Jeff Snavely's Chrome extension for AncestryDNA downloads of match lists
The current version of the AncestryDNA Chrome Extension is now available in the Chrome App Store. When you install the new copy from the App Store, don't forget to disable the old copy or they will both attempt to run at the same time and conflict with each other.
Since the copy from the app store is a new install rather than an update to the existing copy, it will create a new database for that copy. You will need to either close Chrome and copy your existing database to the new location or, if that seems too complicated, you can do a full scan. Instructions for copying your database file are below:
Chrome hides it's databases. The base locations (%USERNAME% is your Windows username) are:
Windows Vista or later:
C:\Documents and Settings\%USERNAME%\Application Support\Google\Chrome\Default\databases
Mac OS X:
Inside that directory will be a sub-directory for each extension using a SQLite Database. The format will be "chrome-extension_%ID%_0" where %ID% is the unique id an extension. To find the ids of the extensions, go to chrome://extensions and check the "Developer mode" checkbox at the top of the screen. The ids will then appear beside each extension. With Chrome closed, you will need to go into the sub-directory for the old copy of the extension, copy the file that appears there, then go to the sub-directory for the new copy of the extension and paste the file. If the filename (a number) in the new copy is different, then you will need to delete that file and rename the file that you just pasted from the old copy to the same name as that other file. When you restart Chrome, it should now use the existing data instead of an empty file.
Once it is installed, you will want to go to "Your DNA Home Page" at ldna.ancestry.com/status.aspx and click on the "Full Scan" button to automatically scan all of your matches so that the extension can then help you search, compare or download that data. This process takes about 1 second per page of the matches list and about 5 seconds per each match's details page, but this will still add up very quickly. If you have several tests with thousands of matches, it could take an entire day to fully scan all of the data. Occasionally, a page may fail to load with a 500 Server error or JSON error. If this happens, you will need to press the F5 key or click the Reload button to get it started again.
You can stop the scan at any time by clicking the Cancel button while it is scanning pages. If you do stop the scan or close the browser before it completes the scan, you can resume by going back to "Your DNA Home Page" and clicking the "Resume Scan" button. If it was still scanning match summary and trashed match summary pages when you stopped the scan, it should restart the scan from the first page of matches for that test. If you stop the scan while it is scanning match details pages, it will resume with the next match details page not processed yet.
To add new matches to the database as they show up, simply view the first few pages of the matches list (depending on how many new matches you have) for each test while sorted by Date and then go to "Your DNA Home Page" and click the "Resume Scan" button to have it automatically open all of those new matches. This will be much faster than doing the full scan again. You can also force a full scan of just one test that you administer with the Scan button beside that test on Your DNA Home Page.
After you have scanned you matches, you can use the new search box at the top of your match list pages to look up your matches by username or look up all matches with the same surnames or look up all matches based on the notes that you have recorded in the note field. If you administer multiple tests on your account, you will find a new icon on the list of matches indicating those that are shared with other tests that you administer. Holding the mouse over this icon will show the names of the tests that share this match.
You will also find buttons on Your DNA Home Page for downloading your list of matches and ancestors of matches as .csv files, which can be imported into a spreadsheet or database program for further analysis. If you have Excel installed, it may automatically attempt to open these .csv files when you download them. You can also compare any two tests that you administer for common ancestors or compare up to 3 tests against each other (typically a child and their parents, but can enter any tests administered by your account) to determine which side (or both or neither) that the match came from along with predicted range and confidence info.
There is no charge for this extension, but if you would like to make a contribution to say thanks and to encourage further development, the easiest way to do that is to use the Send Money feature in PayPal to send a "family or friend" payment to my email address: email@example.com
Let me know if you have any problems using the extension or any ideas you might have for future enhancements.
One user of the AncestryDNA Chrome Extension has created a message board for those who would like to discuss the technical/scientific aspects of DNA genealogy at Ancestry, including discussion of the extension at: