Using the Ancestry DNA Match Note Feature

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In Using Ancestry Stars to Organize DNA Matches,  I shared how the Ancestry Star feature can be used to distinguish the DNA matches whose Ancestry is known.  This Ancestry star feature is even more useful when it is paired with Ancestry’s note feature.

What is the Ancestry Note Feature?

AncestryDNA has the option to add a note to any DNA Match.   This  feature can be found by clicking on the user ID (name) of a DNA Match or the green ‘View Match’ button. This will open up a new page where you can further explore details of the DNA match.  Below the Predicted relationship and the DNA Circle connection(s), there is an Add note link. Next to the link is an icon that looks like a mini page of paper with text on it.  When the Add  note link is selected, a text box appears in which comments up to 500 characters can be written.  Anything typed in a note can only be seen by you.

This is an example of a DNA Match that does not have a note attached to it.
An example of a DNA Match that does NOT have a note attached to it.
This is an example of A DNA Match with a note added to it.
An example of A DNA Match WITH a note added to it.

How to Use the Note Feature

There are many uses for adding a note to a DNA Match, but I am going to share  the best use that I have found for the Ancestry Note feature.  I use this feature to briefly explain how a DNA match is related to me.  It is a simple method where the closest ancestor(s)shared with the DNA Match is added to the note.   Sometimes I add a bit more information, like “we are related through the Florida Loos line via Johannes, brother to my immigrating Matthias Loos”.

This note can then be used as a quick reference if I forget  how I relate to one of my Starred DNA matches. If you do not know what I mean by starred DNA Match, I recommend reading this blog post.  Having these notes can be especially helpful when you are sifting through  hundreds (or thousands) of DNA matches.

A beneficial attribute of adding a note to a DNA Match is that you do not need to click on the ‘view match’ button to see what you typed in the note. The note can be viewed from the main DNA match page. If  a note is added to a DNA Match, then the note icon will be displayed next to the matches name in the DNA Match list.  The note becomes visible when the icon is clicked.

Example of the note icon. The relationship of these 3 DNA matches are known thus they have been starred and have notes attached to it. THe third match's note has been clicked on to reveal the relationship.
The relationship of these three DNA matches are known thus they have been Starred and have notes attached to them. The third match’s note has been clicked on to reveal the relationship.

If you find this genetic genealogy tip helpful or want to share how you use the Ancestry note feature, please leave a comment.

2 thoughts on “Using the Ancestry DNA Match Note Feature

  1. Great minds! That’s the way I use Note also. It saves steps when I can’t remember everyone I’ve ever been in touch with. Thank you.

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