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Coping without a search mechanism (autosomal test)

Replies: 15

Coping without a search mechanism (autosomal test)

Posted: 19 Aug 2012 7:33PM GMT
Classification: Query
So, how are the rest of you getting around the lack of search mechanism? I passed 1000+ results this past week, and even after allowing for the 300 matches that are either private trees, don't have a tree*, or have a tree with just a dozen or so people, that's still a whole bunch of matches to wade through when you want to look something up.

For example, I had a match that led me to a paper trail that has led to parents for an ancestor. So, I now have at least one new surname to look for... and the thought of re-opening 700 matches to look for that name is not appealing. (Even with my good friend "right-click and open in new tab.") In another scenario, I saw an unusual surname on one match and realized I also saw it on another match, so perhaps it is a hint... but the thought of manually going through all matches for it was pretty overwhelming.

I checked into some benign scraping scripts that could save copies of all my match pages locally for searching, but they don't run in my browser (and so couldn't access my matches). Some people say there's a good scraping script for Greasemonkey, but I couldn't find it.

My current workaround: I've saved all of my High, Moderate, and Low match pages as text files. (I will try to get to the Very Low soon since they've been the source of several Shared Ancestor Hints - people are nuts to ignore them! - but I haven't had time yet.) Then I use Textpad to search for instances of the surname in all the files. (Windows Explorer works just as well, but I like mass-editing in Textpad.)

Of course, this method falls apart when people add to their trees, since currently we don't know when that happens. (As I was saving files, I noticed that one Low match now has a Shared Ancestor Hint that wasn't there before. I didn't see a connection when I looked the first time because their ancestor has an extremely common name and migrated to a different place than my ancestor.)

On the other hand, I recommend saving the text files anyway, and I wish I'd done so from the start. Last week three of the trees I'd starred for probable matches became private. Of course I will be writing to those matches, but in case I don't get access, it would be good to have a copy of the surnames and locations from back when the trees were public.

I'm sure Ancestry is working on search features, but please remember to leave them feedback if this is an important feature to you.

Until then, does anyone have a better method for searching?

*P.S. Yes, I know that matches that say "no tree" sometimes do have an unlinked tree if you click on them. I've found a few Shared Ancestor Hints and other glimpses of possible connection that way. Huzzah! I'm only counting those "no tree" people who really don't have any tree. Either way, it's too many matches to search by hand every time. I'm devoted, not crazy. :)
SubjectAuthorDate Posted
Shari S. 20 Aug 2012 1:33AM GMT 
smsitton 20 Aug 2012 8:59PM GMT 
AlbertHulse 4 Sep 2012 9:57PM GMT 
tmainiero 5 Sep 2012 10:57PM GMT 
nathan_mn 6 Sep 2012 5:47PM GMT 
ERHill66 6 Sep 2012 5:29AM GMT 
nathan_mn 6 Sep 2012 5:45PM GMT 
cecemoore 8 Sep 2012 9:46PM GMT 
ERHill66 8 Sep 2012 11:02PM GMT 
cecemoore 8 Sep 2012 11:04PM GMT 
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