Ancestry DNA Helper

There is a support group where you can learn more and get help at

You can subscribe by sending an email to

Load AncestryDNA Lists (CSV) (Optional)

You can upload a list of your AncestryDNA matches and all of the people in your matches’ public trees. These can also be analyzed in GWorks along with your GEDCOMs. Another third party tool will help you collect the files needed.

AncestryDNA Helper for Google Chrome

Jeff Snavely developed a free web browser extension for Google Chrome that gives you additional options for working with your AncestryDNA match data right on the web page (a browser extension is a mini-app that you install in a web browser – in this case, Google Chrome – which is a free download for both a PC and Mac).
AncestryDNA Helper (aptly named!) adds buttons to your AncestryDNA pages which can perform a variety of tasks, such as extend search options, compare two test kits, and more.
Best of all is its ability to create two files that can be used with’s GWorks: a CSV file containing all of your matches and a CSV file containing a list of all of the people in their trees. A button also appears on each individual match’s profile page to download a list of people just in that match’s tree.
Note that these instructions often change as web sites and tools are constantly being tweaked, especially AncestryDNA.
Barbara Taylor, an experienced genealogist and volunteer, writes and updates the full documentation for the AncestryDNA Helper extension, and the community is grateful to her for her work!

Install the AncestryDNA Helper Chrome Browser Extension

  1. Download and install Chrome if you haven’t already.
  2. Open Chrome and log in to your Google account. You must be signed into a Google account to get the extension from the Chrome Store (Google+, Gmail, etc.).
  3. Click the three horizontal lines in the upper-right of the screen next to the address bar.
  4. Select Settings.
  5. Check the Developer mode box on the upper-right of the page.
  6. Select Extensions on the left of the screen.
  7. Go to the Chrome Web Store (a.k.a. the Gallery).
  8. Select Extensions and type “AncestryDNA Helper” in the search box.
  9. Click the blue button and then select Add to install the extension.
  10. A new button appears at the top of your browser. Click this button for more information on using the extension.
  11. Log into AncestryDNA. Your DNA home page should now have extra buttons on it. If you do not see these buttons, be sure you are using the Chrome web browser. Then press F5 to refresh the page.

Scan Your Matches

A. Click Scan to automatically scan all of your matches (outlined in orange).
The extension automatically opens a new window and loads each match’s profile page, gathering the data in the background. You will not be able to use AncestryDNA or surf in the same Chrome browser during this process. You can stop the scan at any time by clicking Cancel.
B. Note: This scan can take hours to complete — possibly days, if you have multiple tests! Many people run the extension overnight or on a separate computer. Be sure that your computer does not turn off its network connection in power save or sleep modes.
C. Periodically check that the scan is still running (you’ll see match pages flashing by in the background). Sometimes, although the Scanning your DNA matches message may be on the screen, the scan is not actually running. You may also see an “Oops” message in the background when this happens.
D. If you get the Chrome “Aw, Snap” message, click Reload, then go to your AncestryDNA home page and click Resume Scan.

Download Match List and Ancestors of Matches List

Once the scan is complete, go to your AncestryDNA Home page under the DNA menu. Here, you’ll see two new download buttons: Download Matches and Download Ancestors of Matches. Click each one to download these files to your PC (you need both). The files are located at the bottom of your Chrome browser when the download is complete.
Troubleshooting AncestryDNA Helper
If you cancel the scan or close the browser before the scan completes, you can resume the scan by going back to your AncestryDNA Home page and clicking Resume Scan (Figure 20). For more troubleshooting tips, please consult the full documentation.
Updating Your Ancestry Match Lists The extension saves your match information for you so you don’t have to start a new scan from scratch each time you get new matches. Periodically update your data to include these new matches. Click Resume Scan. You can also click Resume Skipped Matches to ensure you got them all.
“Show” the scanner the new matches so it will add them. Sort your match list by Date or by clicking the New filter. Manually view the first few pages of new matches (depending on how many new matches you have) for each test.
Go to your AncestryDNA Home page and click Resume Scan. If you just want to scan or update one test on the account, click Scan beside that test.

Leave a Reply