Privacy Policy

Our Mission

This Society has been formed and incorporated for educational purposes to encourage research and foster understanding of the genealogy and history of all branches of the Clay family. This includes activities that support the study of genealogy, family history, regional history, and in particular the origin of families surnamed Clay, without regard to variant spellings of the name.

Our website address is:

What personal data we collect and why we collect it

Clear Statement of Data Use

The CFS manages two types of data:

  • NOT Personal Information: Open source historical information about deceased ancestors – this information is stored in our family tree genealogy software known as The Next Generation (TNG). TNG application is hosted on a third part server that includes a mySQL database. It is our intent to include no living individuals in TNG application or its database.
  • Personal Information: This is Personal Identifiable Information (PII) as defined by law in the United States and Personal Information as defined by the European Union’s law called General Data Privacy Regulations (GDPR). Personal Information about our members is stored in our Clay Family Society (CFS) Members Management System (MMS) or “CFS MMS.”

The Personal Information in the CFS MMS is used solely to manage the CFS organization and facilitate communications among members. Any Personal Information you provide to us (including and similar to your name, address, telephone number and e-mail addresses) will not be released, sold, or rented to any entities or individuals outside of the membership of the organization by any officer of the organization.

Credit Card Details: CFS will never ask you to enter credit card details as a means of verifying your identity or to login. Our dues payment method included PayPal, which does not transmit your credit card number to CFS; we only receive verification that your payment has been processed. Never give credit card information over the phone to the CFS and please inform us if you are ever asked.

The following Personal Information is collected, stored and protected behind the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) firewall installed on our sites and is only accessible by members with a valid Username and Password (only below data with an “*” beside it is required to be filled in by applicants during registration):

  • Username *
  • Password *
  • Membership Levels * (Individual & Honorary)
  • Email *
  • First Name *
  • Last Name *
  • Profile Image
  • Primary Phone
  • Primary Address
  • Checkbox: Yes/No – Privacy Policy: I agree to allow the Clay Family Society to use any Personal Information entered in the Registration and Profile forms and as described in the CFS Privacy Policy! * (the only checkbox option is “Yes” and it must be checked by the applicant to become or remain a website access member)
  • Checkbox: Yes/No – Terms of Use: I agree to the Clay Family Society Terms of Use for this website! * (the only checkbox option is “Yes” and it must be checked by the applicant to become or remain a website access member)
  • Checkbox: Yes/No – I agree to allow the CFS to include my Name in the CFS Genealogy (members-only viewable family trees) AND upon my death, the Dates and Places of my Birth and Death.
  • Checkbox: Yes/No – Pieces of Clay: Do you require receiving the CFS newsletter by USPS? (USPS is snail mail – please check No if you can download the newsletter from the website or receive it via email)

Important NOTE: CFS is a membership society dedicated to members sharing genealogical information and techniques with each other. If you do not agree to share your email address, first name and last name with other members or check ‘Yes’ to both Privacy Policy and Terms of Use, please let us know. You will not be able to complete this Registration property or access this website in the future, but you can still receive our Newsletter, attend Gatherings and receive all other membership benefit by completing a paper registration form.

The preceding data Is Personal Information collected on the CFS registration form and only used to manage the society and enable communication among cousins. The following data (except for any living person’s data the applicant choses to enter) is Not Personal Information and is also collected on the registration form. This data is used by the CFS to build our family lineage into our master genealogy tree software, which will only show deceased persons. Your Personal Information (if entered here) is used by CFS administrators to associate you (or a new member) if possible with a particular Clay branch and assist you in discovering your heritage and relatives in other Clay branches. The required information follows

  • Full Name of your Most Recent Deceased Ancestor (MRDA) and spouse in your direct line to your Earliest Known Clay Ancestor (EKCA)? *
  • Dates of Birth (DOB) of these ancestors (yyyy OR mmm yyyy OR dd mmm yyyy) *
  • Places of Birth (POB) of these ancestors *
  • Date of Death (DOD) of these ancestors (yyyy OR mmm_yyyy OR dd_mmm_yyyy)  *
  • Place of Death (POD) of these ancestors with your lineage to surname Clay *
  • Names, DOBs, POB, DODs, PODs of your Next Oldest Ancestors in your direct line to your EKCA (not required, but highly recommended).

For example, you may start with your mother or father, if deceased, or with yourself. The more information you supply, the better we can all work together.

As a member you have access to your registration data (listed above) at any time (under the Profile tab on of the Members Only Menu) and, if desired, you can (at any time) delete your Profile data, which will immediately erase all of your Personal Information from the CFS MMS — and cancel your access and CFS membership.


When visitors leave comments on the CFS MMS Forum, WordPress collects the data shown in the comments form, and also the visitor’s IP address and browser user agent string to help spam detection.

An anonymized string created from your email address (also called a hash) may be provided to the Gravatar service to see if you are using Gravatar. The Gravatar service provides your thumbnail photo to multiple social media apps, including the CFS website. Gravatar’s privacy policy is available here: After approval and publishing of your comment, your profile picture (if registered with Gravator will be visible to the public visitors of the CFS MMS in the context of your comment.


If you upload images to the website, you should avoid adding images with embedded location data (EXIF GPS) included. Visitors to the website can download and extract any location data from images on our website.


If you leave a comment on our site you may opt-in to saving your name, email address and website in cookies. These are for your convenience so that you do not have to fill in your details again when you leave another comment. These cookies will last for one year.

If you visit our login page, WordPress will set a temporary cookie to determine if your browser accepts cookies. This cookie contains no personal data and is discarded when you close your browser.

When you log in, WordPress will also set up several cookies to save your login information and your screen display choices. Login cookies last for two days, and screen options cookies last for a year. If you select “Remember Me”, your login will persist for two weeks. If you log out of your account, the login cookies will be removed.

If you edit or publish an article, an additional cookie will be saved in your browser. This cookie includes no personal data and simply indicates the post ID of the article you just edited. It expires after 1 day.

Embedded content from other websites

Articles on this site may include embedded content (e.g. videos, images, articles, etc.). Embedded content from other websites behaves in the exact same way as if the visitor has visited the other website.

These websites may collect data about you, use cookies, embed additional third-party tracking, and monitor your interaction with that embedded content, including tracking your interaction with the embedded content if you have an account and are logged in to that website.


Any analytics, data analysis or statistics the CFS my develop are purely for the benefit of member communication, member recruitment or CFS management.

With Whom we share your data

The CFS only shares your Personal Information with other CFS members. Any personal information you provide will not be released, sold, or rented to any entities or individuals outside of CFS. 

How long we retain your data

If you leave a comment, the comment and its metadata are retained indefinitely. This is so we can recognize and approve any follow-up comments automatically instead of holding them in a moderation queue.

For users that pay dues, register and become full members of CFS, we also store the Personal Information they provide on the registration form and they have access to in their user profile. All users can see, edit, and delete any or all of their Personal Information at any time (with the exception that users cannot change their username without a special request to Website administrators can also see and edit all user information (except for password, which are only ever seen by each user). Your Personal Information is retained only as long as you are a member, unless you agree that some of it may be moved to the CFS TNG Family Tree upon your death.

What rights you have over your data

If you have membership and access to this site, or have left comments, you can request to receive an exported file of the personal data we hold about you, including any data you have provided to us. You can also request that we erase any personal data we hold about you. This does not include any data we are obliged to keep for administrative, legal, or security purposes.

Data you have provided in regards to deceased persons is not Personal Information. The above rights apply to only YOUR Personal Information. 

Where we send your data

Visitor and member comments may be checked through an automated spam detection service.

No other data is sent from our sites.

Your contact information

As stated above; the CFS only shares your limited Personal information with other CFS members. If you provide your primary address during registration, only our website administrators and some Board members will have access to it and then only for Newsletter delivery and membership management. Nobody other than you can see your password, though you and the webmaster/administrator can change your password, but not without delivery of the new password to you in a notification email.

Additional information

How we protect your data

The CFS webmaster protects the CFS MMS and The Next Generation (TNG) genealogy family trees site with the latest web based security software. Not only are our website protected with Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) firewall (little green padlock in front of https:// part of URL), but they are also protected by special security software provided by our server hosting company and on the CFS MMS, by special security Plugins used by the WordPress application itself.

What data breach procedures we have in place

The Clay Family Society (CFS) webmaster uses data industry standard data breach procedures to respond to potential incidents involving the CFS MMS.

Bottom line: If the CFS MMS ever experiences a hack or data breach, we are required to let our users know their data may have been compromised. And we will endeavor to do so by email to every member within 24 hours of determination.

What third parties we receive data from

The CFS MMS receives data from the following 3rd parties:

  • Simply Hosting, LLC. – our domain name and web hosting company
  • Gene by Gene, Ltd. (FamilyTreeDNA) – all member participation in our genetic research is conducted at this third party’s secure website and any information brought back to the CFS MMS is not identifiable with any individual member.

The CFS website know as The Next Generation (TNG) is a genealogy and family tree application that receives data from the following 3rd parties:

  • Simply Hosting, LLC. – our domain name and web hosting site (CFS MMS).
  • Gene by Gene, Ltd. (FamilyTreeDNA) – all member participation in our genetic research is conducted at this third party’s secure website and any information brought back to the CFS Members CMS is not identifiable with any individual member.

What automated decision making and/or profiling we do with user data


Industry regulatory disclosure requirements

If our websites experiences a hack or data breach, we are required to and will immediately let our users know their data may have been compromised.

Also, see our General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Page by clicking here.


Remember The Risks Whenever You Use The Internet: While we do our best to protect your Personal information, we cannot guarantee the security of any information that you transmit to CFS and you are solely responsible for maintaining the secrecy of any passwords or other account information. In addition other Internet sites or services that may be accessible through CFS have separate data and privacy practices independent of us, and therefore we disclaim any responsibility or liability for their policies or actions.  Please contact those vendors and others directly if you have any questions about their privacy policies.

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