When there is a will, there is a way. There is a way to download your Ancestry DNA match list into a spreadsheet, but you first need an easy-to-do hack.
Can You Download Ancestry DNA Matches?
While you can download your raw DNA data results and transfer the information to GEDmatch, MyHeritage, and FamilyTree DNA, you can't directly download your shared match list from AncestryDNA. But there is a way to capture your matches.
What can you do instead? How can you get your shared match information into a database to analyze and record your notes?
Use a Google Spreadsheet for Your DNA Matches
In our Spreadsheets for Genealogy webinar, a participant asked how to create a DNA Matches spreadsheet on Ancestry. While you can copy and past table information in many cases, when you paste the data into Google Sheets, the table formatting disappears.
Instead of forcing all family history fanatics to manually copy and paste thousands of matches, Greg Clarke, from Ontario, Canada, created a Google Sheets template that allows you to recreate the table information in a spreadsheet.
Access the Google Sheets for Ancestry DNA Matches
To gain access to the free Google Sheets template, click this link and enter your email address.
You'll receive an email with a link to the spreadsheet.
Click on the link to open the spreadsheet.
MAKE A COPY of the spreadsheet to your own Google Drive account.
Select the correct tab for the version of the AncestryDNA match list that you have. (New Step).
DO NOT request access to edit the file. If you had editing privileges that would allow everyone will see your changes, it's better to save a copy of the template to your drive. Then your content remains yours.
Then follow the instructions on the first sheet within the spreadsheet.
UPDATE: There are two versions of Ancestry DNA's Match List. As such, there are now 2 versions of the code. Both versions are in the spreadsheet with a separate tab pertaining to each version. Be sure to read the updated instructions.
If you need a demonstration, Greg showed me how to add my DNA list step by step to Google Sheets. You can watch the video below.
What Will This Spreadsheet Help Me Do?
After using this spreadsheet to reconstruct your match list on Google, you will be able to see:
the user names,
how many centimorgans you share
whether they have a family tree connected to their profile
the notes you've added to the Ancestry website.
If you have indicated the common ancestors in your notes, that will come through in this table.
This spreadsheet will allow you to search your table using the Ctrl+F or Command+F tool. You can also filter your list to see results based on certain criteria.
While you can do much of this work on Ancestry, you won't 'lose' any results and the notes you had on them by having a backup of your shared matches. You can use this list in conjunction with results from MyHeritage and GEDmatch.
Will this work for any other program?
Greg wrote the complex codes for the Google Sheets to take your DNA match list and turn it back into columns. These codes likely only work for Google Sheets.
What if I can't get the spreadsheet to work?
Greg has made his email contact available within the spreadsheet. If you have trouble making it work, contact him for further guidance. If you find an error in the template, he'll definitely want to hear from you.
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Andy and I want to thank Greg for fulfilling a need that our audience has. If you have other cool resources that would benefit our viewers, don't hesitate to contact us here.
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