When you create an account on Ancestry.com, you are given a basic profile that shows your chosen display name and some other details.
Other Ancestry members may find your profile when they are searching for family trees or if their DNA matches a DNA test you submitted.
Some membership sites show you who viewed your profile. Does Ancestry do the same?
This article explains what Ancestry will tell you and gives you, powerful tips on how to find out if people are searching for your details.
What Is Your Ancestry Profile?
You have two profiles on Ancestry: your personal profile and your public profile.
Your public profile is what other members see about you on the Ancestry platform. You can view your public profile with these steps:
- Log into Ancestry.com and expand the account menu on the top right of the page
- Select “Your profile” from the menu
- Toggle the display from your personal profile to your public profile
The steps are illustrated in the picture below:
You can choose whether you show details like family history experience and research interests.
Ways That Members Can Find And View Your Profile
Here are the three most common ways that other members can find and view your profile:
- Your family tree turns up in their search results
- They search the members’ directory
- Your profile is on their list of DNA relatives (only if you tested your DNA with Ancestry)
If you’re not familiar with these aspects, I’ll give you quick descriptions.
Your profile in search results
This scenario only applies if you’ve created a family tree on Ancestry.com.
All members have the option of including or excluding entries in family trees when they run searches.
If they choose to include family trees and their search finds people in yours, they’ll see results that include links to family trees.
When the member clicks on any family tree, they will see a link to the owner’s profile
Your profile was found through Ancestry Member Search
Ancestry has a special search to find other members.
We have a separate tutorial on how to search for Ancestry members.
You opted in to share your DNA results with relatives
This only applies if you tested your DNA with Ancestry and chose to be included in their DNA matching program with relatives.
Your relatives get a list of DNA matches with a link to the profile of each one.
Does Ancestry Show Who Viewed Your Profile?
If you use LinkedIn, then you’ll know that the website has a feature that shows you the last few LinkedIn members who viewed your profile.
Does Ancestry have a similar feature?
Ancestry does not show you who viewed your profile. The Ancestry.com platform does not give any way to see who is interested in learning more about your account.
However, there are ways to see if an Ancestry member is so interested that they have looked you up on social media.
On most social media platforms, the Ancestry user will have to interact with your profile in some way for you to see the evidence.
However, some platforms will show you who has simply viewed your details or browsed through your content.
Our detailed sections below cover five popular platforms:
- Facebook (Meta)
With the methods we describe, you’ll be looking for a similar username as the person uses for their display name on Ancestry.com.
Seeing who copied photos from your tree
Although you can’t see who viewed your account profile, the Ancestry platform will show you a limited number of people who saved photos and other documents from your tree.
To learn how to see these members, check out our separate article on whether Ancestry shows you who looked at your family tree.
Look At “People You May Know” On Facebook
Do you have a Facebook account? If someone spots your profile on Ancestry.com and wants to know more about you, Facebook is one of the first places they are likely to look.
Facebook also doesn’t have a feature that shows you who searched for you there or looked at your profile picture.
However, sometimes you can see indirect evidence of this activity.
Click on your Facebook profile to open the profile page. The “People You May Know” box is at the top of the page.
You can scroll through a number of profiles that Facebook is suggesting as potential acquaintances.
Look in particular for people with whom you don’t have a mutual friend.
In the picture above from my own Facebook account, I share a friend with the person in the middle. That explains why Facebook is suggesting we know each other.
(I’m not obscuring the soldier because that is the long-deceased Irish hero, Michael Collins).
But this person is flanked by two profiles with whom I have no mutual friends.
Why has Facebook chosen these people? Well, we can’t know for sure. This is part of Facebook’s secret algorithm.
However, many observers believe that the factors include people who have interacted with you in some way on Facebook. For example, they liked a post or simply viewed your profile.
Many Ancestry users use their Facebook profile picture as their photo on Ancestry.com. So, if you recognize a photo used on both sites, that’s a bit of a giveaway.
Check If An Ancestry Member Liked Your Tweets On Twitter
Do you use Twitter?
That’s another place to check if someone who saw your profile on Ancestry is searching for more details about you.
If you’re a celebrity with thousands of people liking your tweets, then this isn’t going to work for you. But most of us have a more mundane life.
To see who liked a particular tweet, open it and look at the line beneath the text. This line tells you how many people have retweeted or liked your tweet.
When you click on either the retweets or the likes, you will see the user names of the people who have chosen not to be private on Twitter.
If this is someone researching you from Ancestry, I think it’s more likely to be a “like” of a post than a retweet.
If you think you are being researched by an unknown family member (perhaps someone adopted out of the family), you could encourage them to interact with specific types of tweets.
For example, you could tweet some kind of sentiment about being open to surprises. Or you could retweet someone who is an advocate for information rights for adopted adults.
Check If An Ancestry Member Interacted With Your Instagram
Do you use Instagram?
Depending on the age of the Ancestry member you think may be interested in your details, they may be more likely to use Instagram than Facebook.
In general, older Ancestry users will be on Facebook while younger users will use Instagram.
Like Facebook, Instagram doesn’t tell you who viewed your profile without interaction. That’s not surprising, given that Meta owns Instagram!
However, you can get good metrics on Instagram about who likes your posts or watches your stories.
The system is similar to how I described Facebook in the previous section. Click on the number of likes that are displayed beneath your post. This takes you to the list of user names who liked it.
Check If An Ancestry User Searched You On Snapchat
Do you use Snapchat?
If you think that a younger Ancestry user is looking for more details about you, they may be more likely to use Snapchat than Facebook.
Snapchat actually gives you more details about other people than Facebook or Instagram.
The application will show you if someone has simply read your Snapchat story. You can also get details if they took a screenshot or looked you up on the maps feature.
To see who has read your Snapchat story, open the “My Story” page.
The number of readers is displayed beside the icon of an eye. Simply swipe the screen to see the list of user names who read the story.
Check Who Looked At Your Profile On LinkedIn
Do you have a LinkedIn account?
It’s probably more difficult for people to view your profile on LinkedIn than on Facebook. However, LinkedIn makes it easier to see who is looking you up on their platform.
Linkedin shows the last five people who viewed your profile if you have a free account.
People can set their privacy so that you don’t see much details.
But if they haven’t dialed up their privacy settings, you could see a full name, their location, their work history, and their education details.
You can take a quick look to see if the name matches a DNA relative on Ancestry.
Do You Want To Be More Anonymous?
Are you someone who wants to be as private as possible when you use a consumer DNA test?
Check out our article on whether you can do an Ancestry DNA test anonymously. Although complete anonymity is not possible, we give you plenty of tips on limiting what personal details are shown on the platform.
If you have a family tree on the website, check out our article on keeping your tree private on Ancestry.com.
If you want to upload photos to your tree, check out our article on making photos in your family tree private.