Review of Ancestry Complaints

Review of Ancestry Complaints

Considering joining up to Ancestry but having some reservations? Or have you already subscribed to this site and grumble about the service that is provided? Well, this review of Ancestry complaints will help you set your mind at ease.

Review of Ancestry Complaints

Companies are all the same!

Let me just start by saying that Ancestry is no different from any other company. Sure they do have their problems.

What company doesn’t?

So, with that said, I want to explore the most common problems that I have read about on this site.

I want to give my feedback and ultimately give you an unbiased opinion on their service.

If you have experienced a problem that I have not covered in this post then please feel free to comment below. I would love to hear from you and to help you with any problem that you may have.

To review these common problems I have categorized them under the four main criteria that Ancestry is known for.

4 Main Criteria that I will review:

Express Your Thoughts Below

Express Your Thoughts Below!

I would love to hear from you.

Vast Databases of Records

There is a wealth of information to be found on the Ancestry website. And sometimes it may be difficult to get a grasp of how to best use it.

Billions of Records

You may also get a bit overwhelmed with the number of results that you receive, or maybe baffled when you only receive just a few hits.

You may also be wondering about the accuracy of the information that you are given.

Little information is available on the site!

This is only true if you do not know what you are looking for. We will all start with very little when we begin our family history research.

So, we may either get only a few results or maybe so many that we do not know what to do with them.

My advice is to put in as much as you know to get the best results.

There are errors in the transcription!

This is certainly true for this site as well as other genealogy search websites that I have used.

So, it is not exclusive just to Ancestry.

That is why I advise you to view the actual documents themselves to verify what information that they contain. You can use the viewer tool for this purpose.

The errors are mainly due to the handwriting of the enumerator at the time that the information was recorded. It can be quite difficult for the transcriber to decipher any fancy writing.

So, if the transcriber is not familiar with the location of your ancestor then errors in the address may creep in.

Also, they will almost certainly not be familiar with the person the records are about so there may be errors in their details as well.

You can be a bit clever when searching for your ancestors when you encounter any transcription error.

For example, one of my ancestor’s surnames was ‘Watters‘.

I have found records concerning this ancestor under names such as ‘Waters‘, ‘Water‘, and even ‘Walter‘ and ‘Walters‘.

When searching for your ancestors try different spellings if you cannot find them at first. You may find that it will help your break down a brick wall in your research.

Copyright of the information that you provide!

Unfortunately, (or maybe fortunately depending on your take on things), we live in a big brother world. It seems that everyone is watching us and everyone has our details.

I am not condoning this practice but I will say that it does help them to build up a picture about us and how best that they can help us further.

It’s called marketing!

But if you do choose to sign up to Ancestry then you will agree that whatever information that you provide then they will have copyright over it. So it is a double-edged sword I’m afraid.

Either you don’t use this website and struggle to gather information about your ancestors, or you join up and relinquish your family tree and all the information that it contains.

But you do get so much in return.

Research Aids

Ancestry offers its user a range of different research tools to help them conduct their family history research. There is the family tree builder that helps you create your family tree.

Research Tools

There are also hints available to show you possible links to records that you can see. Personal blogs and apps can also help you as well as the newest service, AncestryDNA.

Results returned make no sense to me!

This is one of the most common complaints.

When we get these results we then have to comprehend what they mean and try and figure out how to continue with our research by using these results.

One suggestion that I will make is to buy a DNA guidebook to this area of genealogy research.

As we begin our family history journey we may not know which way to go and we will need guidance along the way.

Using a guidebook can not only help us decide which DNA testing company to go with but also make sense of the ‘nonsense‘ that we receive.

The results are not correct!

This is yet another common complaint. One case, in particular, I will bring to your attention is an individual who did the test and knew that they had Native American heritage in their family.

The results though showed that they had mostly European ancestry, with no mention of their Native American roots.

For this reason, AncestryDNA has been labeled as a rip-off. I won’t deny that, and as I have pointed out there are other companies that you can go with for DNA genealogy testing.

My other advice for this complaint is to make sure that you give a proper sample of your DNA. If Ancestry has a good sample then the better the results will be for you.

Sure it is simple to take a swab inside your cheek, but if you do not do it properly or it gets contaminated then you will not get the results that you were hoping for.

So, after performing the test put the swab into the tube provided. You don’t want to get cat hair on it after all, or any dust that might be floating around your room.

The lack of regions that are covered!

As Ancestry is building in this area of research it at present doesn’t cover every region in the world. For that reason for example it only covers three for Asia, them being East, Central, and South.

So, if you have Asian ancestry then the results that you will get back may be too broad for you.

I suggest that you contact Ancestry and check to see the current regions that they cover before you commit to this type of research.

Connecting With Millions of Members

As Ancestry has the largest collection of records in the world it is no wonder that they have millions of members.

Share Your Research With Other Researchers


However, there can be problems when it comes to interacting with other members.

You may not know how best to get the information that you are after from this community of like-minded people.

Cannot find what I am looking for on the MessageBoard!

Unfortunately, sometimes we may not always find what we are looking for. This is due to several reasons.

Firstly, as with genealogy records, the information is just not there yet.

It does take time to collect information and put it online for people to see.

Secondly, to find the information that we are looking for then we need to put in key details with regards to our search.

The more information that you put in then the better chances of getting results that you are after returned to you.

Help and Support

One thing that sets our minds at ease whenever we get into a little trouble is the support that is on offer to us. We all want someone there to help us is in our hour of need.

Help and Support


So, it is only right to expect help and support from Ancestry when we are uncertain of something. Unfortunately, though this has not been the case for several people.

Cannot get a refund or only maybe a partial refund!

As with any other product or service sometimes we are not happy with what we have received. And only too rightly do we want our money back.

After all, we are not getting value for money if the service lets us down.

This though is a tricky subject with regards to Ancestry as they do not offer refunds. Or if you are extremely lucky you may get a partial refund.

So, make sure that you are committed before you purchase, and know what to expect.

The level of support is lacking!

Whenever you have contacted any company’s customer support in the past you may have come across someone who is either extremely helpful or who is completely incompetent.

I am not justifying or condoning poor customer service but sometimes this does happen. It is infuriating as we may have to make contact numerous times before our issues are resolved.

Unfortunately, this has been the case for Ancestry. But I must that this can happen to any other company for that matter.

My only advice on this, therefore, is to do your homework and research what you want before you commit to Ancestry.

Make sure you understand how to use Ancestry to your advantage otherwise you are only wasting your money and not getting its full potential.

I have trouble canceling my subscription!

When you join up to Ancestry you will need to provide your credit card details. This is even though you may only want to try out Ancestry under a free trial.

I have read reviews that say people were unable to cancel their subscription before the free trial period ended and thus their credit card was charged.

As I have said before, and I am not being rude, do your homework first and know what to expect when you sign up to Ancestry. The same can be said for any company or service that you will come across in life.

* Owain’s Tip *

One great tip that I will offer though is to try out Ancestry at your local library. Your library should be signed up to various genealogy search websites, Ancestry included.

By using the library computer you can try it out, and not even enter any of your personal information.

I have done this before and it was a great help for me to research my family history at no expense. The only expense though was commuting to the library every time that I needed or wanted to do any family history.

As I now have a family this commute is no longer an option and so I have signed up to Ancestry at home.

My Final Thoughts

If you do decide to cancel your Ancestry subscription then it may, unfortunately, become a headache for you.

Before you join up this site first consider whether this site is right for you.

There will then be less of a chance that you will cancel your subscription further down the road. One piece of advice I will say is to commit after you see fit.

One thing though that I have not covered thus far and something that you must be aware of is the costs involved with this genealogy website.

You will also experience up-selling when you want to access certain records that are out of your reach.

Depending on the level of membership you will not be able to access all available records. You may therefore need to shell out even more money to get the information that you require.

You do get a lot for your money!

Ancestry does seem to be the most expensive genealogy search website. I am not saying how Ancestry should run their business and how to charge people.

But I will say this. They do need to provide a service and they are putting new records on to their site all the time.

More money is needed for Ancestry to acquire records and to maintain the website. After all, they do have more genealogy records than any other site today.

If there are complaints that you would like me to cover for you then please feel free to comment below.

I have tried to discuss each of the complaints that I have seen under the four main criteria for this genealogy search website.

Please let me know whether I have missed anything out and I will be only too glad to add it to this post and discuss it.

Further Information!

If you want to check out complaints from customers who have subscribed to Ancestry then please head on over to Consumer Affairs.

There you will find over 500 reviews and complaints.

Thank You and Please Leave A Comment

I hope you enjoyed this review of ancestry complaints. If you have any questions or comments then please leave a comment below.

Please share with family and friends if you think this post will help others by using the social media buttons below.

Article Name
Review of Ancestry Complaints
What are the most common Ancestry complaints? I reveal them all and give my opinion on whether they are indeed really a complaint or not.
Publisher Name
The Genealogy Guide
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82 thoughts on “Review of Ancestry Complaints”

  1. Hi,

    I ordered a kit, paid for it and sent it on November 7th last year and so far it hasn’t arrived and I haven’t received any reply to my emails.

    What’s going on?

  2. Wendy McAuliffe

    Good Evening
    I’ve found a fault on one of Ancestry,s tools which is used to find shared matches. It’s giving me false information, and I’ve found it on my other family members accounts too. I’ve spoken and sent emails to Ancestry on numerous occasions, it’s contradicting the information is given me, then differs to my mums information on her account. And making it impossible for me to use the colour code sinaerio. When i call the Ancestry customer care team, they can see by going on my account what is happening, yet when they put a report in place for somebody to look into it, the report comes back as if its something else I’ve reported. It’s ridiculous, why can’t it be resolved. It’s been well over 6 months and still Ancestry haven’t done anything about it. I found out my grandfather wasnt my biological gfather. Which was a shock, but if I can’t colour code like you advertise, how can i try and separate both sides of the family???? I

    1. Hi Wendy,

      I’m sorry to hear about your problem. I’ve done a search and cannot see anybody else having a similar problem. What kind of misinformation are you getting? Can you ask Ancestry to escalate your problem?

      Hopefully in the meantime maybe someone reading your comment will reply with some positive news.

    2. You’ve stated that the source you and your mother used, at different times, changed. This happens all the time, which is frustrating. is a repository and to my knowledge only provides subscribers with documents prepared by other sources. Some of the records are official documents such as censuses, birth certificates, marriage documents, etc. Those are public documents that should remain unchanged. Information on Find a Grave, BillionGraves, and other such sites is entered and updated by amateur memorial managers and is not reviewed for accuracy. This information is sometimes flawed and/or incomplete and changes are made at random. Subscribers are not notified that changes were made. If this is what happened to you, then your confusion is understandable! This happens all the time and subscribers are left with outdated research, that in most cases was not accurate in the first place. I have also experienced frustration. I believe that these services should inform members of these facts so that there are no surprises.

      1. Thank you for your feedback.

        It can be frustrating when there are inaccuracies found within sources. May I just add that sometimes that there can also be mistakes found within official records as well. So it is best to cross-reference several records to make sure that you do have correct data to input into your genealogical program and tree.

        Hope this helps Wendy.

  3. Hello, I am poor, I have no money, all am looking for is a family tree that traces my lineage from Scotland, I have the names of my grandparents, some of their siblings, my great grandparents and my great-great grandparents, how can I research (the old fashion way) are there any library archives or anything i can access without having to pay the lucrative websites?

    1. Hi Tyler,

      One easy, and quick way, would be to visit your local library. They will surely allow you have free access to Ancestry, and possibly FindMyPast.

      This is how I extensively built out my family tree, not only looking at my ancestors, but their siblings and thus descendants.

      Incidentally this is how I was able to confirm recent connections with new found distant cousins.

      Hope this helps.

  4. I had no idea my family had been in America so long. It’s problematic because it takes forever to finish a family tree as it widens out into the past. I just wanted to know where my ancestors came from in Europe which goes back 10 generations for me. If all of my people got here by 1800 I would have done long ago. My most recent immigrant to America came here in 1811. I have to pay more money because my family tree is so large so I keep paying.

    It has pretty amazing to read about my family when I expecting to find just simple farmers living their lives. I read yesterday that my 10th great grandfather sold booze to the Indians in New York State and he was also a translator that helped negotiate the release of.white people kidnapped by the Indians. I had a 10th great grandmother was a filles du roi. Never heard of of it in school but she was one of 700 French women who went to Canada to find a husband as the expense of King Louis XIV. I learned more about my people than my grandmother who was born in 1900.

    1. Thanks for sharing David. Family trees can get big very fast. When I started to research my ancestry I was not only researching my ancestors but also their siblings and their descendants as well.

      I wanted to learn as much of my family history as possible. This approach also helped me to determine how cousins who I’ve contacted since are related to me.

      That’s excellent story about your 10th great grandfather. The reason I first started this whole project was to keep the family stories alive by writing them down. This then snowballed into what it is no. It can get overwhelming at times but it can be quite rewarding as well.

  5. Why oh why, has some clever Ancestry computer buff decided to change the system in the way you can add details from Hints? There is now no space to add additional information i.e. occupation and current family members at the same time as inserting the facts. So once the details of which the conscription is added, you then have to go back to Profile, correct the mistakes that have been made, and add the info.
    Several times I have found that “children’s names” have been added to a Census details, only to find that they belong to the family listed in the house next door.
    It has all made it a lot more time consuming and very, very slow. I will add that I have completed over 20 family trees over the last 12 years with quite a lot of success revealing surprises, sadness and solving mysteries all through info from Ancestry, but this time I do doubt why the system has been changed.

    1. Hi Jane,

      Thanks for bringing this to my attention. Seems like Ancestry just want to freshen things up to show that their product is always evolving and not stale. Seems in this instance that this hasn’t improved their product.

      Hopefully with enough people complaining they will then revert to how it was before.

      1. I agree the new system is obtuse. I always correct date and place info as I evaluate a hint. Now it is a small strip to the right, can’t see all info already there and correct. Some hints work the same as always, some the new way. If you want to look at the document there is no button on the page to save or delete. You have to back up to save. Many more key strokes and you still have to go back to correct. I have tried to complain to ancestry but haven’t been able to find the right place. In my experience this “tweaking” has always made the process more difficult.

      2. Yep, their tweaking just tries to make their product look fresh, but sometimes it can put people off.

        This happened a few years ago for me when they updated their search function. It was so off putting that it made me switch to FindMyPast.

  6. I cancelled my subscription to Ancestry because both my son and I did the ancestry DNA testing. Mine came back, as I thought, Eastern European, however my son has no Eastern European in his DNA. How is this possible. My son is biracial African American and Eastern European. Please explain.
    Darlene Frances Kuny and Devon Floyd Kuny

    1. Hi Darlene,

      There are a couple of reasons. It could have been that your son’s sample may have been contaminated and so produce an erroneous result. Or maybe the sample that was cross-referenced with his DNA was quite different to yours.

      You can try to upload your DNA to a different site and see what results you get that way. I have written a guide to Where To Upload Raw DNA Data For Free. See how you go doing this.

  7. I am really upset because of ancestry they gave out all kinds of information on our family to someone who did An ancestry test these people are now harassing us not only harassing myself and my dad but now they’ve gone on to harass my brother which is not mentally stable we want this to stop I don’t understand how ancestry could give out all our family information and we are not interested on what they say ancestry tesei says we just want to be left alone they are harassing us what can we do

    1. I’m sorry to hear this Sharon. Did you set your details to private?

      Here are the . Here you can chat with Ancestry staff online, or call them.

      Hope this helps.

  8. Been using ancestry for about 12 years now after many years of traipsing around archives. Now I can’t due to distance and would be lost without ancestry – use it every day. Don’t use the hints indiscriminately, usually rely on browsing their extensive record sets. I never load other people’s tree data into my trees, I do my own research. The main problem with ancestry is the number of people who have completely fictitious unsupported trees going back to General Zod or the god Zeus or worse still William the Conqueror – people with 50000 unverified people in their trees. When you order your DNA your DNA matches are only as helpful as the trees of your matches are accurate/go back far enough/ or worst of all, they don’t even have a tree on ancestry! Nevertheless I have discovered a few extra ancestors by checking through the trees of matches. I don’t actually believe anyone who claims to have gone back 23 generations on their tree (one of your earlier contributors claimed that). Having spent 50 years researching I am still stuck in the 18th century! It’s a good site and worth the subscription provided you can milk the search engine. And the family tree interface is brilliant.

    1. Thanks for sharing Amanda. Yes it’s important to check the sources behind people’s trees. They can be helpful but I always treat them with a pinch of salt.

      All the best with your research.

    2. As a former computer programmer – The problem with Ancestry is the quality of computer programmers. I believe them to be less than adequate to address the complex issues. One individual creates a “record” that contains personal data such as birth, death, marriage, etc.
      Those records MUST be filed correctly and by correctly I mean letters, numbers, punctuation AND SPACES. All is VERY IMPORTANT in the sorting process. I have encountered MULTIPLE sorting issues – i search for ONE individual name and get HUNDREDS of other names in the process. For some reason, duplicate and triplicate records are created meaning the program is COPYING data. You can examine the ‘trees’ and see duplicates. A person would not enter the same spouse TWO OR THREE TIMES. It is the program. I have spent 25 hours so far this month (July 2020) fixing errors created by the program. The information in Ancestry is many “records” that need to be filed correctly so they can be searched correctly. Believe me there are computer programs more complicated than Ancestry and they work well. It is the programmers.

      1. Thanks for sharing this information. I am curious as to what you think of the programming for FindMyPast and other genealogy search sites.


    1. Hi Janice,

      It has helped people discover their ancestry. You can still access Ancestry for free by visiting your local library. This has been a great way that I have used to trace my heritage.

  9. Mmm, I received an email with 2 important URL’s for my research from another researcher. The URL’s are for I obtained a free Ancestry account. Afterwards, I tried to search with the URL’s in with no success. I tried to use the search feature with the ancestors name in Public family Trees, which always brought me to the screen to buy can account. Please help. many Thanks

    1. Hi Douglas,

      You could try visiting your local library and accessing their genealogical services for free. They should have the library edition of Ancestry so you can check that out all records and trees for free, (provided they’re not private).

      Hope this helps.

    2. If you have a problem with how the company operates, the bbb just informed me that people should contact the attorney general of Utah, where ancestry is located. You can go to any other company website, amazon prime, ebay etc and cancel your subscription or entire account without any confirmation email. There is no need to make cancellation a two step process in the sense that you have to go to an entirely different area other than the company website if the company is legit and not sketchy, i just look at the commercial and know it’s sketchy shame on bell media for accepting such scam media on their network. It must be said if the moderator is honest

  10. It’s a scam, like a pyramid scam. Who needs 6,000 multiple hints from multiple members? Why would I want or need 20, 30 or 40 ‘hints’ of photos of the same ancestors grave marker?

    Most of these users are just copying information and reposting it without doing any searching or verifying of data.

    Each time I have tried to contact some one in customer service, they have little to no knowledge or training or I get a run around on why things are not working. It’s always the members fault, never Ancestry’s.

    They have taken ancestors of mine and put them as related to me by my husbands family. I have great-grandparents 3 to 6 generations back that are listed as husbands great-grandparents and some are listed as stepgrandparents as cousins 5 times removed.

    If there was any other genealogy database I’d join in a heartbeat

    1. Hi Mikki,

      You certainly do get a lot of hints. I don’t get that many when I’m researching my ancestors.

      Anyways, you have to double check what other members are even putting in their trees as sometimes I have seem some glaring mistakes. But I guess you already know that.

      If possible you may want to check out your local library as they may have a subscription to Ancestry. That way if you join the library you can get your research done for free, (like I have done).

      You may want to check out FindMyPast. It is pretty similar to Ancestry, (I’m afraid?), but I have found quite a few records and documents in this site when I haven’t on Ancestry.

      All the best with your genealogy research Mikki.

      Kind regards,

  11. What a load Ancestry is. The fact that some folks seem to think they are getting value for their money is laughable. We have our family tree traced back on some brackets nearly 20 generations. 23 & ME has helped fill in some of the missing areas for those between 1750 and 1900 but Ancestry provided but one clue. ONE! If you don’t sign up for further payments for no information, they just stop emailing you.

    Adios, sayonara, au revoir Ancestry…….. you are useless.

    1. Hi Jack,

      Thank you for your feedback regarding Ancestry.

      I hear what you’re saying. I suspect some people would think that they are getting value for money. Others may think that Ancestry is the only way to go as you do get a lot of records with them. And so they are stuck with using this genealogy database.

      I am glad to hear that 23andMe has helped you so much, that’s great. I haven’t taken a DNA test but I am definitely tempted to go with this company. So thank you for the recommendation.

      1. I am not sure if you will ever read this comment but i really need to get this point out. I can prove in just 1 sentence that what you said about being the same as any other company is simply not true. I just read from an ancestry representative that you need to read and click on a cancellation EMAIL to cancel your subscription and stop them from continuing to charge you money, no other company does this. I do not use ancestry but i am angry to put in this effort because no one else has!

    2. You can go to any other company website, amazon prime, ebay etc and cancel your subscription or entire account without any confirmation email. There is no need to make cancellation a two step process in the sense that you have to go to an entirely different area other than the company website if the company is legit and not sketchy, i just look at the commercial and know it’s sketchy shame on bell media for accepting such scam media on their network. It must be said if the moderator is honest

  12. I received the email below from Ancestry. It says to me they now have significantly more obituary data and indicates a certain obituary that would be available with the membership advertised in the email. Ended up not true, Ancestry responded that I would need to purchase a newspaper subscription as well. Seems very deceptive?

    Ancestry® just released a new collection of facts from obituaries—adding to what is now the world’s largest, searchable digital archive of obituaries and death announcements—and we think that’s a reason to celebrate.

    For the next two days, save 30% on a U.S. Discovery membership. Explore these new Ancestry Hints®, then dive deeper into this unprecedented collection.
    U.S. Discovery 6‑month membership
    reg. $99
    SAVE 30%
    Save now

    We provide hints for family named in obituaries, which is why you may receive a hint for a living family member.

    Fredrick Kemp Obituary Index, 1800s-current
    Get access

    1. Hi Stephanie,

      Thanks for the heads. Looks like it’s a tactic to make you part with your money. Good job that you checked it out. Obviously though some people will get hooked by it, (and it may be beneficial to some people).

      The ‘trouble’ with Ancestry is that they have separate programs, so you have to pay a different package for each one. So in te end you have to work out whether it is for you or not.

  13. My sister in law bought the DNA test kit for my mother for a christmas gift. My mother knows nothing about computers. So I (her son) helped her with the DNA test kit. Filled the test vile sealed it up sent it in and signed up at the website on Febuary 20th 1919. Waited Waited and Waited. July 12th still no results. Called and went through the whole account info and was asked to provide the test kit number the DNA tube came in. Called back 20 minutes later after finding the number. Went through the whole account crap again. They wanted to speak to my mother about her info before they would release the results. OK We passed. Gave them the test kit number. This was after being put on hold 2x. After all this crap they told me that there was a 3rd person attached to this test and that they wanted to talk to my sister in law before they would release the test results. I asked them if the were for real after spending 30 minutes on the phone with them. I thanked them for not telling me anything and wasting my time. My conclusion do not buy a kit for a gift Do not give to an elder person unless they are good with computers And will live long enough to get the test results back. Still waiting. My mother my sister in law and I all have the same last name. I do hope that some day I get the test results back. Mom was looking forward to seeing the results. Good Luck to everyone else waiting

    1. I’m sorry to hear about your misfortunes with Ancestry DNA and setting it up for your mother. I would like to do the same one day soon for my father. Unfortunately he doesn’t know much about computers either, and he lives on the other side of the world.

      It would be a shame for their DNA to be lost in time as it can tell a lot about heritage.

      I wish you all the best with your DNA genealogy pursuit.

  14. I have been locked out of my Ancestry Account today siply because they did not recognize my password?? I followed the instructions in the email they sent to me so that I could change my password. It never worked. I attempted at least 10 times and with at least 5 emails, nothing worked. Now, I am locked out of my own Ancestry Account. Lately all they do is show their sales pitch to buy more kits. Why would I need that? I am in my eighties and have researched for at least 10 years!! l am ready to finalize my tree. They also constantly suggest a Genealogist to help with my tree? I could be one of these people. Fed up with Ancestry. They have become nothing but a profit seeking organization! I will continue with my research on WiKiTree and/or 23andMe. They are both free once you have your DNA results. Ancestry has caused me many headaches over the years, now it has become unbearable, to say the least. This is only one of my many complaints. Today, I feel I have been scammed, that perhaps my tree has been stolen by someone in another country. I had been using for a couple of years early on as my ancestors are from there. Years ago, I unsubscribed from the .ca group, and have been using the internationalformat since then. A distant cousin contacted me a couple of days ago from, and I have been having this issue since then! I think she stole my information. Ancestry is supposelely looking things up – but I am not holding my breath!

    1. Hi Jeannette,

      I am sorry to read that you have been having problems with Ancestry and are now locked out of your account, despite trying hard to get into it.

      Here’s Contact Information for Ancestry Canada. Hope that helps if you haven’t contacted them.

      It seems some people find Ancestry really useful, and yet some have nothing but trouble with them. I guess though that is the same for any service or product.

      And yeah it can look like they’re money-grabbers. Glad you’re having better luck with WikiTree and 23andMe.

      I have read that Ancestry can use member’s information to fill in blanks, and I see that this is the case here. Personally I don’t have my family tree on their site but I still search their collections for records about my ancestors.

      I wish you all the best with your research and please let me know how you get on.


    2. I use, and today the site won’t let me on, does not recognize log ins etc… just like what happened to Jeannette. I doubt anyone stole her information, it’s just that ancestry has grown faster than their IT people can keep up.. they should stop advertising until they can deliver on their promises. and stop withholding baptism records unless you pay more and more money to get access.

    As an Ancestry subscriber with a Worldwide Membership I strongly object to be asked to pay extra £45 for accessing this new Ancestry database.

    My membership is described as having access to “Everything on Ancestry” and “All international records on Ancestry”. FOLD3 is owned by Ancestry.

    I have both emailed and phoned in the complaint but got no response after 3 weeks.


    Chris Stoker

    1. That is really unfair when you would expect to be able to access everything with the World package. Seems like a money grab to me.

      Hope they do eventually reply. You may need to pester them though.

      Good luck.

  16. Owain, I would love to cite this article for a review I am doing of Can you please let me know you last name so I can properly cite you? I think you should be able to email me with this comment since it is your page?

  17. I’m writing to let you know that my granddaughter called Ancestry and reported the problem with her DNA results being completely different depending on where they were viewed. As of today, it was corrected and more closely matches her sister’s results and other family members’ results as well. They finally got it right!

  18. Nofanof Ancestry

    Nearly two years ago I bought a dna test kit from Ancestry and mailed it promptly to the pre-addressed location on the box provided with my kit. I waited 5 months and no results. Here I am almost two years later 5-2-2018 and I receive an email from Ancestry advising they are updating their privacy policy. WHAT? I have no info into my dna results (I’ve emailed them several times in the first 10 months, they NEVER replied) and today they send me “we’ve updated our privacy policy!

    1. That’s totally unacceptable. What did they say when you emailed them?

      I would advise for you to call them. I find that this is usually the best approach to get some answers.

      Check out the Ancestry Support page. There you will find the phone number for you to call. It’s toll free.

      Also, you may wish to help others by submitting your complaint to Consumer Affairs.

      Sorry again to hear about your experience with Ancestry. I hope that if they have lost your kit then they can mail you out a new one free of charge. It’s the least they can do for you.


  19. To clarify, when I sent my first post I neglected to tell you that the results sent to my granddaughter show her percentages as 64% England and Wales, 35% Ireland and Scotland and 1% Finland which totals 100%. Unfortunately, the regions and trace regions that are shown when I view her data as a match when logged into my DNA account does not show percentages. However, as explained above, it shows 4 primary regions and 6 trace regions. Do you have an explanation for why her results would be completely different depending on where they are viewed?

    1. I can see what you’re saying and that is quite puzzling. I haven’t had anyone query me with this before. I’ve had a search online and can’t see any reason for this.

      I would like to recommend you to two sites which may be of better help to us, (as this is a general genealogy guide).

      Please check out DNAeXplained where Roberta Estes may be able to help you. Just leave a comment and hopefully she’ll get back to you. Unfortunately I’ve seen some comments unanswered.

      For that reason you may want to try Ancestry DNA Support.

      Please let me know how you get on as I would very much like to know what’s going on with these results.


  20. My granddaughter’s DNA results were definitely wrong. When I am logged in under my name and see her as a “close family” match, Ancestry shows her Ethnicity Regions as Europe West, Ireland/Scotland/Wales, Great Britain, Scandinavia and Trace Regions as Iberian Peninsula, Finland/Northwest Russia, Europe South, Caucasus, Asia South, Africa North which closely matches other family members results. However, when she or I log in directly to her DNA results (which I have access to) it shows England and Wales, Ireland and Scotland and Finland. I have no idea why Ancestry would have it correct in one place and wrong in another place, but this is a major error!

    1. That does seem wrong Rita I must admit. It does though look like the 5 regions in her account that you listed are there when it comes to what you see as a “close family” match. That’s except for Finland being a Trace Region.

  21. I was really mad about this guy Doug making my family look bad by using DNA and putting this copyrighted article( from the past) on the internet together making it seem that it was yesterday. it is all about being native American Doug claims we are non-natives that’s fine Doug, I don’t care anymore okay Doug you won buddy great job you got it all figured out….

      1. Just had my DNA test done and waiting for results. I do not think that blood should matter, but I guess it does for some people. So, if I don’t have the right blood does that make me less human? What is the right blood? What is a race? Why should I need to fit in a box?

        Can’t we just say that we are one people is it all that hard to understand I should have the right to be any race I want by blood or not we all come from the same place it’s called earth. All men have one less rib than woman. We all bleed red, the same amount of teeth, two eyes, two arms, two legs, one heart on the same side of the body. So what is really going on? Why are we so fixed on our differences? When we should be thinking about what we have in common?

      2. Thank you comment Raymond, plenty to think about there. Hopefully you will get the answers you are looking for with your DNA tests.

        Interesting though that you mention blood, when DNA testing is performed on our saliva. But I know what you mean.

        Incidentally men and women have the same number of ribs. It’s a misconception that males have one fewer.


  22. I tried. I think just by me venting is a good thing.

    Surname Project is Phillips 90-91, plus it said unknown origin. We know our origin Native American Y-Haplogroup was B for both areas not just for one region.

    He made his whole case on the fact our Phillips Y-DNA came from -AFR—- without saying the rest. Most likely nothing will be done anyways.

    He twisted things to fit his agenda. I would like it gone offline both N/A and Africa share that haplogroup.

    1. Sorry to hear that Raymond. My only advice is to contact where your surname project is hosted and hopefully they can resolve the issue.

      Best of luck,


  23. I just wanted to complain about a Y-DNA project – Phillips Group 90-91 376378.

    The DNA test was sent in by a non-Phillips Y-DNA that was done on two descendants of Anthony Phillips. The thing is that Anthony Phillips has never had a DNA test done on him. So how can his name be on the Y-DNA chart?

    There was no comparing of the Y-DNA to the descendants and Anthony Phillips Y-DNA.

    The person that sent in the test took the results and smeared about the haplogrouping being Type B. But I would think that if Anthony wasn’t tested then his descendants could not know what Anthony’s haplogroup would be right?

    1. Thank you Raymond for your query. I would assume that these descendants submitted this test in good faith in order to help others with this surname project.

      The haplogroup assigned to Anthony can be a good guess as to what it is, based on ancestors and descendants of Anthony. The closer related to Anthony then certainly the more accurate it will be.

      1. No, I rather not contact him. This guy had befriended my family. Let’s say his name is Bill.

        He gathered all this information about the family, got a surname project kit, took two samples from two members of that family, got the results, claiming our ancestry was ( ), made this copyright on a blog, defiled our culture which has really bothered me.

        Don’t even know if he sent the right one’s y-DNA test plus the haplogroup belongs to both groups of peoples. I would say his blog is races as of now the people he too the y-dna test are dead so they can’t stick up for themselves.

        This guy is rude and very disrespectful. I dont know what to do if anything at all.

      2. I’m sorry to hear Raymond. Who is your surname project hosted with? Maybe you can complain to them and hopefully get this resolved.

  24. Wow, I really like your site! You have a wealth of information, it is very well written, and easy to navigate. I have given my daughter a gift certificate to, but I have not had any issues with the renewal process, or trying to close the account. They just remind me each year that it is time to renew, so I have.

    Maybe they will give me trouble when I don’t renew anymore. She has also tried the Ancestry DNA service, and was surprised to find that it said she was primarily Norwegian, rather than about 10% American Indian as the family has always told us. So, I’m not sure if Ancestry is correct or not. But thank you for creating your site; it has so much great content! Great job!

    1. You’re quite welcome Susan. I am glad that you like the site. I am planning to cover AncestryDNA further in a future post so stay tuned for that.

  25. Hi Owain, this is nice to know so thanks for being up front about it. You mentioned about errors in the transcription with Ancestry and other sites. Could this be due to them using a common database? I appreciate that spelling errors can happen and old handwriting is very difficult to decipher so I don’t think this would put me off from joining Ancestry.

    Regarding the level of support lacking – I find this is quite a common complaint with a lot of services, not just Ancestry. For instance, I am a member of a TV service and I’ve had great support from them most of the time but on occasion I get some poor assistance. Human nature I suppose. Thanks for highlighting some of the pitfalls. These will come in handy.

    1. Hi Craig,

      I felt that it was only right to inform people that Ancestry was not perfect. But in retrospect what company is? And so I thought with this post that I would address some of the common complaints that I have seen concerning Ancestry.

      Some of the mistakes I would say comes from when the transcribers are typing up what is written on actual documents. They may inadvertently hit the wrong key and not notice their mistake. Other times though they are not familiar with the location of the record taken place and so errors in place names may occur. The transcriber will almost certainly not know the individual concerned and so errors with regard to their name, dates or occupation may also creep in.

      You are right though when you say about the service. Some times you will get poor service with any company. And Ancestry is no difference. But I do see a lot of complaints about Ancestry. It is probably because though it is so popular and so many people use it that I see so many complaints.

      It hasn’t put me off from using Ancestry though as I have gained so much knowledge about my ancestors through their website.

  26. I am actually worried when I read about Copyright thing but when I think about it, most of websites already gather lots of information about us. So I don’t think it will be a problem however I know very little about my family history and that might be a problem. I think I will join Ancestry but before joining it I will definitely try finding more info about my family history.

    1. Yes Furkan it is always best to find out all that you can before joining ancestry or any other genealogy search website for that matter. If you do this then you won’t be finding and paying for information that you could have got freely.

      Only use Ancestry for when you can’t get the information any other way. Saying that you can get so much from Ancestry as I can attest to.

    1. It is a sticking point with many people who have joined Ancestry. You could try monthly. That way you won’t lose much money if you decide to leave after a couple of months. Worth noting anyway.

  27. I always wanted to use this to find my ancestry on my dad’s side of the family but he was adopted as a toddler and his real family is hidden from me. Before my father passed away he said he was pretty certain he was full blood Irish. My grandmother (who adopted him) wasn’t sure of that. I wouldn’t even know where to start now. Good article, though. I know that it would not take an intensive research strategy to find anyone.

    1. Thank you for your comment. Before you join Ancestry you could follow my Ten Step Guide. That will help you get organized and follow plan.

      Ancestry is a great way to get information. But I would advise you to gather what you can from other means first. Just check out my Ten Step Guide and you’ll be well on your way.

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