or you stand for nothing.

  56. Treena

    I feel like crying! There is no middle ground, everyone has been completely divided by this statement by Ancestry, when before it, we all had only one positive thing in common 🙁

  57. Linda

    Family research is what I DO as a hobby. It’s my passion and ancestry.com is a place to escape the madness going on in the world. So much for having a neutral place to enjoy.

  58. Mary

    I was going to join Ancestry, now I’m not. Don’t care what you think. I don’t want lectures. There are 2 sides, far left and far right. Neither of them are “right”. Your bias is showing. Now what is the name of that other site?

  59. Donald Appel

    How sad to see the owners of ancestry contributing to what is dividing American today, this company has ceased being part of the solution and is now part of the problem! I hope the board will consider the overwhelming bad reaction to this executive’s opinion and send him packing.

  60. Andrea Dietze

    I am not surprised by Ancestry’s statements and wholeheartedly agree. Given the variety of responses and comments, we are a diverse community of individuals. Good for us!

  61. Stephen

    Someone mentioned “the overwhelming bad reaction to this executive’s opinion”… well, from what I can see, the reaction is pretty mixed, with lots of people saying “well done” and others saying “you shouldn’t have said this”.

    Personally, I think that this was a good statement to make – and is covered by the First Amendment, I would say… after all, Ancestry are not part of the Government. As for those who say that they are going to leave Ancestry… you *chose* to read this post – it wasn’t forced upon you, and for most users of Ancestry, they’ll probably not even know about it, as I didn’t see a link directly on the main site?

    It’s interesting that some of the people moaning that Ancestry are bring up politics don’t seem to have any problem with many of the comments in the responses here….

  62. Debbi

    I, for one, am glad that Ancestry is standing up and decrying racism, hatred and the likes. If only more companies would stand up for what they believe in!! Thank you Ancestry.

  63. Marilyn Golden

    Thank you for not being afraid to express the opinions of your company! No one should hide and pretend that hateful things are not happening around us. It’s time to speak up!

  64. Karla

    Thank you Ancestry for your comment! When asked what race I am, my reply is HUMAN, we all have the same organs, blood color, etc. A beautiful garden is made up of all kinds of flowers, so is our world. Beautiful humans all shapes and sizes. Reason to do our trees. Again, Thank you!

  65. Mary

    To the woman who said, “You forgot to mention the leftist thugs.” By your definition, ma’am, all those brave Americans who fought against Nazis and white supremacists in World War II could be considered leftist thugs. (Note: There are several replies from “Mary” on this blog. We are not all the same person.)

  66. David

    I resent being subject to ones social opionons from a company I pay for a service, which does not ask for comments or opinons!
    “Swim in your own lane” Unknown.

  67. Ellen

    Thank you Mr Sullivan for explaining and clarifying Ancestry’s policy which is to respect and use the science of DNA to find connections, not divisions among us. Until tonight I had no idea that White Supremacists were using various DNA services to prove their “racial purity” and then attacking the science if their results disappointed them. (http://bit.ly/2vHTdSR). Ancestry is right to make it clear that they do not want to be seen as connected to these groups or to be supporting their activities. This policy is good science, good business, and not least of all, a mission statement to be proud of. I have not been an Ancestry member for ages yet, but hope to be for ages into the future. Thank you again.

  68. Larry Mansfield

    Thank you for the statement, Mr. Sullivan. Every line of my family goes well back in American history. I’m proud of the mixed blood that runs through my veins and enjoy finding new locations where my ancestors once were. Keep up the good work.

  69. Wilma

    I think racial problems are wrong. I think we all got surprises from the DNA. Neandrathol, native American, and of course the English & Irish that I knew about. I like people and have been lucky enough to have friends in many different nationalities.

  70. don rueger

    Ancestry’s clarifying its policy is to be respected. Wonder what Ancestry’s position is on Plan Parent Hood and the Abortion?

  71. Linda

    Mr. Tim Sullivan,
    Thank you for your comments. However – before you and/or Ancestry.com can truthfully state the you believe in diversity, unity, and acceptance you should probably take a close look at the messages posted to the Ancestry.com Site Comments message board. For years, this message board has been controlled and terrorized by trolls – who constantly condemn, demoralize, and abuse Ancestry.com subscribers who wander onto the board seeking clarification and/or assistance. This activity is especially apparent when you review the deleted message board posts.
    If you are truly committed to your belief in diversity, unity, and acceptance – PLEASE make the Ancestry.com Site Comments message board a safe place to post.
    Thank you in advance for your attention to this matter.

  72. Laura

    We are all . human…Many of the racist groups think their opinion is the only truth. If you disagree, you are the enemy. On ancestry, l have found like it says in the Bible, we descend from Adam and Eve. We are all family. God bless us all. We all need to wake up and love one another. Praying for all of my family here on ancestry and the world

  73. Kim

    Oh and the ability to activate my relatives test myself like before..give me a consent form to give them..until that happens no more purchases from you.

  74. L Anderson

    Sorry you feel compelled to make a statement. Ancestry does have to protect its image, so I don’t blame you. However, every comment on Charlottesville seems to tear Americans farther apart, not bring us together. It would be nice if ancestry could be a haven where we could get away from the shrill accusations and condemnations on both sides.

  75. Mark

    Mr. Sullivan: Will you provide us with another blog post denouncing BLM and Antifa- 2 hate groups with similar intentions?

    • Kathleen Heath

      I’m sure he will when those groups state the intended use of an Ancestry.com DNA test is to prove their purity.

  76. Ed

    There are old children’s tales about a Brer Fox and a Brer Rabbit. I would suggest that you refresh your memory of these old tales before you venture further out into the political arena.

  77. Dotti

    Why are you getting your company involved in this. Not necessary! Foolish!
    Ancestry has no business getting involved in this situation. Your board of directors should look into why you are bringing your personal opinions to the forefront.

    • Kathleen Heath

      Because they understand how people use their services. They also wish that we, those of us who understand human nature, are aware their stated purpose is scientific and academic. That Ancestry.com is not a game with collecting the most names; or, having the highest percentage as the goal.

  78. Patti kirk

    I have been a member of Ancestry since your beginning. I feel every genealogical site, including Ancestry.com represents the history of America which represents all of us and our ancestors.
    I appreciated your statement. So many Americans are in anger and although that upsets me,
    I view that is their attitude. I love being an American, I am proud, sometimes frustrated with
    different situations, but it is not my place to judge on prodecures I know nothing about.
    What ever has happened in the past, is our American History, everything puts a stamp on
    our experiences. Some, almost all has been created for the people b your representatives.
    I would be alsolutely upset if a state makes a decision to destroy monuments, statues of our
    history. Right or wrong, our country is what it is today by both winning and losing; by giving
    and taking. The people should be included in the decision making to destroy the tangible
    items of history. It should not be done by politicans. I think it would be interesting to survey
    the communities first and get their position, After all it was the money that covered the
    expenses to created these beautiful history items.
    My family has been to Andersonville Prison which was a humbling experience, and I am
    so proud that we did that visit. I suggest many to go there, it makes you realize just what history and your pride is all about.
    There is a old saying.. There are two types of people
    Those that take, and those that give
    As a American, all those that gave created this country.
    There are countries you can not obtain records and do research;
    be grateful for where you are and start giving.

  79. Pam

    I appreciate the statement made by Mr. Sullivan. I am sorry that things have come to the point that Mr. Sullivan felt the need to issue this statement. It makes me sad that comments turned angry very quickly. I hope those of us who use this site will use the events of today to help us understand the events and times of yesterday.

  80. Nora

    I agree with those who commented that Ancestry should stay out of politics. I, too, research ancestors partly to escape the disturbing news we have been hearing recently. Ancestry should focus on providing quality products and customer service. And, if my last call to Ancestry is any indication, some of your representatives need better training. Finally, the statement, “Ancestry believes in diversity, unity, and acceptance” is something I had already assumed. To me, it sounds a bit self-congratulatory.

  81. Dale Reed

    Dear Mr. Tim, Are you in favor of removing all monuments that contain reference to the Confederacy and their leaders. Slave owners were Democrats and the Democratic party continued to segregate the South until they were forced to vote for the 1964 Civil right act pushed by Lyndon Johnson, a Democrat from Texas. I grew up in a segregated South with terrible treatment by my white people. Since then, I have seen great progress for people of color. In my very fundamentalist Church we have diversity of race and great unity. Do not destroy our peace by starting a new race war based on destruction of historical markers, however flawed they were. The ISIS destroyed the historic town of Pamphilia to satisfy their sect. Are we going to destroy the founders of our country such as Jefferson and all the grave site of confederate soldiers? Yes there is hate being pumped up by monument destroyers that will make race relations worse rather than better. Jesus said love your brother as yourself. I believe you mean well. God Bless

  82. Susan Oliver

    Who do I contact at Ancestry, to tell my story to? It really is quite remarkable what Ancestry DNA did to change my life forever. After 60 some years, finding my biological father and newly discover siblings. Please let me know. Thank you.

  83. Waynette Davis

    I agree that Mr. Tim Sullivan needs to keep his political comments to himself. They have no place in this format. Ancestry.com is a genealogical site and as many have commented above, we do not need Ancestry’s employees personal political opinions in our faces. You are taking an unfair advantage of your position. Instead we need his focus to be on good service for genealogists. Keep you politics and your opinions where they belong. This is not a political forum.

    • Carolyn Sanders

      I totally agree with Waynette Davis and I am getting sick of all the CEO’s who want to put their 2 cents in on political subjects. I have an opinion, too. Do you care, Mr. Sullivan, what my opinion is? I don’t care what yours is, either. At least, if you are going to take advantage of your position to give your political opinion publicly, please wait until all the facts are out and not just parrot what the the left-leaning media reports.

  84. John

    Tim, I’m sorry to change the subject back to genealogy, but when is the last time Ancestry provided us with a tool to work with our DNA matches? If you want a clue to how it should be done, check out your 23andme DNA page, and then please make that happen on ancestry.com.

  85. Charlotte Hunter, PhD

    I am saddened by the illiterate responses and the tacit support they are giving to the white supremacists. If you don’t rail against the inhumanity, you are supporting it. This isn’t politics any more than the murdering of millions of people by the Nazi regime was. There is no way to hide your heads in the sand when people are advocating the death of all non-whites. Shame on you. Bravo Ancestry! Let the Nazi/White supremacists leave. We won’t miss them.

  86. Glenn B. Wheaton

    Timothy Sullivan you need to find another job. As a very long time subscriber to ancestry.com I do not log into ancestry to get political bias. I log in to research my family and my Heritage. Heritage is a very interesting word. My Heritage includes a hell of a lot of things you may not like or flat out disapprove of but you know what? It’s my Heritage, not yours. Do not tell me what I should or should not feel about any of it. Ancestry.com has given me the opportunity to learn about my family, both the good and the bad. Is this still the business of Ancestry.com? Or do we sit in our places and listen to you lecture on the morals of the world and be ashamed of what we may find? Just do your job or get in another line of work.

    Glenn Wheaton

  87. Carolyn Sanders

    Mr. Sullivan, isn’t this part of the Ancestry Blog Community Guidelines?: “Please ensure that posts and comments are on-topic, and avoid controversial subjects outside the context of family history research.”

    • Kathleen Heath

      His blog comments are about family history research. I think you did not understand what he was writing about and made a generalized assumption. He was not talking about politics but about the use of Ancestry.com products.

      • Carolyn Sanders

        Did you read the speech at the top of this blog page? The events in Charlottesville are not family history research.

  88. Carol Guthrie

    Thank you Ancestry for having a stance on the events in Charlottesville. I live in Canada and what happens in the States effects us Too! I read a lot of the comments and it made me realize that we have a choice to read this blog or not. Just saying!

  89. barbara james

    please when a television station makes a comment which you might find hateful please do not take away your ads in protest , it shows your opinion and yes there are some on here that may disagree or agree, but to stop your ads on that page shows where you are sided , lets keep this out of the politics , we come here for research to our families ,

  90. Lynn

    Thank you for this statement. This has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with decency. We can’t ignore it or we’re all complicit.

  91. Mark

    Why all the fuss? I have no problem at all removing statues of dead racist democrats and I’m glad to know ancestry agrees. But for Timmy to claim his company’s DNA kit that pretends to report ethnicity is ‘science’ is simply ridiculous. More racialist than science. And if one of his paying suckers wants to estimate they are ‘pure’ anything, he provides the snake-oil tools, for a price.

  92. donmarks

    Thank you, Tim, for being against Nazis and making a statement about it. It really isn’t that much of a big deal that you’ve made a political statement that ought to resonate with just about everyone and those of us who may disagree or not want politics, can simply ignore the thread. Speaking of history, lest we forget, our American ancestors fought the Nazis. During WWII a lot of people lost their lives and the generation has been called The Greatest Generation. Their sacrifices were more than just fighting in the war. Even those who did not fight made donations of time, energy, and materials. Corporations got involved, too, to include sending materials for the war effort and other means to help out. It’s okay to be against Nazis. Thank you, Tim, and thank you AncestryDNA.

  93. John

    I am so proud of the many of you that recognizes that Ancestry is as racist as they are. They are not defending human rights, they are trying to force their beliefs on us, and calling anyone who disagrees with them wrong. You see, Ali, you are not defending human rights either. Rather you are trying to force us to accept your opinion. When Ancestry delved into politics, they sunk to a new low. Shame!

  94. Tim Bowes

    While so many of you are worried over the Ancestry CEO post, you should be worried over the fact that if you manage more than one DNA result , download those results and then compare each to the next, you will find that the second and third downloaded result, regardless of the name of the person tested, will be an exact replica of the previous DNA download. While the Ancestry CEO was spending his time on political statements, he should have been spending his time on the very serious problems within Ancestry. Ancestry has been aware, via a phone call from me, of this problem for several weeks and I have received no feedback from Ancestry on why the downloads are all the same when each was from a different persons DNA page.

  95. GM

    Please spare us the politics unless you are also condemning Islamic terrorism and black gangbangers as well as white supremacists. All are reprehensible.

  96. Gary Raymond

    I agree. Ancestry.com should not have anything to do with politics or social issues. I use Ancestry.com as a pastime – a hobby. Something wrong has recently developed among the Ancestry.com Board and management. Service and reliability are suffering. It appears no one is steering the ship. I will not recommend that my family buy into the program any more. Because the results that are being divuldged are exciting misunderstsnding it would be more appropriate if Ancestry.com devoted resources towards correcting their relationship algorithms, indexing orphaned ancestor hints, and repairing migration problems within their web application. And, develop an images management process to prevent duplicates and that validates Photographs before they can be distributed. Does any body remember the nationwide racial riots of 1964? How about the Nuclear Threat from Cuba in 1961-1962.

  97. Edith_McCrotchen

    For those of you who are wondering why ancestry’s CEO would comment on the events that have recently taken plrace here in the U. S., it’s because the alt-right has promoted ancestry’s DNA test as a tool to prove your “whiteness”. I understand completely why ancestry feels like they have to speak up and defend their product. It wasn’t developed for anyone to use in their effort to prove their superiority.

  98. Cheryl M

    I am obviously NOT politically correct, by Ancestry’s Tim Sullivan comments. How distasteful to bring all this one-sided, hypocritical lecturing to all of us who are here only for research and history. Darn if I am not going to say NOW that there is equally evil on the left. The anarchists of Antifa, BLM, black-block communists want to destroy this country. Tearing down historical statues such as the 1792 Columbus monument in Baltimore is horrible. Burning and looting is horrible. Executing police officers while sitting in their patrol cars is HORRIBLE!!!! I am have been with Ancestry paying out your outrageous fees since 2009. I’ll be darn if I give you any more money. I will be transferring every bit of my tree to wikitree.org. It’s FREE. It does require legitimate sourcing which over here is hardly research from all the crap that is copied from each other’s trees without honest confirmation of facts. Good bye. Your organization has been sucking up internet databases like the huge, monstrous monopoly that you are. You are run on greed, now. Oh, and for those of you who think now that I am a nazi, KKK thug. You’re wrong. Just because I address the evil on the left doesn’t make me a white supremacist. My relatives came over on the Mayflower, I have Cherokee, yankees and yes, CSA in my direct tree. Rhode Island dissidents and Oregon pioneers, coal miners in killed in Wyoming, veterans of WWI, WWWII, Korea, and VietNam. Good grief. The history that is being fought again in the streets is pathetic and leads to anarchy. BUT on Ancestry.com I never thought I would feel the need to voice my opinion against a one-sided “come together” self-righteous, condescending communication as yours.

  99. Paul R

    Mr. Sullivan stated in his last paragraph that they built AncestryDNA and family history products to celebrate diversity. Imagine my surprise! They did it to just celebrate! Can anyone from Ancestry tell me with a straight face they are NOT making any kind of profit on their DNA tests???? Why don’t they just give them out for free??? That would be celebration of diversity AND equality!!!!

  100. Jody

    I have been a member for years and have enjoyed my discoveries here. Your CEO has taken away my respect for the work being done here. God judges. We strive. People with a holier than thou attitude disappoint me.

  101. Drab_at_MP

    Please do not patronize us with your PC comments, especially when they are obviously left-wing Corporatist/Globalist/New World Order propaganda. I now have serious reservations about sending monthly payments to those at Ancestry who are out to deprive us of our God-given rights. The death of one person is lamentable, but over 40 people are killed in the US every day. No need to blow this act by one person out of proportion, especially when the danger to the survival of our society by the violent left-wing Antifa anarchists is largely ignored by the media.

  102. Keith

    “Our product is built on science, which illustrates the diversity in all of us. People looking to use our services to prove they are ethnically “pure” are going to be deeply disappointed. We encourage them to take their business elsewhere.”

    Well said

  103. Linda

    Ancestry.com,
    Given all the problems your subscribers have suffered over the years… Would it not be more appropriate for Ancestry.com to issue a compassionate statement of relief – rather than the obviously obtuse political statement from Mr. Sullivan?
    Thanks for your reply,
    Linda

  104. Norman Rogers

    Congratulations to Ancestry for taking a stand against hatred. Opposing hatred and bigotry is not politics it is humanity.

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