Tuesday, August 5, 2014

DNA News: Pushing The AncestryDNA Scan Across The Finish

A few months ago I installed the Google Chrome browser extension AncestryDNA Helper. I was never able to finish either the detail scan or the summary scan. I did get through a little over half on both, and did find even that limited amount of information to be helpful. When my mother's results came in last week I decided to try again. I don't know why but I was able to finish the summary scan for both of our kits on my first try. I moved on to the detail scan which also appeared to be working now. It was only scanning 4 to 7 matches a minute so the progress was slow. After letting it run all night it still hadn't completed. I left the house for a few hours that day, and when I came back, unfortunately, the scan had stopped. The screen message said feature not available? So I tried again and the scan started from the beginning instead of resuming where I left off. The next day it stopped, again, before completing. This time I kept refreshing the screen until it restarted. Unfortunately that night Ancestry took the site down for a few hours for maintenance. I wasn't sure if I would have to start from the beginning? After the down time ended I tried again, and luckily this time it started from where it left off, and I was able to fully scan both kits.

The size of the files created was large. My file was 44mb and my Mom's was 38mb. I sorted the files by surname. This is such a time saver. I was now able to see all of the same surnames grouped together, and I could easily look for variant spellings. Now I didn't have to click twice to see my matches shared surname ancestors. I could see the exact lineage of my matches quickly.

I know Ancestry would prefer everyone access the DNA results strictly from their site. They don't have an incentive to make the process of reviewing the matches quick. The more time people spend at their site the better for them. Clearly the point of DNA testing for Ancestry is to encourage people to subscribe and continue to do so. If this drives the price down I can't criticize them too much. For my particular family lines Ancestry is producing the best matches, and the most matches. The other companies have really slowed down now and aren't producing many significant matches. Ancestry is the only game in town for me now.

When I do another scan I  know now to keep refreshing the screen until it continues. Glad to have finally gotten all of this information downloaded. Productive week. Thank you very much Jeff Snavely!

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