Posted by Ancestry Team on November 2, 2017 in AncestryDNA

One of the powerful benefits of using AncestryDNA is discovering DNA Matches, potential relatives who share DNA with you. Thanks to more than 6 million people providing a little saliva, we are helping customers around the world discover new relatives and reunite with family every day. As more people take the AncestryDNA test, there are new possibilities for a discovery all the time.

We understand the power of discovery for our customers, and look for ways to improve our services to make it easier to find new connections and explore what they may mean for your family history. We also understand the critical importance of privacy and enabling our customers’ control over their own data, which is why we strive to enhance user control in our services. Today, in that spirit of continually providing customers greater control and choice, we are introducing the ability to choose of whether or not to view and be viewed by their DNA matches.

Customers can now decide if they want to have access to the list of people they may be related to and be shown as a potential family member for other customers with whom they share DNA.  While connecting family is one of the main benefits of our service, we also recognize that not everyone is open to discovering their extended family.

For existing customers, if you want to continue to see and be seen by your DNA matches, you don’t need to do anything. You still have access to your DNA Match list and you will still show up as a potential match to others and can change your preference on your DNA Settings page. If you change the setting to “no” you will no longer have access to your DNA Matches and no longer be shown as a DNA Match for others. You can change your mind at any time by going to the DNA Settings page.

We have heard from many of our customers that they quickly find one of the best ongoing benefits of our service is the opportunity to discover new family connections and seeing how connected you are to others around the world.  We will continue to invest in this capability and emphasize it as a reason to use our service. As the largest consumer DNA database, by far – close to three times the size of the next largest – we want to always provide the best opportunity to find new potential family members.

As always, please feel free to ask questions and leave feedback below in the comments.



  1. Diana Crawford Amos

    I purchased your DNA. Was happy with the results. Only I’m on your Family Tree.
    I’m struggling finding my grandfathers birth certificate. I found his grave. Marriage certificate.

    • Bruns6127

      You should be giving us something more important, like a chromeosone browser. Quit worrying so much about privacy absolutely ridiculous

      • Mary Beth

        Agreed! Give us real tools and if some one won’t let their match be shown to me then they should not be able to me and the others they match.

  2. 4nrose

    I’m so crushed to see this. Such a tremendous loss to those who are on here due to the greatest need – the adoption community…parents, aunts, uncles, siblings, half-siblings, grandparents, grandchildren & those who were put up for adoption. The feature that we needed & asked for, as Ancestry customers, was the option to block a specific individual. Feeling so let-down. The problem has not been solved. 6 million tested just became meaningless.

      • Karen

        If all adoptees cancelled membership I. The first month citing his change as the reason why the rule would be gone in a month.

        • Sharlene K Miller

          I agree this is a terrible change and the power of Ancestry’s DNA testing is greatly diminished. I agree that a privacy policy was already in place and this seems like overkill. If people don’t want to be bothered by being contacted let them opt in for a NO Contact option. If the sample donor is deceased then say that too and that next of kin do not wish to be contacted.

          I am really losing confidence in Ancestry and now that there are many other viable options may not be able to recommend Ancestry as the top DNA testing company!!

        • Tanya

          while we’re at it, how about a refund? This isn’t what I signed up for so I think ancestry, for changing the advertised service, need to offer refunds $$$$$?????

    • Anita J Wages

      I agree about being disappointed due to the adoption issue it will effect. I can handle the rest of it.

      • Patricia

        I heartily agree. The value is so much less now. BECAUSE I am adopted, I thought this might be a valuable tool. Already people have the choice of not posting trees and/or not responding. Fine. But why take all tools and knowledge away from adoptees who need to triangulate and delve into the possibilities. It’s already ostracizing to be an adoptee in genealogy.

        • Tara Velt

          I did this DNA testing strictly because I am adopted. I was under the impression that their “5 million” contacts would possibly help me, and now I am disappointed BEFORE I even have my results back. I cry FOUL.

        • Kareh

          I am also adopted. This is awful. They already made it nearly impossible for new dna tests to be done by someone else without the person allowing their dna to be used even if they paid for the other persons test. If they did the test then they agreed to it. In my case some people are elderly and don’t use computers making it really hard with the new restrictions. I spent money on useless tests.

    • Courtney Tolbert

      This is so disappointing. After I read it, I looked to see if some of my cousins withdrew their names from my list of matches. I contacted them once, and was rebuffed for racists reasons. I am always respectful, always up front. My mother’s grandfather was European with one child, my grandfather whom I loved. Their connection was the only one I found and now they are no longer visible to me. To allow this, for no other reason than their difficulty to digest the reality of my existence, is making this vehicle an accomplice to racism. I am further saddened by this decision and hope that it is reworked and rethought to a more reasonable conclusion.

  3. Marion

    If you do not show the matches, you will significantly decease the value of the services that you provide in comparison the your competititors. We may not be able to find limbs of our tree. Please reconsider. You also need to add a chromosome browser to assist in locating matches and which side of the family tree.

    • Renee Grace

      Why? They already have the ability to have a user name, no tree and unfortunately they can set their account up to not receive messages. Using common matches is essential in researching, you’re destroying your own claims. Don’t do it!

      • L

        Agreed, this is a travesty. Would be so much better to have just made a feature where you can block specific people! I used to be a huge proponent of AncestryDNA and have convinced tons of people to use it, but now will probably begin to encourage folks to use one of the other major platforms, like FamilyTreeDNA, 23andMe, or even MyHeritage. This is a very sad day and I’m incredibly disappointed in

        • Athena

          Amazing how this happened right after I bought my own freaking kit. My husband bought a kit years ago and we have recently purchased my own and now this!

      • Patty walker

        This is a change in the conditions under which many, if not most, of us chose to test with and join Access to the full expanse of the DNA data base was key to Ancestry’s offerings. I believe sufficient privacy already exists and this change reflects a lack of integrity on the part of Ancestry. I am very disappointed.

        • Michelle Thompson

          Agreed. If Ancestry isn’t going to do what’s it pushes in the ad’s, it needs to reduce the rate. People can already limit what they want shown. I’m also on several different sites. I won’t pay Ancestry’s rate for less access. Their getting a little too big for their britches, as my grandmother used to say.

      • Elaine Kish

        I absolutely agree! Why bother to take the tests? If we cannot access information about dna matches, what good is it? We are still being charged the same monthly fee and getting less and less information. As it is now many people do not give family trees and many people are “private” on many trees out there so it is useless for many tracing back their heritage. Also, some do not reply if you send them an inquiry, I am becoming more and more disheartened with Ancestry and am considering giving up my membership. It is getting to be more and more useless by the day

  4. Zack Daugherty

    Hmm, maybe disappointing if a lot of new testers in the future opt out because they don’t really understand the benefits of cousin matching. However, maybe this is the first in steps of opting in and opting out to allow for us seeing segment data for ourselves and our matches in the future? I can dream right?

  5. Marion

    Could you provide me a download of all known matches up to 7cm 500 SNPS before you implement this change? This will take in consideration the funds we have already paid to getting matching DNA services.

  6. Yasmin

    What on earth is the point of submitting DNA if you are cutting yourself off from everyone else and removing yourself from search possibilities? DNA is how many people figure out how their family trees are structured with the added benefit of sometimes discovering new or unknown relatives. Even shows such as “Finding Your Roots” use this method. Members can already maintain privacy by keeping family trees and other information private, but this new change will make them nonexistent. It is part of a whole package of dreadful changes that include removing the number of matches from the display and making it impossible to know how many pages of matches we have.

  7. Amanda

    I am very upset. I have found my family but many have not. I think I will end my membership, the paid one anyway. If I can’t build up my tree based on proven matches, I think this is pointless.

  8. Stephanie

    Anonymous usernames and private or no trees is sufficient. Even 23&me doesn’t play this game anymore.
    This is a devastating decision not only for those searching for birth families, but also for passionate geneaological researchers.
    Please reconsider.

    • Stacey

      23&me does still allow users to opt in and out of the DNA relatives. They no longer allow people to be anonymous, but they can definitely still opt in/out of the DNA relatives.

      • Eli

        Boycotting is the best form of showing my disagreement with your decision, AncestryDNA. How do you think you became the biggest? You had a leg up on the competition because you didn’t do anonymous. If you want my business, you will continue with the matching feature as is.

  9. John

    DNA users should not be surprised with this announcement. No new DNA tools to help us with our DNA research… just more ways to hinder it. True to form, ancestry. At least you’re consistent!

  10. Karen

    People should not do DNA if they don’t really want to find family. I think this is a bad idea to have this option. You know this when you do the test. Ancestry should also have a chromosome browser.

  11. Donna Humphries

    This change greatly alters those of us searching for unknowns… Those who don’t want to participate could simply “not respond” to those of us that want to connect. We could accept that better than not having the information available.

  12. Anne

    Please just leave it as is! We researchers have problems enough with roadblocks. Dont create roadblocks where none presently exist. Does this not go against the purpose of the Ancestry site?

  13. Vera Moore

    I don’t get why everyone is cringing over this! What’s the difference between those that show up in your matches who ignore your messages or those that opt out from the get-go?! Weed them out!! At least in the future your list of matches opted in and want to be found; good chances are these are the ones that will respond! Just saying.

    • Katy

      My thoughts exactly Vera. While this will cut down over all possible matches, it improves chances that the tester is willing to make contact if they too are looking for connections. I think it will save time in the long run.

    • Suzanne Harmon

      Because you could let ok at shared match information to essentially triangulate your relationship and gather more data. Now that will be reduced and have gaps. Particularly hard for adoptees

    • Ann S

      I agree. If people don’t want to connect they won’t under any circumstances. And some people only test to see their ethnicity and are completely uninterested in anything else. If they opt out then my list gets smaller, yes, but more manageable, as I do not have to scroll thru all of those disappointing “No Family Tree” results.

    • Judy

      For adoptees or genealogists searching, sometimes even a few crumbs of information can be key regarding your research. And even if someone comes up as a match but uses an alias name and has a private tree (or no tree), you could use the shared matches tool (if 4th cousin or closer), and at least often determine whether the person is a paternal or maternal side match if you have confirmed closer relative matches. I have an unknown 1/2 sibling match who is unresponsive to messages but at least I know I have a maternal 1/2 sibling because she is an in-common match with several of my confirmed maternal first cousins. If people opt out, others may never know they have a new close relative. You will also not be able to send a message. My half sister may not wish to reply now, but maybe someday she will….. This will no longer be possible for matches IF people opt out of being visible or seeing their matches. I respectfully request that Ancestry reconsider this decision. You already have plenty of privacy options for customers in place.

  14. Chandra Marski

    If it’s not broken please don’t “fix it.” You will be disappointing thousands of current and potential customers. If you move forward with this change I will be forced to advise my clients to test elsewhere.

    • Cathy Kesseler

      23andme and familytreedna’s family finder already offer people to option to not be seen by matches,

  15. Edwin Duke

    Once again, ancestry changes the terms of service AFTER taking peoples’ money. Many people would never have taken this test if they knew this change was going to happen.

  16. Julie

    As someone who helps people find unknown family (adoptees etc), this is a crushing blow. I don’t foresee me recommending AncestryDNA anymore. I’m sure this is lawyer driven. What a shame.

  17. Louise

    I actually think this idea is good, I prefer quality over quantity, I would rather see a list of 100 matches and know at the least they choose to have their name appear in a list of matches than 1000 matches that have no inclination to ever communicate with matches, what would be even better is if there was an option on a persons settings as a DNA match to indicate what level of communication they want, ie no communication but leave their dna in the match pool, open to full communication, and the option to indicate their level of understanding and use of DNA because this can be a big thing for people new into DNA when people start telling them about Shared CMS etc..

    • Michael

      I agree with you, I ended up with so many DNA matches that don’t have a tree, or even an actual account set up. I’d rather have it sorted in a “show me all the people with family trees”, so I can skip scrolling through the thousands of people who don’t have trees.

      • Carroll

        I agree, Michael. I often, make that daily, want to set the NoTree consumers aside into a separate file because they waste my time. But then I realized that by using Shared Matches I could figure out where many might fit into my tree. I also realize that a lot of people are intimidated by the research process, uncomfortable should they make a “public” mistake, or maybe got what they wanted by looking at my or your tree and went no farther. They wanted a superficial answer and the rest of like the weeds. I’m not sure that this change will affect my work because I’m much more interested in documents. I use the DNA results to test hypotheses or to point me in new directions. The larger the database, the more possibilities we have to find the right answer to a research question. Where one person drops out, four more will eventually participate. At least that’s the trend I’ve seen since testing was first offered.

    • Barbara

      I agree with you. I have a feeling that very few will opt out and that this is much ado about nothing. If a match does not have a tree, or has a private tree and will not respond, that is the same as not even having them in the list.

      I sympathize with adoptees, I really do. I’ve helped a couple of my matches to identify their birth families. But if someone doesn’t want you to see their information or for you to see theirs, it’s their right. Adoptees are disappointed for sure, but they don’t have rights to others private information. And once this change is implemented, they’ll never know the difference.

      With 6 million people tested, everyone will have plenty of matches. There is no other site with all of the tools and data plus a gigantic database. I’ll stick with Ancestry

  18. Nancy

    People are already protected by user names and lack of trees. If they don’t want to be in the database then don’t take the test. Sometimes it seems as if Ancestry is only hindering our research rather than helping.

  19. Mary Kaspar

    Wow, this is really disappointing. I hope you plan to reduce my payments by the same percentage as my reduction in matches. BTW, you can stop touting now how many people have been tested because that # is now rendered meaningless.

  20. Lenore Hudson

    This action will cause your claim of having the largest data base could cause the claim to go to another company or at the very least decrease your data base significantly. Not a wise business decision on your part and reneging on your claims at the time we purchased our tests from you. As you represent yourself as a family tree building site and a genealogy site and as your customers knew this when they purchased tests for other purposes which caused them not to want to participate in the matching is their problem…not yours not ours. They had all the information available to them as we did on what the site was about. I am very displeased that you might change the site and Rob the purchasers of the promised service. Shame on you!

  21. Lewis

    This change makes your DNA services virtually useless- I’ll start recommending people not to use Ancestry. What garbage!

  22. sandal

    You ought not be advertising a pool of 6 million plus when people have the ability to opt out. How do paying subscribers know the true number of samples that they may match and learn of those matches? Having anonymous names with private or nonexistent trees was annoying but sufficient. This move shows that you have moved further away from pure genealogical research and more and more towards a narrow vision profit motive.

    • CEH

      Totally agree! How sad to see what I thought was a wonderful company, become so disappointing. Why did 6 million people take an AncestryDNA test if people are so worried about the ‘matches’?

      • Karen Davies

        The Ancestry ads emphasize finding one’s ethnicity through the DNA testing, and I think that is the sole motivation for many who test. They have no interest in building their family tree or communicating with matches. But Ancestry still profits.

  23. I understand that it makes sense to do this. Perhaps you could take this opportunity to explicitly obtain users’ consent for you to provide matches with the actual segment data that they match on (that is, the chromosome number, start and end points, cMs and SNPs), as opposed to just the number and total cM of shared segments. This would help immeasurably with chromosome mapping and provide an instant boost to our research efforts!

  24. Susan R Fulsome

    I think this is an unnecessary, and damaging, decision on your part. People are already able to maintain anonymity and can simply ignore messages, if they don’t want to know more about who they are related to. This decision kinds of makes testing through you, and subscribing to your service, rather pointless. I probably won’t be renewing my subscription, and I’m not even an adoptee. You just made their search MUCH harder; was that your intention?

  25. Danielle

    This is very disappointing. Even if someone had their tree as private, it was still beneficial to be able to see our shared matches… Part of why I chose Ancestry is for the ability to see all potential relatives.

  26. Lily

    The only reason I paid for my DNA tests was BECAUSE it gave me matches, if you make this change it’s pointless to test in future, and not what I paid for.

  27. Stacey

    Will this new ability to opt in/out of the matches allow Ancestry to now sell kits in areas they haven’t been allowed to sell in before due to privacy laws?

  28. Lisa Anne Welter

    I will be referring any of my friends and acquaintances to look to other services for DNA testing and research. I participated in your services because of what was offered when I took the you are taking away all the benefits for which I paid and upon which my research depends. Grossly disappointing.

  29. CEH

    This seems to devalue your service, as the core of AncestryDNA is not just the ethniticity, but connecting to others. It hasnt seemed to be an issue, since the database is at 6 million and people have agreed to the service. No one is being forced to connect others, but by giving people the option it changes the test entirely. My in-laws took the test purely for ethnicity, but were not in the slightest concerned with their matches seeing them. I am an adoptee, and if relatives had the option to be ‘private’ that effects and hinders the entire adoption community.

  30. Jyn

    Doesn’t matter if you’re the BIGGEST DNA pond if all the fish aren’t going to be there. I am a very disappointed customer and I feel you have let me down by changing the rules mid game. I’ve been with ancestry for 13 years, I have an all access account, and I have paid for and administer more than a dozen DNA tests. I have built trees out because of the DNA matches and I have helped others find their family. I would like to know what happened that Ancestry felt the need to change policy?

  31. Rose

    This is a backward step for Ancestry. Myself and thousands of others seek unknown parentage information through your database. We will test elsewhere if this becomes the case.

  32. Jessica

    Bad idea. I am hoping to get my husband and myself our DNA test and I want to do it so I can find family. My husband does not know who is biological father is and this may ruin our chances. 🙁

  33. Karyl

    Ancestry has been a genealogy site for years and offering the genetic genealogy aspect is a huge selling point for those into genealogy. IMO the heritage stuff is just a bonus (and not even a very accurate one).

    It seems foolish to kill the goose that laid the golden egg. It just makes you more like your competitors and detracts from what makes you special.

    If you’re going to push that people can ‘opt out’ then PLEASE do a LOT more to promote the huge benefits of staying opted IN. Oh and cut way back on the heritage stuff. In an effort to ‘compete’ and make money you seem to have lost your way.

  34. James Lively

    Well it appears Ancestory DNA has joined the wagon and is considering discriminating on adult adoptees lives from which governments all over the world are holding hostage because of closed records. For some of us and I mean thousands this is the only avenue we have of finding out who we are and now your going to take this away from us. I understand the idea behind this however there are thousands of birth parents who may not even know we, adult adoptees even exist because the church, their families and governments shipped them away to give birth elsewhere austrasized the birth mothers from their families and forced them to give us up. Well we will find a way and over come this obsticle and continue to reach out and aquire the same basic rights as everyone else the right to know who we are. Thanks Ancestory.

    • Janice

      Way to go Ancestry, you have just lost all of the recommendations that most of us have given. First, you can’t just be Irish anymore, you have to be 3 countries because some people are offended that they are really Irish, really, you caved to a bunch of deniers? What a shame, it was my favorite site, now all of your claims are false.

      • George

        I can’t speak for the privacy changes, which do seem like overkill. But ethnicity changes are very welcome, because they are more accurate, you might have some cultural baggage leading you to think one ethnic group/nation is more noble or less noble than another ethnic group/nation, and being ‘reassigned’ to what you see as the enemy camp might be upsetting to you. But that isnt a reason why the wider public should be denied accurate test results.

  35. Lori

    New Ancestry headline….out data base is 6 million strong.. we are not sure how much you can use.

    We are going to charge large sums to analyze hour spit…and you quite possibly may never be able to see who you are related to…and don’t bother hoping to find that missing person….they may be in the data base but you may not be able to connect. We will charge you a large subscription fee to be able to look to see that you can’t see.

    I have at least three more tests to do. I think I will now look at others and just redo the ancestry ones at another company.

    We have 4 people we are looking for and to me…..this is a total waste of money to maybe be able to find out.


  36. Delishia

    This is terrible news! I will be cancelling my membership soon. Many of us only tested to connect with family members. If people don’t want to be discovered why would they test? They can easily not reply to a member if they don’t want to talk to them but this feels very unfair!

  37. Karen

    Why in the world would someone who wants to stay hidden have their DNA processed to begin with? People are finding relatives based on cousins, second cousins etc. You can not stop EVERYONE in your family from sharing their own DNA. It is hard to keep secrets anywhere today.

  38. Diane

    Yes, this will make it much harder to verify records and other members’ family trees. Wish you had told us this was going to happen before you took my money for another 6 months renewal, it will not be worth it without DNA verification, otherwise all the other ‘family tree’ sites have pretty much the same records as Ancestry.

  39. Alice

    Well this is the last year I’ll pay $299. to have access to Ancestry – why would people test for DNA unless they want to know more about their ancestors? Crazy policy change!

  40. Vera Moore

    By the way, that option was already there wasn’t it? On the Settings page you can choose to be seen or not seen by matches.

  41. Joyce

    We all want privacy in some matters, so your new changes don’t bother me–in fact it will save me time in trying to contact ppl who don’t give a rip…why they even DO DNA is beyond me…

    BUT PLEASE put instructions ON your DNA page explaining the benefits of and how to attach DNA to your tree.

    I am seeing about 95% of matches that say no tree…BUT I find that is not always so…Many folks DO have trees but their DNA is not attached.

    They show as NO TREE when that is how their DNA is set up. I would never have realized that some of these folks actually DO have trees, but their DNA is not attached to the tree so it shows up as NO TREE.

    Remember, these are usually NEWBIES…they do not understand the ins and outs of It is up to YOU to give GOOD guidance to folks!

    I also wish you would put the Christa Cowen video’s in your help section. SO many people I run into have very little clue about how to use some of the great tools on ancestry to research.

    All they know how to do is click search. They don’t know how to edit searches, look for specific databases etc.

    Your HELP section leaves a lot to be desired–it is too hard to find what you are looking for there. You need to come up with something better–maybe specific categories for different functions, a basic tutorial or something.

    I have been with you 17 years and I have tried going to HELP section and get so frustrated with that, as you get all kinds of hits that don’t even relate to the info you are searching for.

    You would make your customer service techs job a LOT easier if you would have a better help section.

    Design a HOW TO and email to all new customers…and do that for DNA also…not just the mechanics of how to activate your test, explain how and why to hook it to a tree.

    People don’t want to do poor research, but they do since they cannot figure out your complex site.

    MOST of what I have learned on ancestry is by clicking around to see what things do and also from tips from other researchers. I try to teach these things to others when I have an opportunity BUT there is so much to teach folks. A video tutorial would be MUCH better than your HELP section. Sorry if I got a bit off topic, BUT DNA is an example of where I see ppl not understanding really affecting many people–as do the many bad trees out there cuz ppl do not know how to properly uses your site.

    PLEASE I truly believe people WANT to do things “correctly” to get the most out of their ancestry experience…but you make it too hard to figure out how to use the site effectively.

    • toni

      Because ancestry’s reason for being in business is to make money, not spend it. By never updating anything other than appearance of the web site, what has ancestry ever done that actually helped anyone doing genealogy? Sometimes you even have to know the secret title of the data base you need. Think back to all the stupid stuff ancestry has done. Ruining findagrave for instance. Did they EVER implement anything paying customers asked for?
      Upload your DNA raw data at GEDMatch and FTDNA. People who really want to find family use those sites. At FTDNA you can attach your matches to your tree. Even MyHeritage has matching that works.

    • Sarah

      Hi Joyce, I’m just wondering what searches you do that don’t produce the right results in the HELP section.

  42. Donna Astill

    Maybe the cost of a kit should include 3 month membership to ancestry Worldwide as a way to get people to at least try to build a starting tree.

  43. Marianne

    As a really long time user…going back to the days… I just recently decided that I’d like to get my DNA tested…well,I guess I won’t be using Ancestry .coms test… for that service. What are you all at Ancestry .com of now ? GEEZE !!

  44. Amber

    As someone who is donor-conceived, and only found this out through an Ancestry test BECAUSE of my matches, I am extremely sad to hear this. No one is forced to take this test, and users already have control over what they choose to display? I could potentially miss out knowing I have biological brothers and sisters out there because of this. Please reconsider.

  45. toni

    Hmm. I made an unfriendly comment here and was locked out of my account when I left this page. How odd is that?

  46. Diana

    So this is what comes of touting the test as a way to find your ethnicity and neglecting to mention that Ancestry will also check to see who you are related to. I read the stories on Facebook about children who contact birth parents only to be told to go away, don’t bother us, etc. Did someone threaten to sue you? So now you can take a test just to find your ethnicity, which most of us know is the least accurate part of your results. Sad.

  47. Karen

    According to a graph I saw posted yesterday, ancestry has doubled the number of testers in the lasy year. Sounds to me like what you had was working very well! Why make a major change to the system that we all love because it works well? We will be forced to look elsewhere, recommend other companies, and move away to another company ourselves for future testing. It feels like a below the belt slug!

  48. Ann

    Well, I’ve been a member since 1995 and researching for 45 years. I did this DNA in hopes to break some brick walls. Well… I think I will take a break from it all. Set it aside and cancel my long term membership with Ancestry. I can put my $44+ a month to my trip to Ireland. 😉 I’m so glad I bought my shipmate a test, she found her mother within a month and her father a year later (his was harder to find). She has a great relationship with her mother and 2 new sisters and found a brother on her father’s side, with a slew of aunts, uncles, and cousins on both sides. I’d really like to know who complained… probably someone who gave up a child for adoption! Oh well……………………….such is life and we move on.

  49. Shelagh Payne

    Well thanks a bunch! I only recently did my DNA test with you because I discovered last year at the age of 65 that I was adopted and hoped to find birth family. I now feel as if I’ve been cheated.

  50. Lisa

    Talk about bad decisions. People test with Ancestry BECAUSE of your huge database. If you allow people to opt out, you’ve effectively reduced the database dramatically. You may as well just shut down your DNA section now because everyone recommending your site for DNA testing is going to find another site to suggest. This company routinely makes stupid business decisions that push people away, but this may be the worst one yet. Really regretting that I just paid for a year’s worth of Worldwide membership for the first time ever…..Off to see how to get my money back.

    • Lisa

      Hey, is this nonsense why you guys dropped showing us page numbers? So people can’t tell how many matches they’ve lost because of this change?

  51. Ellen

    While I completely understand the concerns that drove this decision, it still disappoints me. I have experienced instances where people didn’t know they wanted to find DNA matches until they have been contacted by a match who had information to share with them. I do appreciate that by hiding themselves from the list people must also give up access the list, I just wish there was another way to protect a match’s privacy without giving up potential new discoveries.

  52. Tina

    If this happens I will also cancel my all access account with I have had for years. That’s is a lot of money I have spend to have the services I signed up for. Like others have said those that don’t want to be included already have the ability stay hidden. Very upset with this.

  53. Alan Pfahl

    Ancestry, please reconsider! Oh, and fire the head of your legal department who wants to eliminate all possible legals risks, no matter how obscure, rather than provide a vibrant service to your clients.

  54. Donna Fratesi

    Sounds like a very bad idea! I have been thinking of leaving Ancestry and perhaps this will push me out the door. Please reconsider.

  55. Alan Pfahl

    Also, a more informative headline to the original article would be appreciated. Not that anxious to let all your clients know about this I guess!

  56. gatorme96

    Ancestry seems to be losing its transparency rapidly. We now can’t see the number of matches or the number of pages of DNA matches. We don’t have any chromosome browser still, and now we will clearly lose many of the non-transparent matches on our lists by the option to not appear. I agree with a commentor above – I sincerely hope our subscription rates will decrease proportionately to the number of matches lost on our lists. Add me to a growing number of members who will not be glowingly recommending testing with you.

  57. Patrick MacGuire

    This is SO WRONG. It is going to deny closure to a lot of adoptees. If people get tested simply to prove their ethnic or racial purity (LOL) and have NO interest in genealogy, that is on them. Denying us the opportunity to see all of our potential matches is taking away a good part of the service provided. It will make Ancestry NOT WORTH THE MONEY.

  58. CaraMaeH

    Bad form, ancestry!!
    If people don’t want to be found they have the option of using initials or obscure usernames. And the option to ignore messages.

    This is a BAD business move. It becomes false advertising if you tout how many testers you have if they opt out of matching.

    You should be improving your sevice, not hobbling it.

    Start showing ALL shared matches, no matter how distant.

    Add a chromosome browser.

    Give us a way to sort matches that can allow us to identify which side of the family they are connected on.

    Keep forging the way to help adoptees rather than hinder them.

    Re-think this decision.

  59. Judith Roberts

    In my DNA matches I have a top match who is Adopted, has no tree & not a subscriber, others have no tree or are active, & many who have DNA & ARE PRIVATE. Many of the private are on FTDNA or GEDMATCH to get better results in contacting the DNA from ancestry.
    Having a manger of a DNA match & sorting the family LIVING are private & we still do not know the last person who is closest to us, ones who have passed are shown. It would be great if we knew of the living who that match was to complete the connection instead of PRIVATE, just continue the code.

  60. Deb

    This is terrible news for me and everyone like me. The sole reason I tested with Ancestry and have maintained a subscription was to be able to find DNA relations, as I am an adoptee. Had this been in place previously I would have never tested with your company and I’m not sure I see a benefit to renew my subscription with this change being implemented. I am very disappointed.

  61. CJ Peterman

    I am disappointed in Ancestry over this decision. It should be mandatory for people to share non-identifying information with matches. We already have too many obstacles as it is now. Don’t take the test if you don’t want your dna matches to see you. This decision is obviously about money for Ancestry and not about the people who rely on matches for information.

  62. Cecilia Bonde

    This decision makes my renewal decision easier to decide. You want to offer what the other sites off then those of us who chose you over the other services now have an easier decision to make on which site to subscribe to. Your uniqueness was that you could find DNA relatives on this site! Now you are chosing to make yourself another 23and me. Not happy.

  63. Nicole Goffinet

    Very disappointed in this decision – your users already have lots of options for protecting their privacy (using an alias, not receiving/responding to emails) and the whole point for many of us joining, and encouraging others to do so, is that we can see all our matches and build meaningful family trees. The connections between a number of matches make it easier to see patterns and figure out missing links for those of us who have no oral history to go by. I also think this will be an especially painful blow to those adoptees and birth families that are trying to find relatives as any clue, however distant, helps paint a picture that gives them hope in their searches.

  64. Rebecca Arnold

    Thanks Ancestry since you automatically renewed my subscription 2 days ago. Not happy as I am an adoptee looking for biological family

  65. Kerry

    No, no and NO!

    The whole point of ancestry is finding your family. Same goes with DNA.

    If someone has a secret than they shouldn’t take that test. If someone is upset that their relative may have produced an offspring then they shouldn’t take a test. If someone doesn’t want to be contacted by family than they shouldn’t take the test.

    If ancestry starts making DNA matches private then that goes against what ancestry stands for.
    The whole point of ANCESTRY is about FINDING family.

    I would also like to say that you should abolish private trees. It should all be public.

    People have enough brick walls while searching for family members. We don’t need people hiding information in private trees or hiding their DNA that could help expand our trees.

    This is absolutely ridiculous.

  66. J. Utley

    You know what would be really helpful? Please work on the filtering capabilities. That would be great. When I type in specific names, dates and locations, I don’t have time to sift through 599 pages of what pops up when it is 99% of not being remotely related to what I was looking for. Fix that….and it doesn’t require a lawyer.

    • Jane Lynch

      I’ll second that too, certainly an area that should be looked into! Rather annoying to say the least!

  67. Amy Pilafa

    This is VERY disappointing! Not to mention I feel a little taken advantage of. We made the decision to test with YOU because of the large size of your database – and the potential to see the most matches. For you to allow this make me wholly regret spending the money with you. Not to mention, having my parents do so.

    I feel this is a terrible decision and pointless as well. Just because you have a DNA match does not mean that person is accessible. Sure we can message that match – but they can make the choice whether to answer or not! I have had many chose not to answer me, which is fine. But to not have access to potential many people is not what I paid for. I hope when you advertise your testing services you are going to be honest that while you may have a large database, people most likely won’t be able to access it all.

  68. Sherri Osterland

    I will cancel my membership. This move contradicts everything you initially stood for – you’re letting people lie – you’re supporting the bs.

  69. Gary Anderson.

    Put your kits on Gedmatch. More cousins. More populations checked for. Yes with as many as you can and put them all on Gedmatch. If you want privacy there you can use a nickname and an email without your name in it. Also, this is my opinion. I have no financial ties to Gedmatch, but I have 3 kits there.

    • Mindy Hall Thompson

      Gary, completely agree on GEDmatch. com ~~ free to upload, free to see all your matches ~~ great site and wish and hope that more people will use it….. PLEASE use

  70. Cameron Texter

    Ancestry should become more, not less, like Facebook. Give people the opportunity to block someone in particular, if necessary. Why allow them to block anyone from seeing them. Ancestry should use the DNA matches as a selling point for connecting with others just like people do on Facebook. Ancestry is really getting away from the idea of building trees and connections. You give people interested in genealogy more reason to go elsewhere to build their trees and make connections.

  71. Gwen Pool

    Just have the option that they can do a test and not link it to an acct. That way they still find out their ethnicity pie chart, and the rest of us continue on with our matches and research.

  72. Gwen Pool

    Just have the option that they can do a test and not link it to an acct. That way they still find out their ethnicity pie chart, and the rest of us continue on with our matches and research.

  73. Kathy Bowles

    Very disappointed in this change. DNA has helped our family contact and welcome several adopted cousins, and in my personal case, I have contacted 3 half-siblings that we never knew existed.

  74. Jane Lynch

    Certainly making me reconsider buying more tests for other family members, in fact making me reconsider staying on ancestry at all, it is already extremely easy for someone to keep their identity from being revealed, but know your taking away what a lot of people signed up for! Serious consideration for me this evening, certainly be checking out other options now!

  75. Ruth

    We will see where this will lead, as there are plenty of other companies that offer DNA testing and with more details. One reason many turn to Ancestry is to connect with birth family. With your mass marketing, you have profited from the parlor game that is very real to many lives, including the birth mothers and fathers. I can understand the privacy thing. And frankly, those wishing to take their secret to the grave should never do DNA. Clearly you thought long before making this choice. No doubt, you have profited millions from those who chose you for this very reason and clearly, from reading some replies, they feel betrayed. You are continuing the stigma of shame for unmarried women having children, which frankly is archaic. I am staying. I have no secrets.

  76. Kimberly Billings

    I totally agree with those commenting concerning Adoptees trying to find family, not being able to find info because of your (Ancestry) new choice. I feel that you may lose alot of customers due to this. Also, we pay alot of money to Ancestry to be members, with this new choice, it makes me feel like, exactly what is Ancestry giving me for my money. Please reconsider. this option, also, I have an issue with not being able to add more people dna test to my account, evidently permission was given by the person giving the sample. or don’t you think they wouldn’t have spit in the vial.

  77. Debra

    I want to add my weight to those disagreeing with this new option – it totally contradicts the whole point of DNA testing, which is to find the links., this is very badly thought out.

  78. Jeff Kennedy

    HUGE MISTAKE, Ancestry! You are about to seriously erode the value of your DNA Match service! People can already make their tree private, and block anyone they choose on the site. This is a waste of your time, since anyone can delete their DNA from your site right now anyway. Ridiculous!

  79. Cindy

    I get the privacy wishes. I think it should be an option- but one that you have to actively look for, not one that people can unknowingly select as they set up their DNA. Make them have to go to settings. The only thing Ancetry has over FTDNA and 23andme right now is your database. If yours stops growing and the others catch up, watch how fast people bail, especially if you have to keep paying to see core stuff for your matches.

  80. Jackie Gill

    I’m so sorry to hear about not showing matches. The only way I know about my DNA family is if someone tests. I will be unable to find/see/or locate any new family members. At least I’ve found some of my family with Ancestry and DNA, but when my subscription comes up for renewal, I guess I won’t need you any more. It won’t be long before the public will catch on to the ethnicity hook. Someone will eventually say that information is a thousand years in the past and why is that relevant today and do you really want to pay to know that. Ancestry has been providing a wonderful service to so many people. I don’t feel it’s moving in the right direction and I will not renew my subscription.

  81. Terry

    This feels like a slap in the face to me. For the many of us looking for lost family and our identity…you are giving the option of the people we most want/need to connect with the option of not being seen. Great…they get their ethnicity..Ancestry gets it’s $100 bucks and we get the short end of the stick. Thousands..Millions? of us that have been here for a number of years, and pay for memberships on top of all the DNA tests we have purchased are very disappointed. The best part about Ancestry was how huge it’s database of testers was…and growing all the time. Yay. If people don’t want to be “found” who are sperm donors, mom’s who were forced to give up babies or whatever, then don’t test.

  82. David A Bloom

    I believe this will kill your DNA business, and will seriously hurt your genealogical business. I’m unlikely to renew.

  83. Colleen Shupe

    You are changing terms that were not agreed upon by users prior to this policy. I wish everyone would delete their dna and leave your system with 6 samples instead of 6 million. Without our samples you have no data base. If people are going to do the DnA , the matches should not be allowed to be excluded from view. This creates issues. People can “hide” the truth. This policy is wrong and I will not renew my subscription. Might even delete my DnA sample. I am on other sites. You need to reconsider this new privacy policy. I fact I think you should offer a refund to anyone who objects to this new privacy policy.

    • You cannot be serious???? If you remove your DNA results from Ancestry’s database you’ll be penalising your own cousins. You may have your results at other sites, but the proportion of users who download their data and upload it to other sites is minimal – less than 10%. Think again, Colleen!

  84. Kellie

    Frankly I will just delete, it’s bull crap – ancestry you are doing yourself from behind with your own hand

  85. Kellie

    Frankly I will just delete, it’s bull- ancestry you are doing yourself from behind with your own hand

  86. susan

    I think if people want to hide their DNA, they won’t take the test in the first place. If a birth parents puts his/her DNA out there, He/she want to be found. And I read a lot of adoptees find their birth parents through a cousin or half sibling. Just food for thought.

    • Miles Drake

      Yes, Susan….people trying to hide from the past, shouldn’t test, period. There *are* cases though where a chance meeting and passion happened for one night. The fellow is gone and has no idea he created a pregnancy. The new mother-to-be decided to keep the child, but never was able to find the father. This fellow could test unknowing that this child might be looking for him. A chance to be a responsible adult….coming to you. Tough.

  87. Sandy

    I agree with many of these Users. Your service is beneficial to those searching for missing links. I am sure Many people have been surprised with dark secrets they may never have uncovered before following a urge to see what kind of hat they should ware,But some people are here paying top dollar to take advantage of the Huge data base you have established. Perhaps Ancestry should put a little of the skeletons in the closet kind of thing in the commercials so people who are trying to bury there past are smarter and don’t test.
    What a kick in the teeth. Your going to destroy this website!!!!!!!!

  88. Debbie Calder

    Truly disappointing! Ancestry is known for their big DNA pool and recommended because of that. I also think you should offer a refund for those of us that purchase one thing and are going to get another. The big bait and switch Ancestry!

    • Sheila

      Debbie Calder: My great grandmother was a Calder. Email me and perhaps we can see if you are part of my Calders.

  89. Pat Lavielle Hoffman

    I believe that anyone who takes a DNA test knows they will be found. They can not list their tree or answer e-mails

  90. Sandy

    DNA is all about the truth. It is the only thing in this world that is. If you become the puppeteer of DNA then how can I or anyone else trust it. If someone is concerned about their privacy they should stay out of the DNA arena altogether. If someone is related to another person by DNA, well it is the truth and there is nothing that can change that. It just is. Please stop policing everything. No one has to have relationships with others, however being related to another by way of DNA is just a fact. Why else be on here?????? I could just make up my own Heritage if DNA doesn’t matter, but it does. So privacy shouldn’t even factor into it. It’s so ridiculous.

  91. Brenda Shoemaker

    Big mistake. I have either bought or gotten 300 people to buy its.. If ancestry does this we will use 23andme

  92. Vera

    This is extremely disappointing to me. I just purchased 7 DNA kits for my family/friends and feel as though I am being cheated out of important information! You shouldn’t change the rules on people . That is dishonest.

  93. Linda Sulek

    Bad decision on Ancestry’s part. This makes 23 & Me and Family Tree DNA with their chromosome browser sooooo much more attractive now. I’ve been an Ancestry paying subscription member since the year 2000. You’ve just made your product worth 10 cents to me. Who on Gods earth made this decision?????

  94. Alice M Savoy

    Terrible news. I help adopted people find their birth families via DNA tests at Ancestry. Guess I will have to recommend another testing company – this is a real step backwards for Ancestry.

  95. Debra Parrish

    I am a paid member to All Access and my husband, myself and one of my daughters have tested. I was considering purchasing additional DNA kits for my other children for Christmas presents, but now I will not do so. 23 and Me is also offering their DNA kits for $69.00 each or $49.00 each if you purchase 2 kits. I have recommended Ancestry to so many people and I know that many have purchased DNA kits from you, this is not acceptable. You have to fulfill the promise you made to us at the time of purchase. You can not make changes to that promise without our consent.

  96. Susan Worth

    Please do not change the privacy settings. If we can’t use DNA to solve mysteries, what good is the testing?

  97. I have purchased 2 tests this year, one for myself and one for a son, plus my first-ever Ancestry subscription. If these changes take place, I will not renew subscription or purchase any more tests for family members.

  98. Kevin Jackson

    As an adoptee, I will drop your service, encourage others to do the same and tell everyone I know why. Find any stranger and find out their family but, if you are adopted no desire for their to be a family connected. By the way, I have found my birth family and they were happy to have a relationship with me. SHAME on you.

  99. Ami Scarbrough

    What a horrible thing to do! I found both my bio parents due to Ancestry even though I did 23andMe years ago. I was fortunate but I think of all those who might be hitting a brick wall again!!!

  100. Adamzee

    For being a long time paid user, I will not be renewing my membership. This is not whay I agreed to when I purchased my membership, numerous kits etc.

  101. John Freshney

    There are already a number of ways folks who have tested can remain hidden. You are also presuming all testers are sufficiently informed, not to be unnecessarily concerned eg “can I be cloned”. The genie is out … only DNA can confirm a paper trail. It is up to you Ancestry, but believe me, I will NOT renew if you proceed.

  102. Karen Cornish

    This makes no sense whatsoever. People using the site can pick an obscure username if they like. They can opt not to receive email inquiries from other DNA matches. Furthermore, if they receive inquiries they can ignore them. Believe me, I have plenty of experience with this. Please rethink this ridiculous new ruling.

  103. Bonnie

    I was planning on purchasing a kit, but now that I know this, I will be saving my money and going else where.

  104. Richard Jordan

    I was just about to begin my Christmas shopping by ordering dozens of DNA test kits. I’ll probably still do so, but I don’t know which company it will be. In any event, it will NOT be What a waste… Does your management actually believe that customers like me won’t walk away? There are many competitors out there now. I use Legacy Family Tree for my local, detailed research storage. As it has just added research links and hints from MyHeritage, that will likely be my research center from now on. Like I said, what a waste!

  105. Courtney Francis

    Great, another person telling me I’m not wanted on any trees. Awesome. Thanks for the rejection from a whole website/company/DNA clue creator. As an adoptee, I’m so grateful for any info. I’d like to know anything someday. Stick to test takers signing a waiver. Don’t want stuff found out don’t do the stuff.

  106. If you already know that the greatest power behind your website is the power of connecting….then it seems strange that you would offer an option for people NOT to connect. From what I know, there is already options to remain anonymous – via user names- and also to not attach your results to a tree- thus further remaining anonymous.
    When someone takes a DNA test – they understand that they are putting themselves ‘out there’ – if they really want to opt out- they don’t need to take the test- or they can take the test with another company that is just all about the ethnic break down. The reason I have remained loyal to AncestryDNA is because it offered the best of both worlds- the ethnic breakdown AND the family connections.

  107. Another bad business decision by Ancestry. It’s the shared matches that are most vital to retain as that helps us still do research even if the match has no tree and doesn’t reply to emails. Many people are just testing for ethnicity and just don’t care about genealogy but the loyal subscribers to Ancestry do, shouldn’t we as their long term customers have some say in this decision? The recent changes to accounts is problematic when working with other family members, particularly the elderly. I would have thought the most important people are those customers that are going to continue to subscribe and keep Ancestry going long term, not necessarily the ‘hit and run’ ethnicity testers. Long term researchers and avid genetic genealogists need as much information we can get to give us clues along the way in our search for ancestors. Perhaps there can be a happy medium somehow, or pay us back with a chromosome browser.

  108. Miles Drake continues its dive to the bottom of usefulness in its DNA program. I will not only no longer recommend its test first above others….but am considering *advocating* for not using it at all. One reprieve… Could you provide me a download of all known matches up to 7cm 500 SNPS before you implement this change? I would take this in consideration of the funds I have already paid to getting your matching DNA services. This is **no** longer….what I paid for. You have a legal team right? They are about to be real busy.

  109. Jeanette Clement

    So an optional user name, an option not to fill out or link a tree, and the fact that contact between users can only be made through Ancestry is not enough privacy? Then what’s the point of advertising that one can find family they didn’t know they had? In fact, if one truly doesn’t want to be found, one has the option of not taking a DNA test in the first place. This is a road block to those of us attempting to learn about our birth parents. Come renewal time I will be considering my options too.

  110. CM Fitz

    I truly hope someone from ancestry is actually reading these comments and see what a foolish decision this is. What of us seeking NPEs or adoptees or any other myriad of possibilities. The whole reason for choosing ancestry was the vast database. And now take it away. *slow clap* another brilliant idea from this company. Thanks for nothing.

  111. Judith Baillargeon

    This is terrible news. I am extremely upset by this decision. I don’t believe you are listening to the majority of your customers. Ethnicity information is still not that accurate; still evolving. That’s a lot of money to pay for so little information.

  112. Sheila

    When I joined Ancestry, the very first suggestion you made was that it was better to have a public tree in lieu of a private tree. You went on to say that doing that was the very best way to ensure that all of us would benefit from more information. Now, I’ve received two new DNA matches that decided to not show their ethnicity. Our shared matches are lumped in with over a thousand 4-6+ Matches. Additionally I do not recognize one shared match. It will possibly take me days to find a link. No thank you. If one is serious about locating relatives, they will not hide their ethnicity. I use it as a clue when I’m searching. I think Ancestry is making genealogy more complicated. You have made tons of money offering lower charges for testing and far too many stop at that. I’m appreciative of being able to see test results even without a tree, but not showing the results is unwelcome by me particularly when the dna is so low. If they have a tree to view that would be welcomed.

  113. Jean

    Why don’t you give us a way to filter out all the useless matches (people with no trees). I don’t even want to see them in my matches. And for the people that have locked trees, I would like to be able to block them from looking at my tree. There is no reason people can’t do a “public” tree with their direct line on it. There is a lot of inequality in the system here and it is making a lot of people disillusioned. Also expand the shared matches to go beyond the 4th cousin level. That’s the least you can do since you are the only place that does not give people a chromosome browser. Using Ancestry for genealogy purposes with DNA is just an exercise in frustration … no chromosome browser, no suggested ancestors even for people that have tested that have over 1,000 cousins at the 4th cousin or closer level. It does feel like this is not really set up to have DNA actually help with genealogy. I am spending more and more time looking at matches at Family Tree DNA than at Ancestry. This new news just adds to the disappointment with the Ancestry test.

  114. Dee Mayfield

    This is very disappointing. It is totally NOT what I signed up for – I don’t care a smack about my “possible” ethnic background, I can research online with anyone including at the library. What I came for it Matches – If I do not get the matches that I need and be able to triangulate them with each other – I will never find the information about who my grandfather’s family was. He was adopted. I have talked up Ancestry DNA to others – and they have gotten there DNA based on what you DID offer. NOW you are not going to offer it. You have let me and many others down. I will likely let my membership lapse as soon as I copy my tree. (frowning)

  115. Jean

    Maintaining an expensive Ancestry subscription (which I have done for many years now) just does not make sense anymore. If they were smart they would buffer this news with something positive. No additional features to help you organize matches, no improvements to the surname search, which misses lots of matches, no improvements to the shared ancestor hints, which misses lots of people that have your same ancestor on their tree, no improvements to the suggested Ancestors. They should be working on improving their software, and making announcements about that. I would suggest everyone upload to Family Tree DNA for free and use GEDmatch.

  116. Linda

    This is a very bad decision on the part of Ancestry. Do they not understand that a great many people test with their company for the relative matching feature? They are going to lose customers and revenue on this change. This is a case of not knowing which side “their bread is buttered on.”

  117. Vivian

    Not happy about this at all .Was going to buy a few more DNA kits and re new my membership soon but will have to have a rethink about that.

  118. Debbie

    I’m very disappointed in your changes. The whole idea of taking the dna test is to find people you share dna with. If I did not want to share matches with other people I would not have taken the test in the first place! I’m not sure if I will be renewing my account again.

  119. peter

    You will probably lose my subscription if you go ahead with this. It’s already possible for DNA profiles to be anonymous. To not let them show up at all is significantly reducing the value of the service to your customers.

  120. Kelyn Flynn

    So, can you tell us what the point is of having a DNA service on a family tree website that doesn’t let you see who matches you? Why would any serious genealogist pay for a DNA test with Ancestry any more? It’s already frustrating enough that most of the matches don’t have their results linked to any trees. I am not sure where Ancestry is heading, but it surely is heading away from being a family history/genealogy site. Is the DNA testing service really to increase the asset vale of your company so you can sell it and the information it contains about your subscribers for nefarious purposes? I am confused. I will be carefully monitoring this and may well not continue my membership.

  121. Geneva

    Don’t do it. If you make this change you will lose a BUNCH of subscribers. I know I will rethink staying here. I have accounts in 2 other DNA sites that I will move me tree to and close my account here.

  122. Zoe Sanderson

    This has probably already been said but. You already have a privacy system in place most of my matches do not have family trees or have locked their tree. This is an effective protection. I have made connections here with some distant family members but would this have happened if your new privacy policy had been in place? quite possibly not. Your advertising is aimed at people wanting to know where they come from, well our ancient genealogy is interesting but finding more about our more recent family relies on the ability to connect. Rather than locking the information down why not make it clear that your data will be shared.

  123. Bee

    Seems like Ancestry would like to bankrupt itself. I am an adoptee, I FOUND my biological family. However, I keep paying my subscription to help others. If people do not want to be found, then they have the option to erase their DNA. The end. This is a BAD business move. I WILL ask for a full refund on my test as well as my subscriptions, as this is NOT what I was promised.

  124. Patricia

    Well thank you for making it even more impossible for me to find my BF. I thought the whole point of this was to find lost family. I guess ancestry didn’t think they were making enough money. Well thanks you!!!! I sure there will be another company that will come along or is already out there that will make up for ancestry’s BIG mistake.

  125. Dasher

    I have seen the demise of such DNA test results with many making false connections simply because they show a common ancestor, and yet, their research is bunk to begin with. Many fail to understand that it will NOT determine conclusively that your dead relatives are connected to you in the way you think. It is not a paternity test, which requires a direct sample from the mother, father and child, but shows similar genetics. Those genetics can come by way as a distant relative such as cousins, but not conclusively discover who your grandmother or father was. It could simply imply that they were connected in some way. It is still crucial to have absolute documentation. My grandfather’s legacy has been under attack maliciously by such and individuals who attempt to make false claims that he fathered several children many years after his death due to his wealth. Be careful folks not to go overboard in your claims or take another’s family tree as fact, for more is with errors than they are correct. Stay blessed in your journey.

  126. Nancy Kenoyer Neely

    I’ve been a ‘paying’ member of ancestry for almost 20 years. My husband and I did our first DNA tests with Ancestry. But, I am no longer recommending AncestryDNA as the way to go….you are getting incredibly too difficult to deal with. In this case, I am assuming that your CEO’s ex-wife’s 3C4R has an adoption issue in that they were ‘approached’ by a matchee. OMG, such embarrassment! They asked said CEO to fix the issue….Jeepers, Ancestry….you are cutting off your nose to fix your face. You are getting a reputation and it isn’t a good one. This is as bad as making my 102-year-old sole surviving aunt sit down at a computer and buy a DNA kit, when I could do it for her, in the blink of an eye. Sheesh ! ANd, by the way, your standard search engine has been working like SHIT for the past six months. Stop focusing on the DNA and get back to the databases…please.

  127. Susan

    I have 2 kits for sale if anyone would like to purchase them. I am done testing my family because I don’t want to jump through rings just to get them added to my tree. Now with this new change, I will never, ever buy a kit again and will discourage people from buying from Ancestry. Not sure if I will renew my world subscription when it expires. I have found multiple cousins because of the dna matching.

  128. Diane Williams

    I will be leaving sometime in the following months as soon as I can get organized with my information.

  129. timothy Chase

    Bad move! I’ve found the DNA services much more valuable than some of the unsourced trees. DNA is the best source available. Anything else is after the fact and subject to question.

  130. Emelio Miller

    This is a horrible decision being made by AncestryDNA a lot of us are looking and searching for our biological families and this will now make taking the test useless. so disappointed !

  131. Susan Meeks

    Dear Ancestry,
    Add my name to the long list of people who are very disappointed in this change. When you notice your subscription revenue declining drastically, come back to this thread and you’ll figure out why.

  132. Karen Akers

    I too want to add my name to the long list of people disappointed in this change. I personally have bought at least 9 DNA kits and pay way too much annually to maintain the access. I was already considering looking at other options. This will be one more reason to looking at making a change.

  133. Janice Wright

    I’ve been using Ancestry for a number of years. And in just the past 3 years have been doing AncestryDNA. I’m adopted and in search of my birth father. Found my half sister through regular Ancestry and I now have a search angel helping me search for my father and she has access to my tree and DNA matches. I think Ancestry needs to leave well enough alone. It has been very helpful having the DNA matches right there because my search angel has found 3 cousins on the paternal side and I’m in contact with one of them. Please Ancestry, don’t change a thing. All us adoptees who are looking for biological families really need to see the matches so when can trace our lineage. I’m also a lineage researcher and I’m helping someone with their lineage. We depend on those matches. Please keep things the way they are.

  134. Sally Thomas

    Sadly so many folk will opt out because they don’t understand the way the matching works and out of ignorance. Such a waste! Ancestry will need to be really careful with it’s wording around the options for privacy…a blow just when it was getting really interesting…

  135. Laurice Johnson

    Since ancestryDNA has been heavily advertising, it seems that more and more people are testing ONLY to find out their ethnicity (where their family originated) and NOT to find relatives. I think that is why many people testing do NOT have a tree – they really don’t care. They found out they should where a kilt and not leiderhose and they are happy with that. I think that those of us who are genealogists, DO attach a tree and we are focused more on filling in that tree through DNA matches. I have SO many matches that have no tree or a private tree that will not answer my queries (and I do ask politely) that I have just started deleting them from my matches altogether. I simply don’t have the time to pursue them.

    From what I read in the original post, NOTHING will change for me unless I change it. I will still be able to view others who want to be seen and they will be able to see me. I do wish that ancestry would make me able to filter out all those who do NOT have a tree or have a PRIVATE tree – it would save me a lot of time. I agree with the poster who asked that ancestry give clear intructions and pros and cons about whether or not to make your matches public or private, and also why it is important to attach a tree and HOW to do that.

  136. Cate Stadelman

    This change will greatly decrease the value of using as opposed to other options out there, and will inevitably result in significant loss of customers. I do believe that Ancestry already has enough ways to protect privacy through settings, making the declared reason for this change baffling. There are many suggestions for improving Ancestry DNA, that could have been implemented instead. Instead of just pushing Ethnicity Estimates, Ancestry should be advertising the ability to connect with family members. It is common in our mobile society for families to lose track of whole branches of their family tree, and Ancestry DNA should be sold as an antidote for this state of affairs.

  137. Ken James

    I joined Ancestry many, many years ago and they have gotten increasingly more difficult to access and communicate with. They put these little blurbs out there that irritate people then sit in their offices and laugh and laugh as the millions of $$ roll in. There are very little ways to contact them to let them know of your displeasure and they want it that way. They do not want to hear from you or me. Nothing will come of the 190 comments here.

  138. Ken James

    My rant: People are already private. I write to people trying to get information and only about 10-15% reply at all. I got a weird on the other day from a guy who acted like I was bothering him. Why are these people here? If they do not want to communicate let them put a note by their name “Do not bother me” and help me stop wasting my time. There are a lot of rude, nasty people in this community and I wish there was a way to separate them from the many good people here. Seriously, only 10-15% respond at all. I just find that very, very bizarre. And these are people who have been on the site recently. I have responded to every message I have received in the past 15 years and will continue to do so. Rant over.

  139. Ken James

    My point: See at the bottom: Join the Discussion – “For help with a specific problem, please contact customer service.” Response: “This site has been disabled for the time being.

  140. Sue Ames

    I’m not sure how I feel about this. The privacy issue is already tight I thought. Most of the people that have done the DNA that would help me don’t have trees and I already have to message them. It is a pain though because there are so many. I really wish you’d leave things along. Tired of the changes all the time that complicate things.

  141. Linda Tucker

    Oh well, what are you going to do. Of late, I’ve become very frustrated with my thousands of Ancestry matches and on FTDNA, old and new, who don’t provide a family tree, and clearly my information is helping them but I’m getting very little help. I’m going to put an end to that.

    • Deb

      I just made all my trees private. I’m tired if people asking questions about “our” relatives. I tell them, the info is in my tree, but the insist they can’t find their way around the tree. I’very been so kind, given so much time sending them what info they need or want, then never even get a “thank you”. So, if anyone wants to know something about our link, I’ll give access to the specific tree, they can find it themselves. Just call me tired!

  142. Donna Boehm

    It is peoples rights not to be public . It is a biological parents rights not to be contacted by children they gave up if rhey would rather not.

    • Lisa

      Actually, no one has any right to not be contacted. They have the right to say “Not interested”, but they don’t have the right to not be contacted in the first place.

  143. Michelle Wilson

    Proving again how Ancestry can and will pull the rug from under us on little or no notice. Y DNA tests thrown to the wind, Family Tree Maker dumped right after Christmas, MyFamily and MyCanvas left on the curb for the garbage man. I can’t express how much these behaviors disgust me. Why is a company that supposedly is in the legacy business so terribly cavalier and irresponsible in how they treat their customers?

  144. Terry

    I agree whole-heartedly with most of these comments. The whole idea of doing DNA is to find relatives, ancestors, cousins….a subscriber has the option of not linking to a tree or keeping their tree private (which I personally don’t understand….this is genealogy). At least when we saw a DNA connection we knew we were connected and if we decide to contact the private tree owner, they have the option of not responding. To add this additional layer of privacy in not what genealogy is all about. If they keep their info private they still can see ours and gain information from us. So, those of us who share will get nothing; those who hide behind the privacy get to glean all they want from our trees and not have to share anything. Why keep ancestors private; ancestors are not “owned” by anyone; let’s share.

  145. Linda Bannier

    If you do not let us see every DNA match, I will tell all I encounter to not use Ancestry for DNA test.

  146. Ken Hess

    I have seen hundreds of feedbacks here and all seem to be of one mind, that the allowing people to keep their results private if they want. I personally think it is a lot of noise over not much of anything. There are privacy laws and you have to allow people that right. The second thing is that some people won’t do the test without that right, and the third thing is, a fair amount of people, as I have noticed, haven’t even created a tree, not sure what there logic is. Anyway, why not use all the information that is out there without throwing a tantrum about something you have no control. If you quit, it still won’t change anything

  147. Wayne Chambers

    We have been looking for my wifes BF since 1993 and have been using Ancestry with DNA – if this happens I guess we take our sub and go elsewhere 🙁

  148. K8

    Well that’s disappointing. I was looking forward to the day when I would pursue my heritage by testing with Ancestry. Not now! Ancestry will be losing a chunk of their potential clients once they understand this limitation. Given the comments, this company has little or no interest in providing useful tools for those searching out their roots. Perhaps they’re only thinking of liability???

  149. Gary Bookhammer

    Yes, “the largest consumer DNA database, by far – close to three times the size of the next largest “. But due to the continued refusal to provide any sort of chromosome browser, not nearly as useful.

  150. Anthony

    Yes, I would like to see all DNA matches (I am an NPE looking for family) but I respect that some people may want privacy and may only be looking for their ethnicity estimates.

  151. Chevon

    We just submitted my fathers DNA. It really just arrived there yesterday. I would like a refund as to this onset of a change. We looked into where we chose and who we went with to help in our search. My father is trying to locate his father. We have no name or information other than he was in the service of some sort. He knows his mother and her side. This was the main site referred by many clients, it upsets us to know that now another closed avenue. Please review your feedback and follow up with a commitment to reimburse those of us that have been mislead to your recent changes. Thank You.

  152. Craig Albrechtson

    Disappointing, for sure. That said, I’m not sure what difference it’s going to make, in my experience, more than 3/4ths of the people I’ve tried to contact, never respond. Even those who claim to be actively interested in Genealogy.

  153. Andrea

    Ancestry, you obviously have no understanding of what your income streams really are. There are a lot of people who want to know what their origins are and who can be prevented from doing so because of data loss.

    Ancestry DNA has become a way through that data loss.

    Before Ancestry DNA, paying a subscription at Ancestry was pointless because multiple immigrations and cultural naming practises obscured our family origins. Ancestry DNA opened up a new way to search and I needed a subscription to build other peoples trees backwards. I kept a subscription to break down other peoples brick walls in hopes of breaking down my own. I’m a customer you only have because of DNA and other peoples trees. People like me are your new income stream.

    *This income stream only exists because of DNA cousin matches. Please have someone read that out to you slowly several times. *

    It doesn’t matter if we are searching for parents, siblings, grand parents, or however many times grandparents. For many years, you have continually ignored people like us by refusing to update with actual tools to analyze the DNA better, and now you are cutting us off from the reason we are here. Peoples privacy is already protected. They can make anonymous usernames, and block people from contacting them.

    Without cousin DNA matching, there’s no reason for many of us to be here.

    Come down from your ivory tower for once, and talk to the people who pay you.

  154. Mike

    Everyone that signs up for your service agrees to your terms of service. Everyone knows that their information is available to all. Those that don’t want to be bothered, simply never respond to messages. Spend your time, money, and effort on fixing your website. It works like crap. Your search function is horrible, even when searching for known members. The messaging feature is ridiculous. People are PAYING for the information and functionality your website provides. To change things means that you’ll begin losing customers like 23andMe constantly does. I cannot believe that you are doing this for legal reasons as, again, everyone using your service has agreed to your terms of service. There is no reason that members who don’t want to be bothered can’t 1. Create a non-identifying username; 2. Reply to messages saying that you do not wish to be bothered; 3. Simply not respond to messages. Changing your service at this point is absurd!

  155. Nancy Fennessey

    Please do not make this change. People already have the option of locking their family tree and not responding to emails. It hurts the people who did this to find connections.

  156. Dorothy

    Have been a member for many years and simply can’t understand why people bother to join if they don’t intend to let potential relatives see their trees. Think it’s time for me to say bye bye to Ancestry.

  157. Cindy Wilkins Long

    Seriously?! What’s the point then of DNA testing if you can’t see who you match and their family? While I realize the need for privacy, isn’t that the purpose of making trees private in the first place? Just because you have a match doesn’t mean you find out anything unless they attach a tree and make it public.

    Being adopted and having found my biological maternal family through AncestryDNA, if this policy goes into effect, I’m afraid I won’t be staying a member. I am still trying to prove my paternal line and this would be a devastating blow to my research as new people continue to test.

  158. Marjean

    Please don’t make this change. I had been testing my family using Family Tree DNA and tried one kit with Ancestry just to see what was offered and because of the large database. I found enough new information that I was ready to purchase 4 additional kits for other family members. I will now wait to see what happens with this issue. Maybe Family Tree DNA will become the go-to place for autosomal DNA testing after this announcement.

  159. Erica

    I am the administrator for more than 10 kits and I help people find their birth parents. I pay for the world membership and I would also be leaving Ancestry due to these changes. There are too many other companies starting to compete with Ancestry …for this change to be made. I fell that given the amount that your customers pay monthly compared to free memberships at your competitors this would be detrimental to Ancestry. Please reconsider this change! Ancestry has plenty of privacy options in place. Also, in the long run, once the majority of people that are going to test, complete their testing… Ancestry’s true customers will be their clients that pay for monthly/yearly memberships.

  160. Mattie Abraham

    I’m so disappointed in this change. Customers can use aliases, lock their trees and not reply to messages and that is sufficient to take care of the privacy issues. What will really help researchers is to unlock chromosome content. Please give us tools that really useful–don’t respond to the paranoia of the few.

  161. Susie Grohs

    This is unbelievable! If people want their privacy, why did they chose a public DNA company? It isn’t right to flaunt their DNA in Ancestry, and then expect 6 million to believe as they do! We genealogist want something that gives us the tools to find family.
    Maybe Ancestry needs another database for the “private spit” and if they just want haplogroup information, and keep it is separate from the serious researchers. I don’t like locked trees, no trees, and people not answering emails. Maybe it’s time to ask the people what their goals are before they test!?! It is frustrating for all of us involved.

  162. Traci

    Ancestry, I am unclear what this opt-in and opt-out option means. I am wondering if this can be done multiple times, meaning can someone can get their results, view their DNA relative matches and then opt out? This would allow them to know their matches but unless the DNA match was on their account and looking at that precise moment, then the DNA match would never know. Example – I recently was matched with a half brother, I don’t check my matches daily, so it took me a couple weeks to see the match. If he had looked at the match and then opted out, I would never have known about it, but he would know about me. It doesn’t seem fair that those of us that make this information available would not be allowed to have the reciprocal information also available. I know that’s complicated, I hope that makes sense. I regularly recommend your product but that will be changing until I am clear what this option means.

    • Susan

      Yes, I agree. When people signed up for this they agreed to let other people have access to their information & in turn would be able to have access to others. It’s reciprocal; you both have skin, or in this case spit “in the game.” I think that there are already different levels of privacy that people can use to protect their identity and control with whom/when/howmuch they want to share at any point in time. But to promise something & then change the terms of service should be illegal. I say, download your DNA first, upload it to GEDmatch, then cancel your subscription. I think that in these cases, Ancestry should refund your money. After all, isn’t Ancestry making money by selling our data to pharmaceutical companies? If they REALLY wanted to protect our privacy & weren’t in it just for the money, why exploit us, then pull the rug out from under us?

  163. Sasha

    I applaud this decision by Ancestry. The erosion of privacy rights is something we all should be concerned about. Before many people, myself included, would never do DNA testing through Ancestry because of the automatic share feature. Now I, and many others, will be far more inclined to take this route. I’d be interested learning my ethnicity but I feel strongly that the price for that knowledge should not be making my DNA profile available to all. Thank you Ancestry for protecting the privacy rights of individuals who’d like to use your services. I wish more companies would follow your example.

  164. Tom Weber

    Does anyone know how to get around the single email address for multiple applications issue? I signed in and my account went very smoothly but when I tried to set up my wife’s account since we share the same email address, the web site stops me from continuing. Trying to find a contact number to call is impossible and the web site does not have any contact information for anyone at Any help would be appreciated. This shouldn’t be this hard to figure out.

    • Susan L Schoen

      It’s not that hard to set up any number of free e-mail accounts. You can even set up multiple ones within the same platform with varying degrees of information. You can each have a different e-mail address & chose to either use your real name or just part of it. Most websites that I know of expect an f e-mail address & password for each user & will warn you if you already have an account set up with that e-mail address already. They allow you to ask for your password & change it if you have forgotten it. If this weren’t the case, the databases would be overflowing & clogged with multiple accounts for people who forgot their password.
      On another note, I think that while it may be appropriate for some couples to have shared e-mail addresses for certain communications, I think that each individual has a right to have their own e-mail address that they don’t have to share with anyone. Each person deserves to have some privacy, even from their spouse. If you disagree with that, that’s a little controlling and scary.

  165. Ken James

    I don’t have a problem with people keeping their tree private. I do however get irritated when you try to contact them and there is invariably no response. I suspect these very same people write to others and absolutely expect a response in return to their questions. It’s a one-way street. Inconsiderate, arrogant and a wasting others’ time. They have no intention of communicating except on their terms. Why are these prima donnas here? Answer: for themselves.

  166. Susan McIntyre

    I do not think you should continue to advertise on tv that you help adoptees find their long lost families. Yes, some people choose not to respond, but if the results are not public at least we have no idea how to find these long lost families. I found my husband’s birth family and am helping 2 others find theirs. I am also searching for my great grandfather’s parents. DNA is all I have left. I have been with ancestry for 18 years. I will withdraw my membership after copying all of my information.

  167. ruth

    Very disappointed with the whole Ancestry DNA and this “privacy” issue is just one more. Can’t figure out why folks that did DNA tests earlier don’t show up as my cousins or why one first cousin with access to my tree as guests shows up and several others do not. I plan to do 23 and me since Ancestry DNA has been a HUGE disappointment

  168. Valerie

    I am not just disappointed at this proposed change – I am angry. This is another act of deliberate discrimination against adoptees. Some of us have no other way of searching – there is no paper trail and no one to ask. To take this away is simply wrong.

    I also help others search and have promoted as the place to start. Not anymore. If this change goes through I will drop my subscription and suggest 23andme and MyHeritage for DNA testing. You have really shot yourselves in the foot with this decision.

  169. Katherine Bopp

    I agree with all the people who are objecting to this new change. Adoptees have faced being ostracized in so many ways. They feel robbed of their identity, unsure of what lies in their medical background, feel unwanted/rejected by that previous family and just want answers and have a need to know. I was adopted by my Mom’s 2nd husband and knew the history, but was told that my birth father didn’t believe I was his – or maybe it was my brother. The DNA tests of all of my siblings showed that I am a full sibling to the two siblings I was supposed to be full siblings with and it is hopefully going to help with having the 1/2 siblings from the adopted Dad in finding out more information on our shared Great-Grandfather on our Mom’s maternal side of the family. Don’t shut off those possibilities! Don’t shut off being able to find out if there are other relatives in that line of the family. Especially since I have bought a total of 13 kits and have the last two of those intended for family members. I am NOT one of the people who is just interested in taking the test to find out ethnicity. I bought them in hopes of finding extended family members who can lead me to that brick wall ancestor!

  170. Shawn Greene

    Wow. Just wow. I do not know how many of you complaining ever started a tree or found any ancestors without DNA testing. Any of you traced family back to 1700 or 1800? How did you do it? How many of you have private trees and don’t share? There is nothing different here. If you have the choice not to share a tree or be contacted, it’s your choice. Same with DNA. If you don’t want to share it’s your choice. Do you really think all of your living relatives do Ancestry? Do you think they all took DNA Tests? You still are able to search without DNA.

    • Shawn Greene

      I’m going to add to this. When you all took the DNA Test, Do you remember it asked you if you wanted to link it to a tree? Obviously not. You had the choice. If you didn’t link it, no one would have known you had a DNA Test. So whats the problem now? Because they announced it publicly that you can opt not to share, is that the problem? It’s not a problem.

      • Susan

        You obviously haven’t read many of the other threads. Some people are adoptees and do not have the access to their biological families. It’s true, some people keep their trees private if they don’t want to share. Some do share & they are not even aware of how they could be helping others if not just to find people, but to rule people out. I think that people should be able to use an alias & decide how much to share with anyone. As it is, people can try to contact you & you can choose to respond or not & decide how much info you want to share. But to take a whole chunk of data away that people were expecting to be able to use is false advertising.

  171. Sara Brower

    Why would anyone want to spend money for nothing? The whole point is to see matches. The geographic features are interesting but after one has been researching for 30 years, the geographic maps are just confirmational.

    PRIVACY? – keep your tree private and don’t answer messages. Simple.

    • Ken James

      I agree. But Ancestry should have a box to check: “I do not respond to messages”. Quite wasting my time. I wrote four messages this week. Not one response. Not one. This happens over and over and over again. Frustrating. I share everything and get nothing.

  172. Becky

    I can understand some people just wanting to know their ethnicity results and wanting to stay private. Besides using Ancestry, genealogists should also transfer their results to FamilyTreeDNA. A chromosome browser is available and there is now a third party tool, “The Triangulator” created by Goran Runfeldt, which can be used to triangulate matches on FTDNA. It is wonderful!

  173. scwbcm

    I admit I don’t understand ancestry’s latest moves. Obviously, many people have been offended by this and that will be the word of mouth that will be going out, so why do you spend money on advertising? The last major purchase I made was influenced by a family member, not by advertising. So you spend money to advertise to get new people to test their DNA but you offend the people who have already tested and who would be talking to their friends and family. People are way overestimating the value of the targeted ads. I have seen a million ads for products I have never purchased. In the end, reputation, value and customer service will always win over clickbait. People used to work so hard to achieve product loyalty and now they seem to think targeted ads can replace that. Ancestry seems to be okay with letting us go our own way. Again, that is surprising to me. We are a living database that changes daily even if our DNA does not, so why would you want to lose that database. I used to spend hours on ancestry and now minutes. I understand your focus is on collecting DNA but is that it? At one time your customer base would have been an important database but now it is irrelevant? Or is this to safeguard the DNA from cyber issues. I’m probably okay with safeguards to protect the DNA database but wasn’t there a way to do it without turning off so many customer? I no longer see that there is any value to the DNA tester so I can’t imagine why anyone would test now. There are no tools, the databases are going away, etc. so there is not much left for the testers. Why are you driving us away?

  174. Susan

    False advertising! Bait & switch! Some people chose Ancestry because it had a large database to compare & some come to search for family &/or build family trees. I think that there could be ways to protect people’s anonymity to the general public, but still allow them to contact each other back & forth & chose if they want to respond. If people want to find others & be found they can be as open as the want, but others may want to be more cautious until they are sure of the connection & intent.

  175. Susan

    Ancestry should be more transparent about how the data is used & shared. We paid for the service & expect to be able to use it. Yet, at the same time, I hear rumors of Ancestry & other DNA testing sites SELLING the data to pharmaceutical companies. It’s not fair to take the data & use it for your purposes & profit, yet not let the individuals have the use of it & the promised expectation of being able to have access to other users’ data. Double standard!

  176. Deb

    My membership expires in April. I will not renew. Ancestry will get my call early so they don’t automatically renew me! This is sad and horrific. What a money grubbing company.

  177. Susan L Schoen

    Before anyone decides to leave Ancestry in protest, at least download your raw DNA data & keep more than one copy. I recommend that everyone who is serious about looking for family & want to compare results across multiple platforms upload their data to They also have tools that you can use to look at people who match one or both of two kits & multiple ways to graphically look at individual chromosome matches. You can create a matrix to see who matches who, or not. If you have parent & child data you can create a proxy kit for the data from the other parent, they call it phasing. It is FREE! But there are also options that you can pay just $10 for one month to use some extra tools, like triangulating, which can be very useful. You can subscribe one month at a time & not have to pay for it when you aren’t using it.

  178. Debbie

    This is so wrong, I want a refund and so does the poor girl ONLY done your DNA testing to find her Father, Ancestry you have just broke her heart. This search has been hard enough now you throw another spanner in the works. REFUND REFUND. OH and what about free access to your Null n void Ancestry tree info

  179. Kevin

    Very disappointed in this change. You need to reconsider this change before you loose your customer base. You may be the largest now, but not when your customers take their money elsewhere and your competitors surpass you!

  180. Jeanne Warpack

    I tried contacting customer service and received This site has been disabled for the time being. So I hope you can help me. I did the DNA and I think it’s wrong, but, I will let you be the judge. Both of my grandparents are 100% Italian and that means my mother is 100% Italian. So how can I be 86% European. Shouldn’t I be at least 50% Italian? Thank you for your time

  181. Kathy

    I honestly can’t tell if my DNA report is from my sample or is based on what I’ve already got on my family tree. I have nothing new… no surprises… nothing more definitive on my results that what I had already discovered through my mom’s and my DAR research. I am NOT seeing anything for the family members that I can’t trace past 1860. I am NOT finding any specific locations in Great Britain, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the Netherlands that show me from where my ancestors migratated. I am NOT seeing any new cousins in the match lists that I didn’t already have previous knowledge of. I AM seeing links to “possible matches” but then it says they aren’t connected via DNA, so I’m just really not sure what the purpose of linking to them is. They have surnames in their lists that are same as some in my tree, but first names, locations and dates are way out of whack to be related to me.
    So overall, I consider this a great experience in getting very excited and very disappointed all at the same time.
    For those who are adopted or have little knowledge of their families, I hope that it is a good experience for you and that you are able to locate your relatives and learn about your family background.

  182. Lee-Ann

    Very disappointing decision. No new DNA tools to help us with our DNA research… just more ways to hinder it. A simple date for each new DNA match would be helpful. Why not give us something more important, like a chromeosone browser.

  183. Tina Duncan

    I am extremely disappointed in this decision I along with several of my family and friends have bought DNA kits from you and have a monthly subscription to your family tree with these new changes I will no longer recommend your service and will advise everyone close to me not to use your service

  184. Michelle Thompson

    At least they gave us a little time before they do their Holiday Sales. We need to get this info out far and wide. If it hits their bottom line, they may rethink it. If not, I like FTDNA. I’m also on 23andMe, DNAland, MyHeritage and a few others. I have no problem cancelling Ancestry. People need to know about this before they buy, and know alternate sites are available. Get the information out there. I know first hand suggestions to Ancestry are largely ignored. The almighty buck is the only thing they listen to.

  185. Kathryn

    I’m an adoptee and found my birthfather using Ancestry and the other DNA genealogy sites. I also agree with this decision. Many people don’t understand how much information can be gleaned from DNA matches. People testing to find out their Ethnicity should unintentionally have to find out they are an NPE or their grandfather had an affair unless they want to. Some adoptees/searchers are showing less and less restraint contacting matches- some getting to stalker level behavior. Ancestry needs to protect people’s privacy and the default setting should be private.

    • D. R. Hunter

      Stalker level, really? Glad you found your birthfather, and have no empathy for those of us still on the search. “I got mine, just try and get yours,” seems to be the attitude I get from you.

    • Kathryn

      When mirror trees and triangulating segments on Gedmatch have been replaced by harassing matches on social media that’s stalking. I had a match in the 4-6th cousin range start contacting myself and my family members on Facebook and LinkedIn when I told her the match was too distant to find a connection and I would not give her the names of my biological parents. Too many searchers find cyber stalking an easier way of locating unknown family members than doing the real work of DNA genealogy.

  186. Jen

    Your new update is garbage, out of 79 possible subregions you could not find one to place me in. That along with this new policy is the what has made me cancel my account. The update is misleading and my results went from more specific to less specific. With 24,700 matches you will obviously never be able to assign me a subcategory. Dangle a carrot in front of our faces then snatch it away, I don’t play that game.

  187. D. R. Hunter

    It’s hard to be disappointed by this, because of all three major DNA services (it is impossible to take MyHeritage seriously) AncestryDNA is the least useful. There is no ability to search for usernames, and even when I find a match, I have to beg them to upload to GEDmatch to figure out what segments we match on, to enable me, an adoptee, to triangulate for my own heritage.

    Congratulations on finding a way to make yourselves less useful. I’m going to advise fellow adoptees to skip over AncestryDNA and do their searching with 23andMe which has gotten better and better over the last two and a half years.

    Keep on selling DNA kits to the kilt vs. lederhosen crowd. Some of them actually put family tree info up for their two week trial, and even after they’ve moved on to the next shiny object, you still have their tree info to sell to me. That’s all you’re good for.

  188. Tim

    And while Ancestry continues in its most amazing business model, for those who manage multiple DNA results please be aware that under the latest configuration of ethnic regions, when you click on “See all 150+ regions” what it appears that you get is an amalgamation of the results on all the kits you manage. For example, I am shown on the initial screen as Europe South (had been Italy/Greece) as 33%, Europe West as 34%, Iberian as 11% and Caucasus as 7% for a total of 85% and am told that I have results in 9 other regions (presumably totaling 15%). When I click on “See all 150 + regions” to see what these other 9 are, I become 11% Europe South, 14% Europe West, 0% Iberian and 1 % Caucasus and the other nine regions include various other areas ranging from 1% to 30 percent, the 30 percent being Native American. The total of all regions is now 135%. I then checked a couple of other tests that I manage and while the initial screen did not show any significant change, when I checked “See all 150+ regions”, each of these also showed up with 30% Native American where, if it were valid for that amount should have showed up on the initial screen. I do have one test that I manage where the individual is known to have a significant Native American heritage. So it appears that Ancestry really wants to make it difficult for those of us that manage multiple tests. I should note that I have not attempted to contact Ancestry to see if I did something wrong in trying to find out what my minor regions were.

    • Pat

      To see your 9 other regions totaling 15%, click on “+ low confidence regions” instead of “150+ regions”. That will give you what you want. I, too, have weird numbers totaling 139 when I look under “150+” – no explanation of what those numbers are – they have nothing to do with my other kits and also, like you, include the 30 for Native American – none of my kits have Native American.
      Lots of other weird things going on. DNA circles disappearing and returning without anyone even being logged on, so it’s not because someone in the circle changed their tree?!
      Ancestry, are you making a bunch of other changes that are affecting this and other things on DNA page? I also had many of my old matches, ones I regularly communicate with on my first page of matches, show up as “new” with a blue dots last night and into today. What’s up with that? No one is invited as a manager to my results so only you or I could change that! Anyone else experience that? I’d ask on the community support forum but that has still not returned!

  189. Ken

    I agree with virtually all the previous comments: This is a terrible idea. The whole point of DNA testing is finding matches.

  190. caith

    My main frustration is all the other issues that should be easy to correct, but are not:

    1. When someone sends you an invite to their tree, the link does not take you to an access to their tree. This has malfunctioned for 6 years.

    2. We are sent an email to take us to a comment someone has made on about someone in our tree. The link does not take us there. This feature has not worked for 10 months.

    3. Oft times when entering a surname in the box, other names come up instead of the one asked for. E.g., when you enter, Massey Thomas, you get people with the last name Massey, instead of Thomas. That should be easy to fix. Yes, I know I can go into the index, but there is an expediency to the search box. This has never worked properly.

    4. The page counter for the dna match list quit working 3 days ago. In addition, I appear to have lost 6 pages (300) of my matches. Or perhaps that has something to do with the page counter.

    5. Sometimes there are supposedly 20 member trees to look at, yet there are none. This is the first time in 6 years I have had this malfunction.

    6. For 6 years, there have been many Public trees, I am not able to access. And, I know they are public trees.

    And yes, I have had my computer refreshed and cleaned up by the Geek Squad and do this on a regular basis. And yes, I go through the gyrations requested by Ancestry to put my settings in sync.

    I spend 6-8 hours each day at Ancestry; and it is very frustrating experience.

  191. I am shocked at the anger and opinions expressed here! The mistake a lot of you are making is thinking you have a “right” to other persons’ personal information. If a fellow researcher is willing to share…that’s very generous but there are different reasons for being tested and they are under no obligations to reveal their results to anyone. If they choose the option of saying NO, you will not even know they tested so how could you be angry at something you don’t even know exists! It’s like being upset at all those who have not tested yet…how dare they withhold information from you! You have no rights regarding other people’s very personal data…..would you share all your banking information with people you don’t even know? No you wouldn’t. Ancestry has only given the option…it is the owner’s decision and rightfully so! I can truly relate to the adoptee’s need to find answers and wish you success but there’s another person to consider and they may not be ready to share their private information for whatever reason. This is life changing info and not always in a positive way. You have to respect people’s privacy.

      • Monika

        I 100% agree with Gloria and Faye. I wrote my Thesis on the subject of “The Constitutional Right of Adoptees to Know Their Biological Parents”. But this feeling of entitlement that has become pervasive in our society is really not healthy.

    • Kathryn

      Thank you! I agree 100%. The give and take in research has been replace by take. Too many searchers want the information and instead of using the tools we all used like Gedmatch, they bully people into giving out information and doing the research for them. I see this often with distant matches that might not even be family. Sorry, just because we share 24cm over 2segments does not make us related. You do not get to harass my family members to test to figure out what line you are related on. Do a friggin mirror tree and leave matches alone.

    • Sandra

      As far as I know, at best, we only see the name a match wishes to display and an estimation of their relationship plus only a public tree that might be linked to the DNA.

      Everyone has always had the right to download their own DNA data if wanted, remove it permanently and to delete their profile at any time.

  192. Fred

    I disagree with a few of the above recent posters, and with the argument presented by the Ancestry Team.

    I disagree with these posters because I do not believe that an anonymous DNA match is another person’s personal information. It only becomes that if the person is identified.

    The Ancestry Team states that it wants to look for ways to improve their services to make it easier to find new connections and explore what they mean. This is a noble goal and seems to go directly to Ancestry’s mission. However, in recent weeks I have noticed a dramatic reduction in the rate of my new DNA matche (about 1/5 the prior rate). It this is indeed due mostly to the new procedures, then Ancestry has made it far harder to achieve the stated goal.

    Ancestry’s prior procedures seem to have been working well for years. Why make such draconian changes now?

    Ancestry indicates privacy is critical, but I believe they have just made an error in high to achieve this. Much of privacy can be obtained through anonymity. The DNA donor was never under any obligation to identify themselves or to provide personal information. The Ancestry Team indicates that not everyone is open to discovery of their extended family. This can still be accomodated without witholding matches to others. This can simply be done by asking the DNA donor to opt in or out of seeing their own matches, and anyone who opted out would not be able to receive email from the matches either. This should protect the DNA donor from learning about their extended family if that is what they want.

    I do not agree with the way the Ancestry Team has addressed the issue of customer control of their own data. Critical elements of customer control include ability to obtain their own data, transfer it elsewhere and remove it from anywhere. However customer control does not have to mean that the customer controls how Ancestry interprets the data or how it make anonymous results available to other customers. Shared DNA matches are critical to making the connections the Ancestry Team described.


    I love the fact that my DNA can be viewed, over the years I have found great information and new family members.

  194. Charlene

    This is ridiculous! We choose Ancestry because it has the largest database and now you want to block parts of it. Really? I have worked for three years finding a family for a 75 years old adoptee who needs the information for medical reasons. Without Ancestry’s DNA matches we would still be following the wrong paternal line. As it is, we my not be able to get the one last piece of DNA evidence we need to prove his father if one of his other descendants tests and then blocks the results. Opt out of being contacted, opt out of having a visible family tree…those are both frustrating enough but not out of the matches! And while I am complaining, get rid of those silly DNA circles. They are wildly inaccurate as they use the information from family trees. And we all know there are mistakes in them. People who have no DNA connection to my family are sitting on my circles because they won’t admit their DNA results show they do not belong to the family.

  195. Cindy Gropp Curry

    I think that we should be making the other sites bigger than Ancestry’s Data Base. They have taken away the only reason I see to even take their DNA test.

  196. Sandra

    I think that anyone testing with Ancestry should agree to share otherwise test with a private company. Surely we are family and trying to get our trees correct?

    I also find it irritating enough there are private trees yet they can benefit from public trees.

    Certainly if someone opts out of being shown as a match they should not see any matches either. Being able to opt out defeats the whole object.

  197. Bob

    All well and good, but if you opt out you shouldn’t be able to view possible matches from others who have opted in. That’s called free-riding and it de-incentivizes being part of the community.

  198. Theresa F.M.

    “If you find value in the DNA Match Lists that Ancestry provides, fear not. This move towards additional privacy options in no way means that the company is moving away from helping people find possible family members, as they noted in the closing of their blog:” wow, talk about double speak. Of course this move is moving away from helping people find possible family members. And I’ll be moving away from Ancestry, I’ll buy my future DNA kits from FamilyTree. Bait and Switch, Ancestry, you should be held accountable.

  199. Phyllis Lewellen

    Ancestry will do what it wants to do, but Ancestry needs to remember that finding shared matches can mean being able to break through brick walls for genealogists, and not just helping adoptees (which is important, too). One of the reasons A has 6,000,000 in their DNA database is because of the availability to find matches. It will be interesting to see how this affects future growth of Ancestry’s business.
    Most of us realize that too many people thought they were getting just ethnicity, and not shared matches, when they tested. They should have known that since Ancestry’s enclosed information in the kit tells them that. But too many people cannot seem to spit and read at the same time, so now they are surprised by how much info they got (and who found them). I WISH (not holding my breath, I know better) that A would offer an option for people to see shared matches with a chromosome browser, that would protect their right to share their DNA info only if they wanted to. For an extra fee of course….then Ancestry couldn’t say they cannot afford to offer it. DNA is now part of genealogy,. and it is not going anywhere. So Ancestry, offer current customers the ability to get a chromosome browser with shared matches that opt into it…..
    Ancestry, you are either in the genealogy business or you are not!

  200. marieila

    Do I understand right that the person who blocks his/her name will see all his/her matches? After this change I will feel paranoid that there are first and second cousins whom I don’t know of, but who will know me very well. That would be a grave violation of my privacy.

    • marieila

      Sorry, I misunderstood the text. I though that ‘to see’ and ‘to be seen’ could be opted out separately, but that seems not to be the case. Now, I don’t understand, without access to the matches, what is the point in getting the DNA test via Ancestry?

  201. Sandra

    Why can we no longer see how many matches we have? What is the point of removing that feature? I want to know how many I have. I find it very useful.

    • Beverly

      My theory is that Ancestry hope we would not notice how significant the impact was if they changed the display of total 4th cousins and removed the total number of pages of matches. Guess what, we noticed anyway.

  202. Tracy

    I have been a member with ancestry since 2002 and built a rather large tree not knowing that several family members where adopted. Since DNA has come about it has helped me piece most of my family together. I was right on the verge of finding the final piece of my Great Grandfather’s parents when all this took place over a week ago. Now I have no shared ancestor hints or circles. Ancestry has become useless for me. If something doesn’t get fixed I will not be renewing my subscription.

    • Barbara

      If you have no shared hints, circles or shared DNA cousins, it means that YOU have asked that your DNA info is not shared. Or, am I missing something?

      • Tracy

        No my settings are all public, nothing is hidden or private. I am going on 5 weeks of no shared ancestor hints showing.

  203. Beverly

    I agree with most of the commenters that this was an unnecessary change that damages the ability of long-time serious members to use the site. Ancestry is obviously more interested in making a quick $70 from a bunch of naive people sucked in by the their commercials than it is interested in providing meaningful customer service to long-time customers paying $200-$300 for ongoing subscriptions. I highly recommend that dissatisfied customers download their files and move them to Gedmatch (free for most of site) or Family Tree DNA ($30 to get complete access to matches). Both sites have chromosome browsers, which is a tool that Ancestry has yet to offer even though members have been clamoring for it for years. You can find me on both sites.

  204. Vickie

    My sister’s DNA just came through and we were so excited. I then found that my mom and sister don’t have leafs showing. I called Ancestry about the issue and was told of the change. This was very disheartening. I also am disappointed on how the DNA Ethnicity shows up. I want to see if there is any percentage just not the ones that Ancestry records or thinks I need.

    • Tracy

      What change did they tell you about? I have called them, emailed them and chatted online with them and they haven’t told me about any change.

      • Vickie

        Tracy – the change to the privacy settings which removed all the leaves if a person didn’t have their settings a certain way. All the research I did was for naught. I see today that the leaves are back. The other item was when they showed ethnicity you could click on “ALL” and it would show you all the groupings and then you could see if there was one that was less than 1% that is now not showing up on how they are doing it.

  205. tmarqutte59

    wow…bought a kit for another person, she takes screen of the registration code and yesterday I go online to register it under my account as I have done with many others and manage. INSTANTLY get hit with ‘ you can no longer do this ‘ crap. VERY torqued right now!! are you kidding me Ancestry? I pay over $400/yr for use, buy multiple tests and now this? without dna testing for my father at age 82, an adoptee at birth, I could not have united him with a maternal half sister and an entire family of paternal nieces and nephews, he died recently a happpy man and I gave him the greatest gift on in 86 years ..he felt complete, whole.
    Ancestry….if it aint broke, don’t fix it.
    Also, the show Long Lost Family depends on you…now what?

    • Ann

      You can still manage the information. The person who did the test needs to set up a free account as the “owner” and then add you as a “manager” or at least as a “collaborator”. See “Role Details” in the Test settings section. It should only add a step or two – just be sure to set this up when you get someone to test.

  206. Sherrie Dukes

    I understand concerns over privacy BUT, for goodness sakes, run a notice about this on the front page of Ancestry (home) so everyone will know what has changed. Being close to making some real genealogy breakthroughs and now seeing a number of matches have disappeared is really disappointing. Plus, I’m not sure people realize their “setting” has caused this to happen. PLEASE rethink this decision and come to some middle ground.

  207. Judy I Archer

    Not the only problem cropping up and am wondering if the “fix” is not responsible for more than anyone knows. Ethnicity hundreds or thousands of years old was a disappointment. What use is that? Then pages of “no trees”, not user friendly for the researcher. I have three connections I have been trying to make for years and was so excited about DNA testing. Then in the last three days I got two messages saying we have no DNA match but do have common ancestors…that didn’t make sense so I went looking. First I find, in my DNA match list I have a double cousin I have worked genealogy with for 20 years or more, so I jumped on to send her a message about all this only to be told on the message page we do not share any DNA. Back and forth between the list and her message page to be sure I was seeing what I thought I was seeing and sure enough she is on the match list but listed on message page as not a match. I am almost always on Ancestry at least once a day, sometimes more. Profile shows I’ve not been on for two months. And I just scratched the surface. Ms. Dukes suggest re notice on Home Page is only common sense. And, in this day and age, when they can generate a face from testing DNA if Ancestry cannot work through this to protect privacy and get researchers what they want someone will. In the meantime back to the libraries, courthouses, etc.

  208. Jeff

    For everyone just desperate to find a connection with no privacy concerns – this is great – for those of us that are adoptees that don’t want to be inundated by contacts from parents or brothers and sisters that we never knew this option was important (yes this has happened to me – not everyone is looking for the Hallmark special of the big reunion). You only deserve to know about me or my upline/downline if I choose to share it. The interesting thing is that for all this talk of privacy there is no mention of the greater risk here – all of the DNA data is captured in a database which is sold to pharmaceutical and health companies. Ancestry as well as the bulk of the other companies have yet to offer a total privacy package. This is why they can sell it cheap – its subsidized by selling your DNA data. It like posting your deepest darkest feelings on Facebook and then wondering why you are successful in your next employment effort – what about your next effort to obtain healthcare if your DNA has been shared with the healthcare company that decides your DNA outlines too much risk? If someone has found a company that offers this level of privacy please post so far LivingDNA comes the closest.

  209. Louise Martinez

    Why would someone take the DNA test if they didn’t want to find extended family or be found by them. If you don’t want to know, don’t take the test, do the research.

  210. Fran

    I have a family tree. I want to add my husband’s DNA to my family tree. I do not want to set up a separate family tree for him. He doesn’t want to be involved. He wants me to be administrator. How do I do this?

  211. Barbara Graser

    I have been trying to understand how this all works. I did my dna test and have only received six matches. I’ve been on it for about two weeks. I saw one first cousin, and the rest are 3 or more matches. Also, the results from my raw data shows hundreds of matches, but cannot get into their family trees to compare. I know the higher the numbers, the more we are related. So what happens, when this happens? What are the colored lines that are there, I don’t understand either. I saw where the colors had reasons, but when you look at these lines of colors, I don’t know how to intrepet them. I need to understand these things to be able to use my dna to others.

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