We want you to feel comfortable creating and sharing your online family tree so we allow you to choose between three levels of privacy: public, private, or unindexed (hidden). And remember, you control your tree so you can change this setting at any time.
When you create or upload a tree to the Ancestry Community you determine whether it is public or private. By default, your tree will be public, because we believe that this will better help you find and share your family history. You can change this setting any time (select your tree, click “Tree pages” and select “Tree Settings”).
If your tree is public:
Other subscribers can view all content in your tree except information about living people and notes. In addition, you can share an individual person (living or not) from your tree through Story View. They can also see your user name or full name depending on your account settings.
If your tree is private:
Other subscribers cannot view the contents of your tree. However, limited information about deceased individuals in your tree (name, birth year, and birthplace) will appear in search results within Ancestry.com sites. If a subscriber wants to view your tree, they can contact you anonymously through the Ancestry.com messaging service, and you can decide whether or not to give them access. In addition, you can share an individual person (living or not) from your tree through Story View.
If your tree is unindexed (hidden):
Other subscribers cannot view the contents of your tree and its contents will not appear in search results within the Ancestry Community. To change this setting, click “Tree pages” and select “Tree Settings.” On the “Privacy Settings” tab select the “Prevent your tree from being found in searches” checkbox.
You’ll find two types of information about living individuals on our site: information members have entered in family trees and records Ancestry has obtained from trusted third parties.
We determine whether someone in your tree is living in a couple ways:
1. We give you control—you can change a person’s status to indicate whether or not the individual is living or deceased or simply include a death date.
2. We use data you have provided—If you don’t indicate whether an individual is living or deceased, we will determine his or her status based on information you provide. We assume an individual is living unless there is death information or his or her birth date is more than 100 years ago. If there is no birth or death information, we estimate dates by looking at relatives in the tree.
Once we’ve determined an individual is still alive, he or she is identified in your tree with a “Living” label. Members who don’t have permission to view living people in your tree will see a “Private” label. You can choose to share living people information through Story View.
In our extensive databases you may find information about living individuals; quite often this is information that has been made public by government institutions or other groups. Before we publish information on our site, we consider many different rules, regulations, and legislation, so we can be thoughtful and responsible in our approach.
If you find a record about yourself or your living family that you are uncomfortable with please contact Member Services.
You can invite friends and family members to view and collaborate on your tree using their email addresses or Ancestry user names. To invite someone to your tree, select it from the Family Trees button at the top of any Ancestry.com page. Then from the “Tree pages” link, choose “Share your tree.” You’ll assign each person one of these roles:
Regardless of the role you assign, no one else can delete or rename your tree, change tree settings, or invite others to view your tree. And you can change who can see living individuals at any time.
If necessary, you can revoke someone’s invitation to view your tree. To do this, select your tree from the Family Trees button at the top of any Ancestry.com page. Then from the “Tree pages” link, choose “Tree Settings” and click the “Sharing” button. Then simply click the “Remove” link next to the appropriate individual.
It is also possible to send your tree to other members. When you share your tree in this fashion, you are sending a copy of your tree to a family member, and not giving them access to your actual tree. We create a new tree for them that includes only the people they're closely related to (including living individuals). For example, a tree might include the individual's siblings, parents, and aunt and uncles; his spouse and her parents and siblings; grandparents, great-grandparents, nieces and nephews, and even first cousins. Please note that you are responsible for ensuring that the living people in the tree that you want to share have consented to having their information shared. In addition, you can share an individual person (living or not) from your family tree through Story View.
Because Ancestry encourages its members to share their family history discoveries, we want you to get acknowledgement for what you share. Whenever you post a photo, story, comment, or message board post to the Ancestry Community, it will be linked to your profile. That way you receive credit for your work and other researchers know whom to contact for additional information.
Also remember that information you post within our community may be public to other subscribers (depending on your privacy settings). This means that other members can copy and use the information you provide. If another member updates a person in their tree based on what you have shared in your tree, the information will include a source indicating that the information is from your tree. If they add a photo or story from your tree, it will show you as the original contributor. Although you receive credit for your contributions, you don’t have total control over what others may do with the content you share.
Remember, you are responsible for what you post on the site. Anything you post should be something you have permission to use (see Terms and Conditions for more details). You should also avoid posting content that could be offensive to other members (such as anything obscene, indecent, defamatory, or that incites hatred of some kind).
You control the content in your tree. You can update or delete facts and photos or change content at any time. However, once something has been added to a public tree, the content may be copied and re-posted. If you delete an item in your tree, it may still be displayed in another member’s tree. Because of this, we encourage you to think carefully about what you post and share within the Ancestry Community.
If you have a concern about information that someone has posted about you or a living family member please contact Member Services.
If your tree is public, other subscribers can comment on your tree; if your tree is private, invitees can leave comments. You can view a commenter’s name/user name and profile, contact them, block them, or delete the comment.