If you did a DNA test on AncestryDNA and use the Chrome browser, there is a nifty extension called “DNA Match Labeling” that can make sorting your matches so much easier. It was created by Blaine Bettinger, the well known genetic genealogist. Ancestry doesn’t give you many utilities to work with your matches. This tool allows you to mark your matches to better identify them in groups.
Download the Chrome Browser Extension
The DNA Match Labeling extension can be found at the Chrome Store. You can find it quickly at this link: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/dna-match-labeling/kgkhfloclmjcbgilbdhjkmmaohlemfci
You’ll need to install the extension. Once you do, you will see a D up in the right hand corner of your browsers with your other extensions. It’s next to the toolbar. You can click on it to get information about the tool.
There are two things this tool can do. It helps you label your matches for easier identification and sorting.
Let’s Open AncestryDNA And Create Labels
Once you’ve installed the Chrome extension, open your AncestryDNA account and click on View All DNA Matches.
You’ll notice your screen has changed. Don’t worry! Your matches are all there.
Let’s look at the labeling first. The tool allows you to assign a color dot to your matches based on labels you create. For instance, you can name them by surname, by location, by sides of the family…really, it is whatever works for you.
I will give you a tip. Choose different color schemes for the same side of your tree. I made the mistake of using similar colors for the same side of my tree. When I scroll through, I have to look really close to tell the difference between Jones-Jackson and Kelly-Dolan.
Now We Mark Our Matches
This is a bit tedious, but there’s no other way around it. You have to go through each DNA match one by one to mark them. I decided to work with my highest known matches first. I’ve starred all my known matches which made it easier.
You can see the white circles next to each persons name on your list. Put your cursor on the circle and a color graph will appear. Choose the one you want and you’re done.
This gets easier as you go. Once you mark your known matches, mark the shared matches attached to them with the same color dot. If you have known matches with many DNA matches, by the time you get through them, you’ll have a good chunk of your list marked.
Some People Are Showing For Different Matches
It is bound to happen especially if part of your tree comes from small villages on the same island like mine. How did I resolve these?
I decided to leave them marked the color of the first person that I compared them to. It may turn out they are not related to this person, but I don’t know that yet.
Since there is no chromosome browser or triangulation tool on AncestryDNA, there is no way to know if we share DNA in the same way on the same lines. We may even be related more that one way. Believe me, it happens.
Hopefully, you’ll see enough similar color dots to begin working with your matches.
Color Coding Can Solve Mysteries
If you are like me, you feel a bit intimidated by all your matches. Color coding them helps me to see them in groups. Then, I can see patterns.
It happened the same day I installed the tool. I have been baffled as to why my de Braga cousin matches my Pacheco cousin. It is possible that there is a marriage farther back than we have researched.
But, by color coding, I realized that she also matches other de Braga matches. These are my de Braga/Bonita cousins.
Now I have an idea that my de Braga cousin probably matches my Pacheco cousin on her maternal Bonita line.
Check out Blaine’s book to gain a better understanding of your DNA test results.
And, visit his website, the Genetic Genealogist, for more insights on genetic genealogy and how to work with your DNA matches.
Have you found any interesting tools to help you with your DNA matches? Tell us about it in the comments.
Note: Thanks to reader, Sue Griffith, who noticed that I attributed a new and improved search function to this Chrome extension. Instead, it is part of the AncestryDNA Helper extension. I’ve removed that section from this article and will write about that extension at a later date.