Ancestry Cookie Policy

At Ancestry, customer trust is our top priority and how we use cookies is integral to keeping that priority. This cookie policy explains what cookies are, the different types of cookies, how we use them and most importantly how to control your cookies.

In Section 3 of our Privacy Statement, we state that we use cookies. By continuing to use our site and our services, you are agreeing to the use of cookies and similar technologies for the purposes described in this policy.


What are cookies and why do we use them?

Most websites you visit use cookies to improve your online experience – and we are no different. Essentially, they are small text files, stored in your browser or on your hard drive, that allow us to differentiate between you and all our other visitors.

There are many benefits to this. For example, every time you visit our site we can log you in automatically, and remember your preferences. Plus, we can keep you logged in as you move around the site and give you a personal experience.


What are the different types of cookies?

Session cookies
These cookies are only stored on your device (which may mean a desktop computer, laptop, tablet or mobile phone) during a single visit to the site (called a ‘browser session’). They do not do anything unless you are actively browsing, and they are deleted as soon as you close your browser.

For example: a session cookie allows you to move from page to page without having to repeatedly log into the site.

Persistent cookies
These remain on your device until they are set to expire or you choose to delete them from your browser cache. They are activated each time you visit the website that created them.

For example: a persistent cookie lets us remember you when you return, helps analyze your behavior while you are on the site, and lets us identify any problems.

Both session cookies and persistent cookies are first-party cookies which belong to Ancestry.

Third-party cookies
First-party cookies are cookies that belong to Ancestry whereas third-party cookies are cookies that another party places on your browsing device through our websites. Third-party cookies will be providing a service to Ancestry or a function to us but Ancestry cannot control how those third-party cookies are used.

For example: third-party cookies are used for both advertising services and on-site functionality.

Sharing with other social networks
If you use buttons to share online content with your friends via social networks like Twitter and Facebook, these companies may set a cookie on your computer or other device (laptop, tablet or mobile phone). Find out more about these cookies here:


Generally, you can find out more about cookies and get advice on discovering what cookies have been set and how you can manage and delete them at


What cookies does Ancestry use?

Ancestry uses cookies for the following purposes:


Categories of Use Description
Authentication These cookies do things like ensure that your password works and you stay logged in when you move between pages on the site and help the site to remember details like what is in your shopping basket or how far you are through an order. They also keep you secure while you are logged in and help to ensure the site looks consistent during your visit.
Performance, Analytics and Research These cookies collect information about how you use our site, such as which pages you visit and if you experience any errors. They do not collect anything that could identify you as it is aggregated data and we only use them to improve how our site works, understand what interests our users, and measure how effective our content is. Our performance cookies include: (a) web analytics to provide information on how our site is used (b) error management to help us improve the site by measuring any errors that occur (c) site preferences to remember details such as how you have set up your home page, or the home person in your family tree.
Advertising Advertising cookies collect information about browsing habits. We use them to make sure our advertising and suggestions are relevant to you and your interests (you will also hear this referred to as online behavioral advertising) and to limit the number of times you see an advertisement. We work with third parties who do this for us and we sometimes also place ads around our sites. You can opt out of some targeting cookies – see “How can I opt out of interest-based advertising?” below for more information.
Preferences, Features and Services We also use tracking pixels (a.k.a. web beacons, action tags, or clear gifs), that help us better manage content on our site by informing us what content is effective. Tracking pixels are tiny graphics with a unique identifier, similar in function to cookies, and are used to track the online movements of website users in combination with other information we know about our users. We also use pixels in our HTML-based emails to let us know which emails have been opened by recipients. This allows us to gauge the effectiveness of certain communications.


When do we use cookies?
We use cookies on our sites (such as and and mobile applications. If a browser visits these sites they will receive a cookie from Ancestry. Cookies are also placed in your browser when you visit non-Ancestry sites that host our plugins.


What third-party cookies does Ancestry use?
Ancestry’s cookie table lists some of the third-party cookies on our sites. Please note that the names of cookies, pixels and other technologies may change over time and we will update our resources when that happens.


Which Ancestry entity is using cookies?
If you reside in the United States, Operations Inc. and DNA, LLC will be responsible for your Personal Information provided to, or collected by or for, our Services. If you reside outside the United States, Ancestry Ireland Unlimited Company will be the data controller of your Personal Information provided to, or collected by or for, our Services.


How do you control cookies?
We suggest you accept all cookies from our site to get all the benefits we have outlined above. However, it is possible to manage and block cookies in three ways using (1) your Ancestry opt-out settings (2) your web browser and (3) third-party opt-out settings available in our cookie table. Unless you have adjusted your browser settings, our system will issue cookies as soon as you visit our site. Remember, if you change your browser settings to block all cookies (including essential ones) you may not be able to access some or all parts of our site.

You can also set your browser to alert you every time a site sets a cookie. Each browser works differently, but here are instructions on how to manage your cookies, using all the browsers we support:

Internet Explorer
Click on the 'Tools' icon then select 'Internet Options'. Choose the 'Privacy' tab and Click on ‘Advanced’ for more detailed privacy settings.

Choose 'Preferences' from the Safari menu then select 'Privacy'. You’ll see your Cookie settings and can choose your settings.

Mozilla Firefox
Click on 'Menu', 'Options', 'Privacy' and then select ‘Firefox will:’ to use custom settings for history. You can then choose your settings.

Google Chrome
Click on the 'Menu' then select Settings. At the bottom of the page, select ‘Show advanced settings.’ In the 'Privacy' section, click the ‘Content settings’ button. In the ‘Cookies’ section, choose your preferred setting.

How do I know which internet browser I have?
If you use a PC you can find out which internet browser you use by clicking 'Help' at the top of your browser window and selecting 'About'.

If you use an Apple computer click on the Apple menu when the browser is open and select 'About'.


Cookies and advertising
Ancestry uses cookies to deliver content and advertisements specific to your interests on our sites and elsewhere on the Internet. Ancestry uses some third parties to show you Ancestry-related advertisements that are tailored to you based upon your interests or online behaviors.

To receive more information about interest-based advertising you can visit or

Please note: Ancestry allows third-party advertisers that are presenting advertisements for us to set and access their cookies, pixels, tags, and scripts on your computer. The advertisers' use of cookies and these other technologies is subject to their own privacy policies.


Do-Not-Track Disclosure
Ancestry notes that although we do our best to honor your privacy preferences, and have implemented industry standard safeguards as described above, we do not respond to Do-Not-Track signals from your browser at this time due to the lack of an established industry standard. Ancestry uses advertising technology to show you advertising relevant to your Ancestry experience. Also, when Ancestry uses other companies’ services, data, and software tools to target advertising to you, these companies may collect information (such as a unique cookie or mobile identifier) about your online activities over time and across other websites or services on our behalf.


How can I opt out of interest-based advertising?
Any interest-based advertising placed on Ancestry’s behalf will contain information on or near them that informs you about the third-party delivering you the ads and how to opt out of receiving similar ads from that party in the future. If you do not see any information about how to opt out of receiving these ads, you are likely receiving a generic ad that was not specifically targeted towards you. Please find a list below of some of our third parties cookie here.

To opt out of receiving:

In addition to the above, you can opt out of Ancestry advertising through our opt-out settings.


Please note that these links do not opt you out of being served advertising entirely. You will continue to receive generic ads that may not be as relevant to you.

Please note: if you delete, block or otherwise restrict cookies, or if you use a different computer or Internet browser, you may need to renew your opt-out choice.


Other helpful resources
To learn more about advertisers' use of cookies we encourage you to view the following:


If you have any questions regarding Ancestry’s policy on cookies please contact by email at

Date of last revision: April 30, 2018