woman speaking with caption Unbelievable! but if you've already paid for your DNA test' (l) ancestryDNA card (c) woman speaking with caption Unbelievable! you should have access to all of the DNA tools' (r)

GillianVann/Shutterstock @madhattergenealogy/TikTok (Licensed) Remix by Caterina Cox

‘I paid for the test…I shouldn’t have to pay for the results’: Expert calls out AncestryDNA for requiring membership to see shared matches

'We purchased Ancestry expecting those features since that's what they offered at the time!'


Grace Fowler


Posted on Feb 1, 2024   Updated on Feb 2, 2024, 1:43 pm CST

A genealogist on TikTok posted a viral video calling out AncestryDNA for now requiring a membership to see shared matches. 

Michele (@madhattergenealogy) has reached over 526,000 views and 32,000 likes on her video by Wednesday. 

Michele has over 55,000 followers on TikTok and frequently responds to questions from her viewers about genealogy. She has videos posted on genealogy database programs, DNA test brands, and other PSAs for those interested in ancestry. 

At the start of her video, Michele says that she saw a screenshot of someone’s Ancestry profile on TikTok the day prior. She says the screenshot showed that “if you don’t have a paid Ancestry account, you will no longer be able to see shared matches.”

“Now, before I totally trash Ancestry over this,” she adds, “I thought I better check myself.”

Michele says she has plenty of free accounts because of how often she manages DNA. “So I logged into my husband’s account,” she adds, “and there it is.” 

As Michele records her laptop screen sharing her husband’s Ancestry account, viewers see a notification bar with a message. 

“We’re making some changes. Soon, you’ll need a membership to view the features below this banner,” she reads aloud from the screen. 

“Now that that has been confirmed, I’m going to trash Ancestry,” she adds. “What the heck are you people thinking?”

First, Michele says the company started releasing “pro-tools” that “cost people an extra $10 a month to use,” and now this. 

She tells Ancestry, “You guys are shooting yourself in the foot.” 

For the U.S. Discovery plan, the cheapest membership available, Michele says, “it costs $119 for six months.” 

The All Access Plan, the most expensive membership, now costs $259 for six months.

Michele says, “Yes, I know there are a lot of people out there that simply can’t afford that.”

“You already paid Ancestry to take a DNA test with them,” she adds. “That DNA test should come with all of the tools.” 

Next, Michele says she understands why Ancestry would want users to have a subscription.

“But if you’ve already paid for your DNA test and you DNA tested with Ancestry, you should have access to all of the DNA tools,” she adds. 

@madhattergenealogy #genealogy #genealogytok #ancestry #ancestors #familytree #familyhistory #DNA #ancestrydna #geneticgenealogy #fyp #ancestry ♬ original sound – Mad Hatter Genealogy

Michele says, “This is ridiculous.” 

She then asks the viewers to let her know what they think about this new update. “Do you think it’s fair for Ancestry to all of a sudden decide to take away all of those features from all of those people who’ve had it for quite some time and make them pay for it?” 

Or, “Do you think that if you pay Ancestry to take a DNA test, you should have access to those DNA tools?”

“Let me know in the comments,” she says before ending her video. “I bet I know what your answer is.” 

Viewers in the comments section left their opinions for Michele. 

“Had planned to do ancestry…” one says, “no point now, bad enough you pay for them to get and use your data.”

“We purchased Ancestry expecting those features since that’s what they offered at the time!” another emphasizes.

One says, “I used to pay $19.99 a month for full ancestry access, the same thing is $40 a month now.” 

“I’m not a professional genealogist, but they want to charge me a professional price,” another says. “NO THANKS, I’m out.” 

The Daily Dot reached out to Michele via TikTok direct message and AncestryDNA via email. 

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*First Published: Feb 1, 2024, 7:00 am CST