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Members' Privacy & Rights

This page describes what, and how, the project will disclose information about you and your rights as concerns your DNA.

Taylor Family Genes takes your privacy and other rights seriously. We do not want to publish anything on this site or elsewhere that would jeopardize either your privacy or security. Nor, do we want to take away any of your rights.

On the other hand, we have learned that genealogy -- and especially genetic genealogy -- is best accomplished as a cooperative enterprise through the mutual efforts of several or many persons. "Solo genealogy" is a lonely and expensive undertaking, often with less achievement than cooperation. A major goal of the project and this website is to help project members get in touch with those with whom they share ancestors.

Acceptance & agreement

Membership in the Taylor Family Genes project is wholly voluntary. By joining the Taylor Family Genes project, you agree that the project's administrative team may access your FTDNA information and you agree to our policies stated below. We encourage you to read this policy before joining.


We may, from time to time, make changes to update this privacy policy in order to address presently unanticipated issues. Those changes will be posted here and you are advised to check regularly.

Changes will take effect immediately on posting unless otherwise stated.

Rights & Terminology

You have rights:

  1. You have the right not to join the project. It is your choice, not a requirement, to join.
  2. You have the right to leave the project at any time for any reason or for no reason at all. 
  3. If you leave, you have the right to request that the project delete all information (published or unpublished) about you. We will abide by your request, though we may not be able to get other parties to do so. A request to delete all your information will be taken as a request to be dropped from project membership because we can not meet our responsibilities without information.
  4. You own your DNA; you retain the rights to it. See DNA Rights below. .
  5. You have the right to request correction of any erroneous information about you. Such requests will be carefully and promptly considered.
  6. You have the right not to submit additional information to the project, although this may defeat your purpose for joining.
  7. You have the right to bring a violation of this policy to the attention of our project administration team. We will, to the best of our ability, correct the violation.
  8. You have the right to request changes to this, or any, project policy be considered by project administration. If you do, we will consider and inform you of our decision.

Rights you do not have:

  1. You do not have the right to violate others' privacy. You should treat it with the same respect you expect from others. Do not give out  others' DNA test results publicly or in a general forum; do not publicly associate others' names with kit numbers or test results.
  2. You do not have the right to censor or otherwise change others' information. It is theirs, not yours.
  3. You do not have the right to specific decisions by project administration. These decisions will be based on our knowledge and best judgment, taking into account the best interests of all members.


  1. "You" or "your" means the person managing the account with the testing company. This may or may not be the sample donor. 
  2. "Us", "we", "our" or "project" refers to the Taylor Family Genes project, a surname DNA project sponsored by Family Tree DNA (FTDNA), and its volunteer administrative team consisting of a project administrator and co-administrators.
  3. "Kit owner" or "kit manager" means the person who manages the account with the testing company and has the right to make decisions regarding storage and testing of a DNA sample; he or she is not necessarily the sample (kit) donor.
  4. "Kit donor" means the person who provides a DNA sample for testing; he or she is not necessarily  the kit owner.
  5. "Member" usually means a kit owner who has joined the Taylor Family Genes project. In context, it may mean, more specifically, a person belonging to a particular genetic Taylor family.
  6. "Publish" means to make information publicly available.
  7. "Share" means to disclose information to a select group
  8. "Genetic family" means a group of persons determined through genetic information to share a common biological ancestor or ancestors. Also see the glossary.
  9. "Patriline" means a genetic family with a common direct paternal ancestor or ancestors. Also see the glossary.

What we do publish or share

We publish some information on our public website and share some information with other project members you match.


We publish a limited amount of information about each member who has given his or her permission to Family Tree DNA or to the Project specifically. That publicly-available information includes:

  1. The kit number assigned to your sample by FTDNA;
  2. Your account surname and, with your permission, your full name,
  3. With your permission, your e-mail address by which you may be contacted. It will be modified so as to protect it from automated "harvesting" by spammers. You may request that it not be published.
  4. If you request it, a "Do not contact." or a "No further information available" statement.
  5. If you are placed in a Taylor genetic family (also known as a group or patriline), we may publish: 
    1. The kit numbers, surnames and earliest known (most distant) ancestors of those placed in the group.
    2. The group's yDNA modal values Your values may differ slightly from the modal values.
    3. The group's yDNA haplogroup designation. All members of a genetic family -- if we have done our work properly -- will be of the same haplogroup.
    4. We may publish information about the genetic family, either submitted by members or from other sources.
    5. We may publish analyses of genetic information to assist genealogical research. 
    6. We may also publish genetic network diagrams to illustrate how group members are differentiated. This information can be used to determine branches of a family.
  6. If not in a Taylor genetic family, we may publish your yDNA haplogroup designation;
  7. In the family trees section of the project website:
    1. This is a wholly voluntary service to project members. None are required to participate but many find it beneficial in making connections with their Taylor cousins,.
    2. If submitted by you, a family tree or Taylor lineage information, to include:
      1. If you submit a Taylor lineage tree to us, we will interpret submission as permission to publish unless you specify otherwise.  By submitting, you grant the right to publish to Taylor Family Genes. If you do not want it published, do not submit without so specifying.
      2. We will delete and not publish names of persons suspected to be living. We will delete and not publish mothers' maiden names for living persons.
      3. We will edit your tree to our standard format to facilitate searching for common ancestors.
      4. We will not censor the information you submit, though we may ask you to correct errors (such as a father born after his son) which we may spot.
      5. We may, at our discretion, decline to publish your tree.
      6. We will not vouch for accuracy of information you submit.
    3. If submitted, the migration pattern (state to state or country to country) for your family;
    4. If submitted; other significant surnames in your family, and
    5. Comments or notes which you may append to your family tree.
  8. We may publish haplotrees showing how project members are related or not related. It may be possible, under some circumstances, for your identity to be discovered from this information; however, we will seek to avoid your identification.
  9. To facilitate attainment of project goals and maintain accountability to our project members, we will publish project summary statistics with no identification of any specific members.
  10. To advance genetic genealogy in general and Taylor genealogy specifically, we may, from time to time, conduct and publish studies based in part on your information. However, you and your information will not be individually identifiable.
  11. As an educational service to our project members and the public, we will publish genetic genealogy information (not specific to you) about genealogy and genetic genealogy pertinent to the Taylor surname.

Prior to publication, submitted information may be edited to fit our standardized format or for other reasons.

What we share

When we find genealogically-significant genetic matches between project members, we will send you a "Your yDNA Report" with copies to the project members you match. We copy them because the same data affects them too and the copies facilitate necessary information exchange among family members.

These reports will typically contain the following information:

  1. Your name and e-mail address.
  2. Your haplogroup designation as determined by FTDNA, a statement about the genealogical meaning of your haplogroup and the percentage of Taylors in your macro-haplogroup.
  3. General information, if applicable, about your haplotype, e.g., a "WAMH badge" and its meaning to you.
  4. Your ySTR matches as reported by FTDNA, both the total number in the FTDNA database and the number within the Taylor Family Genes project, along with a statement as to their genealogical significance.
    1. At 12 markers -- These matches usually not considered as genealogically significant  In the event they are deemed significant, information about project members you match will be given as for 37 markers below.
    2. At 25 markers -- These matches are usually of dubious genealogical significance; some may be significant but we prefer to evaluate at higher resolutions.  
    3. At 37 markers -- These matches are at the lowest resolution for which we begin to have reasonable confidence. We will list the names of project members you match, with a link to e-mail them, and a statement as to TMRCA probabilities.
    4. At 67 markers -- These matches add precision and confidence. Information about project members you match will be given as for 37.
    5. At 111 markers -- These matches have the most precision and confidence presently available in ySTR. Information about project members you match will be given as for 37.
    Our sharing is with your family members. Project membership plus a significant DNA match establishes a presumption of relatedness, membership in the same genetic family.
  5. To the extent that ySNP results are relevant to your genealogy, we may share them.
  6. We share with, and give names and contact information of, only project members with whom you have DNA matches. We will not share with, or give names of, project members you do not match.
  7. If you have no significant matches within the project, we will not give matches' full names nor contact information. We may give surnames if deemed relevant,
  8. A conclusion as to the genealogical meaning of your matches and whether you are assigned to a Taylor genetic family.
  9. Other information which we believe important to your understanding of your DNA results.
  10. An invitation to contact us if you have questions and a thank-you for participating.

The above reports contain only information that recipients (main addressee or copied) could obtain for themselves by other means. However, we believe that the reports provide context for the information, make it more easily understood and facilitate communication.

Administration team members have access to project members' information and may share it among themselves in order to better serve members. Tem members exercise discretion in this sharing and do not disseminate more widely..

Account Names, Contacts & Genealogical Information

The name appearing on the testing company's account for the kit (i.e., sample) is the name the project will use in communications or reports. It need not be the real name of the kit donor or kit owner and possibly is not.

However, in order for us to help you, we request that contact information for the kit owner be accurate and current. We also request that genealogical information for deceased ancestors be accurate. Such accuracy is essential to the project's work in establishing connections between Taylors.

What Family Tree DNA publishes

Family Tree DNA will publish on its website, www.familytreedna.com, some information about you, subject to its policies and practices. The list below summarizes our understanding of the current publication status.

  1. For public access, information about your yDNA and/or mtDNA results
  2. To those you match by yDNA or mtDNA
  3. To those you match by autosomal DNA (e.g., Family Finder)

See also https://www.familytreedna.com/privacy-policy.aspx.

What we do not publish

There is information we do not and will not publish. That includes:

  1. Names of living persons other than yourself. (Please do not name living persons in your trees.)
  2. Birth dates and/or places for living persons, including yourself.
  3. Your mother's maiden name or maiden names of other living persons;
  4. Names &/or contact information which the member has requested not to be published;
  5. Your individual DNA results.
  6. Your postal or residential address;  or
  7. Your telephone number.
  8. Your health or health risk information.

There is information we do not want, actively avoid and will delete if given. We do not want your testing company account password, nor financial information, nor anything else unrelated to your genealogy.

We do not collect, track or compile personal data from visitors to our websites, though we may collect anonymous summary statistics. We do not sell, rent or give personal information about you to other people, companies or organizations unless you have explicitly asked us to do so.

We do not usually share project members' information with other project members, merely because of project membership. We look, first, for evidence of family membership.

If requested by another person to supply information about you, we will forward the request to you for handling as you choose. By forwarding the request, we simply inform you of it; we neither endorse nor discourage your response.

Grey Areas

There may be information which falls into neither the "will publish" or "won't publish", "will share" or "won't share",  areas. We MAY publish it or share it in a limited fashion if deemed of sufficient genealogical interest and the prospect of benefit outweighs the risk of harm. However, we will endeavor, as much as possible, to render the information anonymous so that it is not identifiable to you.

In order to help you better or advance our own understanding, we may share a limited amount of your anonymized information with outside expert consultants. (We don't know everything and some situations stump us.) We may share some of your information with FTDNA in order to resolve problems affecting you.

In any grey area, we will exercise reasonable precautions to protect your privacy and sensibilities.

Studies & Reports

A major goal of Taylor Family Genes is to study Taylor DNA and publish reports of our findings.  The purpose of these studies and reports is to advance knowledge and understanding of genetic genealogy generally and for the Taylor surname specifically. For examples, see Y-DNA and Surname Association and Y Haplotype Rarity.

We will conduct studies to explore aspects of genetic genealogy and may cooperate in studies by others. Your genetic information may be included in these studies. However:

  1. Such studies shall be non-profit, without financial motive. We will not, without your specific consent, conduct, cooperate nor participate in any study using your information and resulting in financial gain to any party.
  2. Your identity will not usually be relevant to these studies. In the event it becomes relevant, we will obtain your consent before using your information.
  3. Your information, if provided for research purposes, will be anonymous to eliminate or minimize as far as possible any risk of identifying you or others.

We will publish findings and summary statistics of studies we conduct to learn more about Taylor DNA. Report narratives and summary statistics will not identify individuals. Raw data tables, if provided for peer review or independent evaluation of findings, will be anonymized to minimize risk of identifying you or others..

DNA Rights

This section states the project's intentions as to ownership of DNA samples, tests and results. Testing companies and/or applicable laws may establish different conditions, beyond project control. You are advised to review company policies and laws for yourself.

Basic Principle: You own your DNA

You own your DNA; you retain the rights to it. Your DNA does not belong to the project; we merely have access to, and use results of, analytic tests by the testing company . Your ownership rights vis-à-vis a testing company or other parties are matters between you and them.

We will not order tests of your DNA without your specific consent. We will not make decisions concerning disposition of your DNA sample.

The Taylor Family Genes project will follow ISOGG standards  as stated at http://www.geneticgenealogystandards.com. We will not violate testing company policies nor applicable laws. If receiving information that we may have violated such a policy or law, we will endeavor to correct the violation to the best of our ability.

We reserve the right to use results of analytic tests of your DNA to indicate your genealogy and that of other project members. We reserve the right to draw genealogical conclusions from those results. We reserve the right to share our conclusions and their basis with your genetic family. We reserve the right to publish, without identifying you, information using your results as part of a whole.


A kit owner may designate a beneficiary to manage a DNA account when or if the kit owner is no longer able. The project will consider beneficiaries to be the kit owners, succeeding  the prior kit owners.

Kit Owners vs. Kit Donors

Sometimes, a donor will provide a DNA sample but not desire to be actively engaged in the rest of the process. For example, a woman wishing to trace her paternal ancestry may collect a DNA sample from a cousin with the (presumed) same patriline; she may become the kit owner but her cousin is the kit donor.

Ownership rights between kit owners and kit donors are matters to be decided by the two parties and not the project. We will not take sides, nor intervene, in disputes between kit donors and kit owners. We have no standing or authority in such disputes.

Our policy is that, unless informed otherwise, the kit owner has the right to order tests, receive communications about results and matches and consent to publication of information. If so informed, the project reserves the right to drop the kit in question from project membership. If requested by the kit owner, we will also communicate with the kit donor.

See also this policy by FTDNA: https://www.familytreedna.com/learn/payments-refunds/revoke-test-consent-3rd-party/.

We do have some recommendations for the kit donor and kit owner, if not the same person:

  1. The kit donor and kit owner should come to agreement on subsequent rights before the test is ordered or sample provided.
  2. The kit donor and kit owner should reach agreement on the name and contact information on the testing company's account, as well as who is to receive communications about results, matches and related matters.
  3. The kit donor and kit owner should reach agreement on disclosure of information.
  4. The kit donor and kit owner should reach agreement on rights to order additional tests and upgrades.

Project-Sponsored Tests

The project may, from time to time, sponsor DNA tests -- that is, pay all or part of a test's cost. Such sponsorship constitutes an agreement to join the project and for the project to use the results from the sponsored test and any subsequent tests. 

Recipients of project-sponsored tests have the same rights as all other project members. The project will consider recipients of project-sponsored tests to be the kit owners. 

Project sponsorship does not confer to the project any ownership rights for the DNA sample. Nor, does it confer to the project the right to order additional tests or upgrades. Even if project-sponsored, consent of the kit owner (e.g,, sponsorship recipient) is always required to order a test or upgrade.

See also this policy by FTDNA: https://www.familytreedna.com/learn/payments-refunds/revoke-test-consent-3rd-party/.

Private Sponsorship

Sometimes, a person (who does not wish to be a kit owner) will pay for testing by a kit donor. Our policy is that a decision to provide a DNA sample or not is solely the right of the donor. The project will not attempt to coerce an unwilling donor.

We recommend that private sponsors pay for a test only after a sample is received by the testing company. We also recommend that private sponsors get donor consent prior to additional tests or upgrades.

See also this policy by FTDNA: https://www.familytreedna.com/learn/payments-refunds/revoke-test-consent-3rd-party/.


Your role in privacy

You, too, should be cautious about disseminating information, especially on the Internet or social media. Do not give your FTDNA password to anyone you don't completely trust. We caution about posting your test results online to unsecured websites.

This isn't because we think there is anything particularly harmful in the data. FTDNA's tests are designed to minimize information about health risks. Nor, is someone likely to suffer discrimination for test results few can make sense of. It's just that it's of a private nature.

Frankly, posting your DNA results publicly is a fruitless way to find matches. The needed data is voluminous and complex. Manual comparison of results is tedious and few will bother to do it on the slim chance there may be a match.

Remember that common courtesy (and sometimes the law) requires you to have permission before revealing someone else's private information.

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Revised: 21 Nov 2016