The 30-second spot, called “Inseparable,” appeared to depict a white man and black woman in 1800s clothing running through an alley before stopping to talk. The man holds a ring and tells the woman that “we can escape to the north.”
“Will you leave with me?,” he asks her before it cuts to a blank screen and reads "Without you, the story stops here."
The ad appeared in Canada earlier this month and was widely criticized online, with some claiming it ignored the subjugation many black female slaves endured at the hands of white slave owners.
In a statement to various media outlets on Thursday, Ancestry.com apologized and said it removed the ad from YouTube and television.
"Ancestry is committed to telling important stories from history," the website said in a statement. "This ad was intended to represent one of those stories. We very much appreciate the feedback we have received and apologized for any offense that the ad may have caused."