Terms and Conditions

Effective Date of our Revised Terms and Conditions: 25 Jul 2019


Welcome to Ancestry®! Thank you for using our Services. These Terms and Conditions (the “Terms”) set forth our mutual agreement as to your rights and responsibilities when you use the Ancestry websites, services, and mobile apps that link to these Terms (the “Services"). By using any of the Services you are agreeing to these Terms. You are also agreeing to comply with our Ancestry Community Rules, which are incorporated herein by reference. Please read these documents carefully – they contain important information about your rights and your responsibilities when you use the Services.

Your privacy is very important to us. Our Privacy Statement sets forth important information on how we collect, process, use and share your data and is incorporated by reference herein. Please read the Privacy Statement carefully. In particular, you should be aware that we do not share your Genetic Information (as defined in the Privacy Statement) with employers, insurance providers, or third-party marketers without your consent, and will not share your Genetic Information with law enforcement unless compelled by valid legal process as described in our Privacy Statement. Any sharing of Genetic Information for scientific research is governed by our Informed Consent to Research, which only applies if you expressly agree to participate.


Important Things for You to Understand When You Use Our Services

  • You always maintain ownership of your data, but we need the ability to use your data for the purposes set out in our Privacy Statement and these Terms, and, if you agree to it, in our Informed Consent to Research.
  • You may discover unanticipated facts about yourself or your family when using our Services that you may not have the ability to change (e.g. you may discover an unknown genetic sibling or parent, surprising facts about your ethnicity, or unexpected information in public records).
  • As we are constantly striving to improve the Services we provide you, your data may be used to enhance our existing user experience or to develop new products and services. Unless expressly stated otherwise, each new feature that we add to the Services will also be subject to these Terms.
  • You may at any time request that we delete your data and account, as described in our Privacy Statement.


Our Services are very diverse, so sometimes additional or separate terms may apply. Any additional terms will be specified with the relevant Services, and those additional terms become a part of your agreement with us if you use those Services. Separate terms may also apply to special offers or promotions, and if the rules of a promotion or special offer conflict with these Terms, those special terms will prevail. We are constantly changing and improving our Services, and thus we may add or remove functionality or features from the Services and we may suspend or stop a Service altogether. If you have any questions about these Terms or our Services, please contact us.


To help you to read these Terms, we have broken them down into the following sections:

  1. Eligibility to Use the Services
  2. Your Use of the Services
  3. Additional Terms Applicable to Your Use of DNA Services
  4. Renewals and Cancellations for Ancestry Services
  5. Content Used in the Services
  6. Termination or Suspension of your Account
  7. Modifications to these Terms
  8. Warranty
  9. Limit of Liability
  10. Your Indemnity
  11. Services Offered by Other Companies
  12. Controlling Law
  13. Dispute Resolution, Arbitration and Class Action Waiver
  14. Miscellaneous


1. Eligibility to Use the Services

Users of the Services may include unregistered guests, free registered guests, paid subscribers, and people who purchase and/or activate a DNA kit (“Users”). You may need to create an account to use the Services. To protect your Ancestry account, please keep your password confidential. You must provide accurate, complete and current registration information when you register. The Services are intended for adults in the countries where they are being offered. For example, Services being offered at ancestry.co.uk are intended for users in the United Kingdom.

DNA Services: You must be at least 18 years old to purchase or activate a DNA Kit. To protect your privacy when you share your DNA with us, each adult who submits a saliva sample for a DNA test must create their own account. In addition, depending on the country where the person providing the saliva sample is located, such person may also be required to explicitly consent to the processing of sensitive personal information when they activate their DNA kit. A parent or legal guardian may activate a DNA test, provide us Personal Information, and send us the saliva sample of a minor child for processing using an account for that child that is directly managed by the parent or legal guardian. By activating a DNA test for, or submitting any Personal Information about, a minor you represent that you are the minor's parent or legal guardian. You also agree that you have discussed the DNA test with the minor and the minor has agreed to the collection and processing of their saliva.

Other Services: While our other Services are intended for adults, if you are between the ages of 13 and 18, you may use the other Services with your parent's or guardian's permission. Children under the age of 13 are not permitted to use any Services. We do not knowingly seek or collect any Personal Information directly from children under the age of 13. If Ancestry becomes aware that we have unknowingly collected any personal data directly from a child under the age of 13, we will take commercially reasonable efforts to delete such data from our system.


2. Your Use of the Services

Requirements for Using the Services: In exchange for your access to the Services, including the DNA Services described below, you agree:

  • To comply with the Ancestry Community Rules;
  • To comply with all applicable laws;
  • Not to resell the Services or to resell, reproduce or publish any content or information found on the Services, except as explicitly described in these Terms;
  • Not to circumvent, disable or otherwise interfere with security-related features of the Services or features that prevent or restrict use or copying of any content or enforce limitations on use of the Services or the content therein, including with bots, crawlers, spiders, data miners, scraping or other automatic access tools;
  • You are responsible for all usage and activity on the Services made via your account; and
  • You will contact us if you suspect your account has been breached or used without your authorization.


3. Additional Terms Applicable to Your Use of DNA Services

As used in these Terms, the “DNA Services” refers to the use of our DNA collection kit, processing and handling of your DNA sample, genetic testing of your DNA sample, and our web or mobile app-based tools that provide you with ethnicity and other genetically related results and associated services, offer you the ability to view genetic matches that can identify potential relatives, help you explore your ethnic and family origins, and make new discoveries through your DNA.

The purpose of the DNA Services is to provide genetic and genealogy results and related reports for your informational, recreational, educational and research use. If you have received a bone marrow or stem cell transplant, your AncestryDNA test may provide unexpected results because your saliva may contain cells with your DNA as well as cells with your donor’s DNA. DNA for the test is extracted from the cells, and the combination of DNA sources can result in a failed test or a test that provides results based on your donor’s DNA. Therefore, we recommend that those who have received a bone marrow or stem cell transplant do not take the AncestryDNA test. If you have already taken the test, please contact us for further assistance.

Requirements for Using the DNA Services: By using the DNA Services you also agree:

  • You will not resell DNA test kits;
  • Any saliva sample you provide is either your own or the saliva of a person for whom you are a parent or legal guardian;
  • You will not send us your saliva sample if you have reason to believe you have an active infectious disease;
  • If you are outside the U.S, you will not send us a sample if sending us a sample would violate any export ban or other restriction in the country in which you reside or from which you are sending the sample;
  • You will not use the DNA Services outside of the country to which your AncestryDNA kit was shipped;
  • That by providing a DNA sample or Additional User Information to us, you acquire no rights in any research or commercial products developed by us or our collaborators and will receive no compensation related to any such research or product development; and
  • You will not use the information obtained from the DNA Services (including any downloaded raw DNA data) in whole, in part and/or in combination with any other database, for any medical, diagnostic or paternity testing purpose or for any discriminatory purpose or illegal activity.

You also agree that we may directly or through other companies who help us provide the DNA Services:

  • Provide your saliva sample and DNA to other companies that help us provide the Services, such as laboratories;
  • Extract your DNA from your saliva;
  • Perform genetic tests in the United States (or, in the future, in other countries) on the resulting DNA using test methods available now or developed in the future;
  • Compare your DNA results with other DNA data in the Ancestry database to provide the Services, including matching you to others in our database with whom you share DNA;
  • Disclose to you, and others that you authorize, the results of the tests performed;
  • Store your DNA results in accordance with these Terms and the Privacy Statement;
  • Store your saliva and any extracted DNA in the United States or destroy any remaining saliva or DNA sample after your sample has been processed; in any case, once submitted to us, your saliva and DNA sample cannot be returned to you;
  • Allow certain of our laboratory partners to use a portion of activated or inactivated saliva samples to calibrate or validate instruments, equipment, or laboratory methods used in providing DNA Services; and
  • Use your Genetic Information and other Personal Information as described in these Terms and the Privacy Statement.

If you choose to download a copy of your raw DNA data, you are responsible for storing, securing and protecting that downloaded data. While we protect your information in our web and data systems, once you download the raw DNA data, that copy will not be protected by our security measures. Your raw DNA data is for your personal use only and should not be used for medical, diagnostic or paternity testing purposes.


4. Renewals and Cancellations for Ancestry Services

Your subscription(s) to the Services and your purchase and use of the DNA Services are subject to the Renewal and Cancellation Terms, which are incorporated herein.


5. Content Used in the Services

Ancestry Content: The Services contain photos, videos, documents, records, indexes of content, and other content that are owned by or are licensed to Ancestry. We refer to this content as “Ancestry Content.” Except for WebSearch records, which are governed by the third parties that host the records, all Ancestry Content is owned by or licensed to us and may be used only in accordance with these Terms. You may use the Ancestry Content only as necessary for your personal use of the Services or your professional family history research, and download the Ancestry Content only as search results relevant to that research or where expressly permitted by Ancestry.

With respect to Ancestry Content, you agree:

  • To keep all copyright and other proprietary notices on any Ancestry Content you download or print; and
  • Not to distribute, republish, or sell significant portions of any Ancestry Content.

Public Domain Content: Some Ancestry Content may be in the public domain, and yet also subject to restrictions on reuse. We refer to Ancestry Content in the public domain as “Public Domain Content.” You are free to use a small portion of individual photos and documents that are Public Domain Content, but you must obtain our written permission to use more than a small portion of these collections. If you have any questions about your use of Public Domain Content, please contact us.

Personal Information and User Provided Content: When you use the Services, you provide us with different types of information. For an explanation of Personal Information and a description of the types of Personal Information you may provide to us, see our Privacy Statement. You may ask us to delete your Personal Information as explained in our Privacy Statement. In addition, you may provide us with information that is not considered Personal Information, such as a picture of a tombstone or a story about a relative. In these Terms, we refer to this type of information as “User Provided Content.”

With respect to User Provided Content, you agree that:

  • You are solely responsible for your User Provided Content;
  • You represent and warrant that you have all the necessary rights to upload or post your User Provided Content and that your User Provided Content complies with the Ancestry Community Rules;
  • You will provide Ancestry, upon our request, with any documentation necessary to evidence your compliance with these Terms; and
  • Any User Provided Content that you have made public or shared (e.g. by including such User Provided Content in a public Ancestry family tree, as part of your public profile in one of the Services or in a public posting on one of our Services) may be used by other users as part of, or in conjunction with, the Services. We will not be required to remove any information or User Provided Content that you have made public or has otherwise been shared from the family trees or public profiles of other users.

Ancestry has no responsibility or liability related to User Provided Content. While we do not routinely monitor User Provided Content that is uploaded or posted to the Services, we do reserve the right to do so and to use automated tools that monitor User Provided Content for violations of these Terms, including, the Ancestry Community Rules. We reserve the right, but do not have the obligation, to remove or disable access to any User Provided Content that we believe violates these Terms, including the Ancestry Community Rules.

If you have concerns that User Provided Content posted by other users may infringe your rights, contain illegal material, or violate these Terms please contact us. We are also sensitive to the copyright and other intellectual property rights of others. For complaints regarding copyright infringement or illegal content, click here.

Additional User Information. You may voluntarily choose to provide additional information about yourself or your family to Ancestry in response to our email surveys, or through the Services (“Additional User Information”). Additional User Information does not include account, profile, payment, or usage details necessary to provide the Services, or any User Provided Content. You may have the option to share your Additional User Information with other users. Any sharing of Additional User Information with third parties is governed by our Privacy Statement.

Ownership of Personal Information, Additional User Information and User Provided Content: You own your Personal Information, Additional User Information, and User Provided Content, but we need certain rights from you to use that information and content. By using the Services, you grant us the right to collect, host, transfer, process, analyze, communicate and store your Personal Information (including your Genetic Information) and Additional User Information in order to (a) provide the Services to you and other users, (b) for the purposes described in these Terms and our Privacy Statement, (c) to help our Users discover more about their family histories, and (d) for any other purpose to which you expressly agree, such as sharing with others. Also, by submitting User Provided Content through any of the Services, you grant Ancestry a sublicensable, worldwide, royalty-free license to host, store, copy, publish, distribute, provide access to, create derivative works of, and otherwise use such User Provided Content to the extent and in the form or context we deem appropriate on or through any media or medium and with any technology or devices now known or hereafter developed or discovered. This includes the right for Ancestry to copy, display, and index your User Provided Content. Ancestry will own the indexes it creates. We will also have the right to continue to use your User Provided Content, even if you stop using the Services, but only as necessary for us to provide and improve the Services.

Copyright and Trademark Notice: Each of the Services is protected by copyright as a collective work or compilation, pursuant to U.S. copyright laws, international conventions, and other copyright laws. The trademarks, service marks and logos contained in the Services are owned by or licensed to us. We and our licensors retain title, ownership and all other rights and interests in and to all Ancestry Content in the Services.


6. Termination or Suspension of Your Account

We may limit, terminate, or suspend your access to the Services without a refund if you breach or act inconsistently with the letter or spirit of these Terms or, the Ancestry Community Rules. In such a case, you will not be entitled to a refund of subscription fees or the purchase price of a DNA kit.


7. Modifications to these Terms

We have the right to modify these Terms or any additional terms that apply to a Service at any time, including to reflect changes to the law or changes to our Services. We will notify you of any material changes by posting information through the Services or via email. Such material changes will not apply retroactively and will become effective thirty days after they are posted, except that changes addressing new functions in the Services or changes made for legal reasons will be effective immediately. Except as explicitly provided herein, your continued use of the Services after a change to the Terms will mean you accept the changes. If any changes are unacceptable to you, you may stop using the Services and, if applicable, cancel your subscription as described here.


8. Warranty

While we hope you enjoy using our Services, there are things we don't promise about our Services.

Except as expressly set out in these Terms, we provide the Services and the Ancestry Content to you on an “AS-IS” basis. To the maximum extent permitted by law, we disclaim all warranties express or implied, including the implied warranties of non-infringement, merchantability, and fitness for a particular purpose. We do not make any promises (a) about the Ancestry Content, (b) about the specific functionality of the Services, (c) about the quality, accuracy, reliability, or availability of the Ancestry Content or Services, or (d) that the Ancestry Content or Services will be free from viruses or other harmful components.


9. Limit of Liability

We limit our liability to the fullest extent allowed by law. We will not be liable for any unintentional damage, any actual, incidental, or consequential damage, or for any loss or claim of any kind. Some jurisdictions do not allow us to have a broad limit on our liability. If you live in one of those jurisdictions, some of these limitations may not apply to you. If you are dissatisfied with any portion of the Services or with any statement in these Terms, your sole remedy is to stop using the Services and, if you are using any of our subscription Services, cancel your subscription as described here. Our total liability in any matter related to the Services or these Terms is limited to the aggregate amount you paid us during the 12-month period preceding the event giving rise to the liability. This limitation of liability applies fully to residents of New Jersey.


10. Your Indemnity

You agree that you will indemnify and hold Ancestry, our employees, and our agents harmless from any claims, damages, or other expenses (including attorney's fees) that result from your use of the Services and (a) your violation of these Terms or other documents incorporated herein by reference; (b) your violation of another person's rights; or (c) any claim related to your User Provided Content, including a claim that your User Provided Content caused damage to another person. This indemnification obligation will continue after you stop using the Services. In addition, you release Ancestry from all claims, demands, actions, or suits in connection with your User Provided Content, including any liability related to our use or non-use of your User Provided Content, claims for defamation, invasion of privacy, right of publicity, emotional distress or economic loss.


11. Services Offered by Other Companies

We may offer you the opportunity to purchase services from companies other than Ancestry. Use of those services will be subject to the terms and conditions of the companies offering the services. Please read those terms carefully. We have no responsibility related to any such third-party services.


12. Controlling Law

If you access the Services on our websites in the United States, the laws of the State of Utah and as applicable, those of the United States of America, govern these Terms and the use of the Services. All claims not subject to arbitration and brought in the United States will be subject to the jurisdiction of the courts of the State of Utah. If you access the Services on our websites anywhere other than in the United States, the laws of Ireland govern these Terms.


13. Dispute Resolution, Arbitration and Class Action Waiver


We work hard to keep our customers satisfied. If a dispute arises between you and Ancestry, our goal is to provide a cost-effective means of quickly resolving the dispute. If you have any concern or dispute about the Services, you agree to first try to resolve the dispute informally by contacting us.

For U.S. Customers:

You and Ancestry agree that these Terms affect interstate commerce and that the Federal Arbitration Act governs the interpretation and enforcement of these arbitration provisions.

If any dispute between us is not resolved within 30 days after contacting us, then you and Ancestry agree that we will resolve it through final and binding arbitration, with the following three exceptions:

  1. 1. You may assert your dispute, if it qualifies, in small claims court.
  2. 2. Both you and Ancestry may bring a suit in court in the state of Utah only for a claim of infringement or other misuse of intellectual property rights. In this case, we both waive any right to a jury trial.
  3. 3. If it qualifies, you may bring a claim to the attention of a relevant federal, state, or local agency that may seek relief against us on your behalf.

If you have a subscription and you terminate for our breach after providing us with a 30-day cure period during which we are unable to cure, we will refund any pre-paid fees on a pro-rated basis to you.

Arbitration Rules: Arbitration will be conducted by JAMS in accordance with the JAMS Streamlined Arbitration Procedure Rules for claims that do not exceed $250,000 and the JAMS Comprehensive Arbitration Rules and Procedures for claims exceeding $250,000 in effect at the time the arbitration is initiated, excluding any rules or procedures governing or permitting class actions. The arbitrator, and not any federal, state, or local court or agency, shall have exclusive authority to resolve all disputes arising out of or relating to the interpretation, applicability, enforceability, or formation of these Terms or the Privacy Statement, including but not limited to any claim that all or any part of these Terms or Privacy Statement is void or voidable, whether a claim is subject to arbitration, or the question of waiver by litigation conduct. The arbitrator shall be empowered to grant whatever relief would be available in a court under law or in equity. The arbitrator's award shall be written and shall be binding on the parties and may be entered as a judgment in any court of competent jurisdiction. To start an arbitration, you must do the following: (a) write a Demand for Arbitration that includes a description of the claim and the amount of damages you seek to recover (you may find a copy of a Demand for Arbitration at www.jamsadr.com); (b) send three copies of the Demand for Arbitration, plus the appropriate filing fee, to JAMS, Two Embarcadero Center, Suite 1500, San Francisco, California 94111; and (c) send one copy of the Demand for Arbitration to Ancestry at Ancestry Legal Department, 153 Townsend Street, Suite 800, San Francisco, CA 94107. Arbitration may take place in the county where you reside at the time of filing. You and Ancestry further agree to submit to the personal jurisdiction of any federal or state court in San Francisco County, California in order to compel arbitration, to stay proceedings pending arbitration, or to confirm, modify, vacate, or enter judgment on the award entered by the arbitrator.

Fees: You will be required to pay $250 to initiate an arbitration against us. If the arbitrator finds the arbitration to be non-frivolous, Ancestry will pay all other fees invoiced by JAMS, including filing fees and arbitrator and hearing expenses. You are responsible for your own attorneys' fees unless the arbitration rules and/or applicable law provide otherwise.

No Class Actions: You and Ancestry each agree that each party may only resolve disputes with the other on an individual basis and may not bring a claim as a plaintiff or a class member in a class, consolidated, or representative action. If any court or arbitrator determines that the class action waiver set forth in this paragraph is void or unenforceable for any reason or that an arbitration can proceed on a class basis, then the arbitration provisions set forth above shall be deemed null and void in their entirety and the parties shall be deemed to have not agreed to arbitrate disputes.

Changes to This Section: Ancestry will provide thirty (30) days' notice of any changes affecting the substance of this section by posting notice of modifications to the Terms on the Services, sending you a message, or otherwise notifying you when you are logged into your account. Amendments will become effective thirty (30) days after they are posted on the Services or sent to you.

Changes to this section will otherwise apply prospectively only to claims arising after the thirtieth (30th) day. If a court or arbitrator decides that this subsection on "Changes to This Section" is not enforceable or valid, then this subsection shall be severed from the section entitled “Arbitration and Class Action Waiver,” and the court or arbitrator shall apply the first Arbitration and Class Action Waiver section in existence after you began using the Services.

Survival: This Arbitration and Class Action Waiver section shall survive any termination of your account or the Services.

For Customers Outside the U.S.:

You agree that the Irish Courts will have exclusive jurisdiction over all disputes (contractual or non-contractual) related to this Agreement. If you are a European Union consumer you will benefit from any mandatory provisions of the law of the country in which you are resident. Nothing in this Agreement, including the paragraph above, affects your rights as a consumer to rely on such mandatory provisions of local law. Nothing contained in this clause shall limit Ancestry's rights to bring enforcement proceedings in another jurisdiction or to seek interim, protective or provisional relief in the courts of another jurisdiction.

Additional Dispute Information for EU Members: Information pursuant to Regulation 524/2013: The European Commission provides a platform for Online Dispute Resolution (ODR), available at http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/odr/.


14. Miscellaneous

Ancestry Parties: You are entering into these Terms with a specific Ancestry entity depending on what Service you are using and where you are geographically located. Please see the list of Ancestry entities by Service and geography here. All references to Ancestry, “us” or “we” in these terms refer to the relevant Ancestry entity on that list. We reserve the right to change the Ancestry entity which is a party to these Terms at any time as a result of a corporate reorganization or otherwise.

Entire Agreement: These Terms, including all rules, guidelines, and other documents incorporated herein by reference, state the entire agreement between you and Ancestry regarding your use of the Services and supersede any prior agreements we may have relating to the Services.

Notification of Changes to the Services: Ancestry may contact you within the Services, via email or physical mail to inform you of changes to the Services or these Terms. You agree that contact in any of these ways will satisfy any legal communication requirements, including that communication be in writing.

Feedback: If you submit feedback or suggestions about Ancestry or our Services, we may use your feedback or suggestions for any purpose without any obligation to you.

Assignment: We reserve the right to assign or transfer our rights and obligations under this Agreement. These terms are personal to you and, as a result, you may not, without the written consent of Ancestry, assign or transfer any of your rights and obligations under this Agreement. There shall be no third-party beneficiaries to this Agreement.

If Ancestry is Acquired: If Ancestry or its businesses are acquired or transferred to another entity (in whole or part and including in connection with bankruptcy or similar proceedings), Ancestry has the right to share your Personal Information, User Provided Content and Additional User Information with that entity. These Terms will continue to apply to the Services until you receive notification of changes to the Terms or Services.

Severability: Except as explicitly provided herein, the unenforceability of any section or clause in these Terms will not affect the enforceability of the remaining Terms. We may replace any unenforceable section or clause with a similar one that is enforceable.

No Waiver: Our failure to enforce any provision of these Terms is not a waiver of our rights under that provision.


These Terms and Conditions were consolidated from separate prior versions. For prior versions of the terms and conditions applicable to the Services, click here.