AncestryDNA Search on Notes

A Segment-ology TIDBIT

I have been religiously typing information in the AncestryDNA Notes box – for all Hint Matches and as many 4C Matches as I can (because they show up as Shared Matches). I use the MEDbetter Chrome extension (google it) to display all of my Notes, all of the time. This is particularly useful in the list of Shared Matches – to get a sense of a cluster of Matches. I’ve blogged about using the Notes box: format and usefulness.

I now use MEDbetter hashtags as follows:
#T for a Triangulated Group (TG) identification code (ID) – e.g. #T[01S24] means the TG is on Chromosome 01; the letter indicating the start location: roughly 10Mb for each letter (A = 0-10Mbp; S = 180-190Mbp); the two numbers after the letter indicate the first two generations of the Common Ancestor (CA) – in this case, on my father’s father’s line (using ahnentafel numbers). A lot of info is in the TG ID.
#A for the Ahnentafel number of a CA – e.g. #A0018P for my ancestors: John NEWLON 1798-1872 [Ahnentafel 18] married Mariah ALLEN 1805-1882; the P reminds me it’s on the Paternal side. A lot of info in the #A code.
#G for a GEDmatch ID – e.g. #GmA123456
I don’t really use the MEDbetter hashtag filter feature because it doesn’t consolidate for me; but I love MEDbetter for displaying the Notes all the time.
HOWEVER – I just tried the AncestryDNA Search feature and was blown away! I typed in [01S24] in the search box, and selected: Notes (this test). In 1 second it displayed 31 hyperlinked Matches with [01S24] in the Notes box! WOW!! What a way to review all of my Matches with one TG tag; or to view a cluster of Matches that you attributed to a Common Ancestor; or to find the Match with a GEDmatch kit you typed into a Note box. A lot of different ways to sort, find and group your Matches.
BOTTOM LINE – You can search on whatever you put into the Notes box!

EDIT: The Ancestry Search Notes option is added by the AncestryDNA Helper Extension in Chrome – it is required to do these searches. MedBetterDNA is not required to use the Search Notes option.

EDIT 2: The Helper is no longer available. So there is no way to search our Notes. However, you can group by colored dots.


[22V] Segment-ology: AncestryDNA Search on Notes TIDBIT by Jim Bartlett 20180601 EDIT 2: 20200402

18 thoughts on “AncestryDNA Search on Notes

    • Lee, actually both. I’ve found the best path, for me, is to use a standard format. If I later use a 3rd party tool to download all my stuff, I want to sort or search on the Notes box. So, as I see them, I’m editing old Notes to my new format. Jim

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Well I added the extension, scanned my test which took an amazingly short time, and saw the search features appear at the top of my matches. None of the names that appear in notes fields for my matches, that I entered in the search field and clicked “Notes” for, returned any results – have you seen this before?

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  2. Teresa, I also have the AncestryDNA Helper extension for Chrome. That’s the program that adds the capability to search the Notes field – I added an EDIT to my original post. I think Karstmd has a different method of tracking some notes – since I have the system I use, I don’t use the methods she wrote about.

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  3. I don’t understand what you mean by AncestryDNA search, nor what commentor Karstmd means. I use MEDBetter and will turn on filters when needed – on Ancestry’s search function I can only sort by date or relationship; search on surname or place of birth; can use filters for new, hints, starred, mother (matches both of us) and region. I would like to understand how you’re doing the search. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I too, do not had MEDbetter, yet…..and it appears that one must have it to search notes as you suggest. However, without it I am able to pull up small clusters of atDNA lines with the “Find Person” tool. It may be good for confusing’s search engine for matching for genealogical purposes BUT I use the ‘title’ box that most people ignore….adding atDNA in that box. It is searchable then. I’ve devised a longer system to define grandparent regions of atDNA matches….atDNAab, atDNAcd…. You can search for something like Wilson atDNA.

    Liked by 1 person

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