Fact Check: Biden Was Supposedly Listed as 'Dead in 2018' on Ancestry.com. Here's the Full Story

Getty Images and Ancestry.com
Getty Images and Ancestry.com


Social media posts in June 2024 accurately stated Ancestry.com listed a Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. as having died in Guantánamo, Cuba, in 2018.


Rating: True
Rating: True


Although Ancestry.com did have a page stating a Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. died in Guantánamo, Cuba, in 2018, a site disclaimer stated anyone can upload information to the database. Therefore, some listings might not be accurate. No credible news outlets reported U.S. President Joe Biden died in Guantánamo in 2018, which would have been eminently newsworthy if it were true.


On June 11, 2024, an X user claimed genealogy website Ancestry.com listed U.S. President Joe Biden as dead. According to the site, she said, Biden died in Guantánamo, Cuba, in 2018.

The X user included a video in her post that allegedly showed Ancestry.com listing a Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. as dead.

The same X user posted a similar claim on June 12 and held a live broadcast discussing the rumor on June 11.

Similar posts appeared elsewhere on X, while one X user asked whether it was true.

Another X user said: "Interesting. I am able to pull this up also. Now my question is, who owns/runs Ancestry.com? I never use this website, so I have no idea on the validity of the information provided. Though, I would not be surprised if true."

Together, the posts had amassed more than five million views at the time of this writing.

The Ancestry.com page referenced in the claim and video was real (archived here), which is why we have rated this claim as "True." It said a Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. died in Guantánamo, Cuba, in 2018. The date and place of birth — Nov. 20, 1942, in Scranton, Pennsylvania — matched that of U.S. President Joe Biden.

However, despite the listing being real, a disclaimer on Ancestry.com's website stated anyone can upload information to the database. Therefore, not everything seen on the website will be legitimate:

The decision to upload personal information to the Ancestry website is your responsibility... You agree to provide true, accurate and complete information. If any information you provide is, in our sole judgment, false or misleading, we reserve the right to terminate your use of Ancestry and/or delete all content that you have submitted... We also reserve the right to remove any user provided content which comes to our attention and which we believe, in our sole discretion, is illegal, obscene, indecent, defamatory, incites racial or ethnic hatred, violates the rights of others or otherwise violates this Agreement.

Another page on Ancestry.com explained how to add and remove information from its database.

After publishing this fact-check, Katherine Wylie from Ancestry's communications team told Snopes via email on June 13 the listing for Biden had been removed from the company's website:

Ancestry provides the tools for our customers to document and record the details of their family history, including building family trees and creating memorials on Find a Grave. 

Memorials dedicated to famous figures make up a special collection – approved, curated and solely maintained by Find a Grave. Because the page in question doesn't fall under this category, it has been removed from both Find a Grave and Ancestry.

In addition, the Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. listing said the president was buried in the U.S. Army's Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. However, the cemetery's media chief, Rebecca Wardwell, told Snopes via email: "I can confirm that President Joe Biden is not laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery."

The Ancestry.com listing also cited a separate listing (archived here) on cemetery record website Find a Grave as the source of the claim Joe Biden died in Guantánamo in 2018. The Find a Grave listing was published on March 15, 2024; however, it had since been deleted.

A Find a Grave research associate later told Snopes via email: "This memorial has already been removed from Find a Grave because President Biden is still alive."

The memorial written in the archived Find a Grave listing also contained conspiratorial claims, such as former U.S. President Donald Trump being in charge of the current Biden administration.

The Find a Grave user who published the listing confirmed to Snopes via the platform's messaging service that he created it and stood by his false assertion the president died in 2018.

Ancestry.com's disclaimer said it was not responsible or liable for links — e.g., the Find a Grave link — its members post to other sites:

An Ancestry user could post links to other sites. Neither Ancestry.com nor Ancestry endorses and is not responsible or liable for any content, products or services available from those sites and via those links.

Among Ancestry.com's "Rules for Conduct" is an obligation for users not to "impersonate any person or entity or falsely misrepresent your affiliation with any person or entity or falsely claim an endorsement that you do not have."

No credible media outlets reported that Joe Biden died in Guantánamo in 2018, which would have been eminently newsworthy if it were true.

On June 13, 2024, Getty published numerous photos of the U.S. president attending the 2024 G7 Summit in Italy.


Ancestry Content Submission Agreement - Ancestry.Com. https://www.ancestry.com/family-tree/pt/MultimediaSubmissionAgreement.aspx. Accessed 13 June 2024.

AncestrySupport. https://support.ancestry.com/s/article/Managing-Facts-and-Events?language=en_US. Accessed 13 June 2024.

Arlington National Cemeteryhttps://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil/#/. Accessed 13 June 2024.

Find a Grave - Millions of Cemetery Records. https://www.findagrave.com. Accessed 13 June 2024.

Joe Biden | Biography, Family, Policies, & Facts | Britannica. 13 June 2024, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Joe-Biden.

'joe Biden' Died Guantanamo '2018' - Google Search. https://www.google.com/search?q=%22joe+biden%22+died+guantanamo+%222018%22&sca_esv=3e24a8afe08e43d7&biw=1280&bih=593&tbm=nws&ei=cRNrZs41_5eFsg-Gwqi4DQ&ved=0ahUKEwiOspzL9diGAxX_S0EAHQYhCtcQ4dUDCA0&uact=5&oq=%22joe+biden%22+died+guantanamo+%222018%22&gs_lp=Egxnd3Mtd2l6LW5ld3MiIiJqb2UgYmlkZW4iIGRpZWQgZ3VhbnRhbmFtbyAiMjAxOCJIhhFQ9gFYmw1wAHgAkAEAmAF6oAGjAqoBAzIuMbgBA8gBAPgBAZgCAKACAJgDAIgGAZIHAKAH3gE&sclient=gws-wiz-news. Accessed 13 June 2024.

Joseph Robinette "Genocide Joe" Biden Jr. https://web.archive.org/web/20240318081452/https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/267327344/joseph-robinette-biden. Accessed 13 June 2024.

'Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, Giorgia Meloni, Italy's...' Getty Images, 13 June 2024, https://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detail/news-photo/justin-trudeau-prime-minister-of-canada-giorgia-meloni-news-photo/2157440270.

Member Profile: Dan the Chickenman - Find a Grave. https://www.findagrave.com/user/profile/49132208. Accessed 13 June 2024.

U.S., Find a Grave® Index, 1600s-Current - Ancestry.Com. https://www.ancestry.com/discoveryui-content/view/238124728:60525. Accessed 13 June 2024.

'U.S. President Joe Biden Attends the 50th G7 Summit in Brindisi,...' Getty Images, 13 June 2024, https://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detail/news-photo/president-joe-biden-attends-the-50th-g7-summit-in-brindisi-news-photo/2156752723.


June 14, 2024: This report was updated to include comments from Ancestry, Find a Grave and the Find a Grave user who created the "Biden Died" listing.