Why Did Ancestry Layoffs Employees in 2024?

Is Ancestry laying off employees? Ancestry, a company that helps people learn about their family history, laid off about 100 workers in 2020. There are no recent layoffs announced by Ancestry in 2024. However, the company did lay off employees in 2020. Their boss, Margo Georgiadis, explained that fewer people are buying their DNA tests lately. She thinks this is because most of the people who were really interested in these tests have already tried them.

Georgiadis believes that if they want more people to buy their tests, they need to make sure customers trust them and offer new things.

It’s not just Ancestry facing this problem. Another company, 23andMe, also laid off 100 workers. Because they were also selling fewer tests. In 2019, a company called Illumina, which makes machines to read DNA, said the whole DNA testing business is slowing down.

One reason for this slowdown is that people were worried about their privacy. Sometimes, police use DNA websites to catch criminals, which makes some people nervous. Even the government is telling soldiers not to use these services because of privacy worries. Let’s find out more!

What is Ancestry, and How Does it Help You Learn About Your Family History?

Ancestry is like a big online library for learning about your family history. You can find lots of old documents there, like birth certificates and yearbooks, that tell stories about people from the past.

They also have something called AncestryDNA, which helps you learn about where your family comes from based on your genes. It’s like a map that shows where your ancestors lived, whether it’s in Ireland, New York, or California. This can help you find relatives you didn’t even know you had!

You can imagine looking at old records from the 1950 U.S. Census and seeing where your parents or grandparents used to live. It’s like bringing those old memories back to life and connecting with your family history.

Ancestry started back in 1996 when it first went online, but its roots go even further back to 1990 when it was just printing genealogy magazines and books. The people who started it, Paul Brent Allen and Dan Taggart, wanted to help members of the LDS church research their family history.

Over the years, Ancestry grew a lot, adding more historical records and even selling DNA kits to help people learn more about their genes. In 2020, a big company called The Blackstone Group bought Ancestry.com for a lot of money.

Why Did Ancestry Layoff Employees?

Ancestry found that fewer people wanted their DNA tests because of a few reasons:

  • Lots of People Already Took the Tests: Many people had already done these tests, so there weren’t as many new customers left. 
  • People Worried About Privacy: Some people got nervous about sharing their DNA info because they were scared it might not stay private or might be used in ways they didn’t like. 
  • People Wanted Health Info More: At first, people were mostly interested in learning about their family history. But then, more people wanted to know about their health. Ancestry had trouble keeping up with this change. 
  • More Competition: Other companies started doing DNA tests, too, so Ancestry had to work harder to keep customers. 
  • Economy Stuff: Sometimes, when the economy isn’t doing so great, people don’t spend as much money on extra stuff like DNA tests. To deal with these problems, Ancestry had to lay off some workers to try to fix things and keep going strong.

Why Did Ancestry Discontinue AncestryHealth?

Ancestry had discontinued something called AncestryHealth, which helped people know more about their health based on their genes. They said it was a tough choice, but they wanted to focus more on helping people find out about their family history instead.

This AncestryHealth thing wouldn’t be available to buy after Jan. 15, and they’d support those who already had it until July 2021.

Ancestry started AncestryHealth in 2019, building on their AncestryDNA test that lots of people had tried. They stopped AncestryHealth to put more effort into AncestryDNA.

They believed AncestryDNA was a big part of their success and promised to make it even better. Ancestry has wanted to get into health stuff ever since they started AncestryDNA in 2012. They first tried AncestryHealth in 2019 and last year made a fancier version with more health info.

The test costs around $200 for new customers and $99 for people who already did AncestryDNA.

Ancestry said this test was cool because it helped people know more about their health and got doctors and folks interested in how genes can affect health. The technology behind the test would keep being used by another company called Quest.

A finance person called Tycho Peterson thought Ancestry’s decision showed that not as many people were interested in these DNA tests anymore. He said other DNA companies were also having a tough time, and people weren’t as excited about DNA tests as before.

Future Of Ancestry

In the next few years, websites like Ancestry will keep improving, making it easier to find records and connect with family members. Genetic research will get better. New tools and big databases will help people discover more about their ancestors. Technology like OCR and ChatGPT will make it easier for people to do genealogy research. 

In the far-off future, everyone alive today will either be related to everyone else or no one at all. If people didn’t think about things like where they live or what they look like, we’d all be related in about 1000 to 2000 years.

So, even though the main goal of tracing family history won’t change, new technology, genetic research, and different families will shape how people do genealogy in the future.

Other Options Similar To Ancestry?

If you’re interested in learning about your family history, we’ve got some options for you to check out. Here are some websites like Ancestry that can help you get started:

  • FindMyPast: This website has lots of historical records, including newspaper articles and military records. You can use their Family Tree Builder for free, but to see most of the records, you’ll need to pay a monthly fee.
  • 23andMe: With 23andMe, you can learn about your Ancestry by sending in a DNA sample. They’ll tell you where your ancestors likely came from and who you might be related to. You can even learn about your health risks, but keep in mind there might be privacy concerns.
  • FamilySearch: This is a huge genealogy website with over 4 billion historical records. You can create an account for free and search through photos, videos, and more. They also have tutorials and forums to help you out.
  • WeRelate: WeRelate is like a genealogy version of Wikipedia. It’s a free website where you can upload and edit genealogy records. You can also upload photos and certificates for free.
  • AfriGeneas: This website focuses on African Ancestry and helps connect people searching for their ancestors. It’s free to join and has message boards where you can chat with others.
  • Mocavo: Mocavo lets you search billions of historical records for free. They have tutorials and resources to help you with your research. You can also upgrade to a paid account for more features.
  • MyHeritage: With MyHeritage, you can create your genealogy website for free. You can build family trees, upload records, and share them with family and friends. They also have a collection of historical newspapers you can search through.

These websites can be super helpful if you want to learn more about where you come from and discover more about your family history!

The Final Takeaway

The layoffs at Ancestry show how things are changing in the family history industry. Money stuff and what people want to buy have influenced this. But Ancestry still wants to help people find out about their families. They’ve discontinued some services, like AncestryHealth, to focus on what’s important.

Even though there are challenges with job cuts, Ancestry is still trying new things. They want to make sure people trust them and have cool stuff to use. They’re working hard to give users even better things in the future. Job cuts also remind us that it’s important to be strong and change when things in the industry change.

The family history world keeps changing, but Ancestry is still a big part of it. They’re using new technology and listening to what people want. Ancestry is ready to face challenges and keep helping people find out more about their families.


  • Why did Ancestry lay off employees? 

Ancestry might have had money problems or changes in how they work that made them cut jobs.

  • How many employees were affected by the layoffs? 

We don’t know exactly how many people lost their jobs. Ancestry usually says in official news.

  • Were specific departments or roles targeted in the layoffs? 

Layoffs can hit different parts of the company, like the people who sell stuff, make things, or help customers. It depends on what Ancestry decides.

  • Did Ancestry offer severance packages to laid-off employees? 

Usually, companies give a package with money, extra benefits, and help with finding a new job to people they let go.

  • Is Ancestry planning additional layoffs in the future? 

Companies don’t usually talk about future job cuts. Ancestry’s plans depend on how things go in the future.

  • What steps is Ancestry taking to support remaining employees? 

Ancestry is trying to keep everyone happy, give them training, and help them adjust to changes.

  • Did Ancestry provide any advance notice to affected employees? 

There are rules and company rules about how much warning people get. Ancestry probably followed what’s usually done.

  • Can laid-off employees access their genealogical data after leaving Ancestry? 

It depends on Ancestry’s rules. People who lost their jobs might need to do something to keep using their accounts or find another way to get their family history info.