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  3. Privacy Policy

6. Family Tree

Building your family tree is an immensely valuable activity while you are exploring your family history. Trees allow you to store all your family history in one central area. You can attach historic records that you find on our site to your trees. At Findmypast, we are continuously improving our family trees and finding new ways for you to get the most out of your Findmypast experience. Recently, we have introduced tree-to-tree hinting (“Tree 2 Tree Hinting”).

A. Privacy. One of the most valuable resources for a community of users researching and building their family trees is access to the historical research of others. Many people, often unknown to each other, share common ancestors within a few generations, and those people know different parts of the family tree. By joining forces and connecting this knowledge, we can all discover new parts of our family history – parts we never had access to before.

B. Features Findmypast offers features to improve your family tree and to share your family history with other users. We provide you with privacy controls to manage your family tree and control who can see the information in it within the Tree Settings page. You are in charge of your family tree privacy and should familiarise yourself with how these controls work.

i. Tree 2 Tree Hinting

Sharing information about deceased ancestors is vital for Tree 2 Tree Hinting. When you create your family tree or upload a GEDCOM (a file format used for exchanging genealogical data), the privacy settings are set to share deceased ancestors by default. the privacy settings are set to share details of your deceased ancestors by default. This means that information on your deceased ancestors may be offered to other members as a hint if their tree appears to share common ancestors with your tree.

      • a. When participating in Tree 2 Tree Hinting and ‘Sharing Deceased Ancestors’ is switched on

All personal information about living people remains private to you. Information on your deceased ancestors may be offered to other members as explained above. For deceased ancestors, the following information may be offered as part of a hint:

        • Timelines
        • Facts and events – together with sources and attached records
        • Notes
        • Photographs and media will not be shared. In the future, we will introduce more granular privacy controls to enable the selective sharing of photographs.

If your ancestors are not marked as deceased but were born more than 110 years ago we will assume they are deceased. Please contact if this is incorrect.

      • b. When not participating in Tree 2 Tree Hinting and sharing Deceased Ancestors is switched off

You will not benefit from the Tree 2 Tree Hinting service and the historical information contained in the trees of the Findmypast community.

Other users will not be able to receive hints relating to deceased ancestors in your tree.

    • ii. Tree Sharing

You can share your family tree with your friends and family. You will find the tree sharing option on the left side of your family tree.

      • a. View Only. Sharing your tree gives others the right to view your entire tree. By inviting others to your tree, they will be able to view all the living and deceased people in the tree. You’re invited friends and family will be able to view all the information in your family tree including dates, events, and media. No one will be able to delete or rename your tree.

The person you invite to read your tree, must register with Findmypast before they can view your tree. The tree sharing link will expire after 30 days. It can only be used by one person and it is a one-time use link.

You are responsible for any information you add or share within your family tree. Anyone with access to your family tree can copy and share the details they read. You should have permission of the living people in your tree to share their information.

      • b. Remove access. If you wish to remove an individual’s access to your tree, please contact our customer support team at
    • iii. Private Messaging

We have created private messaging to allow you to reach out to others who share ancestors. The private messaging feature is available through Tree 2 Tree hints. Now, when you see you have a common ancestor with another Findmypast member, you can reach out and share more about your family history.

To start a direct message, you need to have a Findmypast subscription. You do not need to have a subscription to receive a message.

      • a. What personal information is shared with private messaging?

When you send a message, the other Findmypast member will see you full name. It is the same name you have registered on your Findmypast account. Within the direct message you can decide how much personal information you want to share.

    • b. Opt out. If you wish to opt out or be removed from private messaging, please contact our customer support team.
    • c. Abuse/Blocking. If you wish to block another member from messaging or you have received abuse from another member, please contact our customer support team immediately at

C. Tree deletion. Within the View All Trees area you can find an option to Remove Tree. This option will remove your tree from your tree view. Findmypast will delete all the data related to living people. In cases where a person is not noted as deceased, we will remove all the data for those who were born less than 110 years ago. If you want your entire tree deleted from Findmypast, please contact If you have participated in Tree 2 Tree Hinting, deleting your tree will not delete branches you have shared with other users.

D. Removal of unauthorised data. We reserve the right (at our own discretion) to remove any personal information which you have included in your family tree about people who are living if we are alerted to the fact that this personal information was used without that person’s permission. If you become aware that your personal information has been included in somebody else's tree without your permission or is being misused in any other way on the website, please send an email to our Customer Support team with details and we will investigate and, if necessary, remove this information. The information added about deceased persons is not considered personal data under this policy.

E. Sharing family tree data with FamilySearch. Findmypast no longer shares family tree d with our partner FamilySearch. If you created a family tree between 1 November 2018 and 31 March 2019 (when we were testing a new community shared tree product) and you gave your consent, we shared your personal information with FamilySearch in order to provide you with the community shared tree service. The following items would have been shared with FamilySearch:

  • Name
  • Birthdate
  • Gender
  • IP Address
  • Contributions to the community shared tree

FamilySearch is a data controller with a separate privacy policy. This policy was made available to all users who consented to share their data with FamilySearch and is available here. If you have any questions or concerns about your personal information please contact

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