Ancestry Update – Downloading V2 Deleted Matches

If you starred or noted matches, and if those matches got deleted during the Ancestry update, Ancestry has created a file for you to download.  It’s located under your setting gear wheel, to the right of your name.


Click on settings gear wheel. On the right you will be an “Actions” box.

download expired matches

Click on “Download Expired Matches.”

download expired matches 2

This downloads a file which you can open or save.

I saved mine and opened it to find 16 lost matches, all in the 5th to 8th cousin range.  Keep in mind that I only starred my leaf matches with whom I shared DNA and a common ancestor, so I know how I match these people and which ancestor we share.

And am I ever glad I starred and noted these, because these 16 really useful matches would have been gone forever otherwise.

name admin range starred note
M. M. name 5th – 8th cousins YES John R. Estes and Nancy Ann Moore.

The information provided by Ancestry for each lost match that was starred or noted is shown above.

Of my 226 leaf matches, I lost 16, but overall, my new leaf count is 254, which means that I actually have 44 new leaf matches.  While I really am thrilled about that, I’m extremely glad that they gave us this option and that I starred my previous leaf matches.  Nobody wants to lose useful data.

Ancestry indicates these removed matches will only be available for a limited time, although in the past they have been very generous with that timeframe. However, download them now, so you don’t forget.

16 thoughts on “Ancestry Update – Downloading V2 Deleted Matches

  1. So this means that the “new” matches you found don’t show up flagged as new? I completed an online survey today and very pointedly told them that they need to communicate with their users on the Ancestry website when changes are happening what they are and when they go into effect. Very poor customer service and communications….

    • Mine did not show up with the new blue dot. I knew they were new because their star is not yellow like all the rest. Someone else indicated that their new matches did have the blue dots, so just be aware.

  2. Thank you sooo much for all this information. I am one of those endogamous folks (boo hoo) and have 21,600 matches now, and 503 hints and 1627 4th cousins and closer. Whew! I starred matches I didn’t want to lose and have 61 of those that I would have lost. I KNOW that I share a common ancestor with quite a few of these. Again, you are a terrific source for all of us!

    • And, what is interesting is that 2 of my lost matches I know I share a common ancestor from paper documentation. That ancestor is back 5 generations. The two lost matches are closely related (can’t remember how) and must have the same hunks of DNA that were deemed unreliable by the new algorithm. But, I happen to know we are related. Also, another lost match is estimated to be a 2nd – 4th cousin on FTDNA!

  3. Roberta, you may have lost a lot more matches than you think. Prior to the change, my wife had 13,423 matches on AncestryDNA. She has American Colonial roots on just about every branch of her tree. After the change she has 12,729. So that’s a net loss of 694.

    Here’s where it gets interesting. I compared her matches before and after to see how many old ones she lost and how many new ones she picked up and was rather surprised that she lost 2,892 matches but gained 2,198. That’s a much bigger turnover (something like 20%!) than I was expecting. This was based on comparing testIDs (but I also did a comparison of testee names and admin names just to be sure Ancestry didn’t change a whole lot of people’s testIDs or something).

    We had notes or gold stars on only 42 of her lost matches. Some of those were very sad losses – two from our one-name study project where we had checked them in GEDMATCH and knew them to be valid (albeit 5th cousins so fairly small) segments. The DNA circle for the one-name study lost 2 of its 16 members and she lost one NAD. But otherwise she retained all of her circles (but didn’t gain any new ones).

  4. Roberta, I received this when I tried to download expired matches,
    “We’ve reviewed your list of expired matches and found there are no expired matches that you’ve either starred or added notes to. Because of this, there are no expired matches available to download.”
    I might not have starred them or added notes, but there are several that have been deleted, including two “shared ancestry hints”. Thankfully, I had, as you previously suggested, saved my old list on my computer. That and two deleted “circles” that I had verified.
    So my answeres to their survey were decidedly negative.

  5. Thank you for that information Roberta! I’ll be checking to see how things panned out after the update.

  6. Thanks for keeping up on this for us, Roberta. I saved my expired DNA matches, but it was hardly worth the effort – only 3 5th-8th matches. But overall, I lost more than 50% of my green-leaf matches. I feel like I’ve been beheaded. And I see now where Ancestry is saying they are investigating if MAYBE they may have inadvertently eliminated too many matches. This is so typical of Ancestry’s reckless actions. Run roughshod first… then ask questions later after user outcry – and then MAYBE try to fix things later. What a way to run a business and treat customers.

  7. What is the point of downloading these when they will no longer be available matches to you? You can’t put them back into your DNA matches. I have lost family members that were truly related to me. This is worthless! I have lost 900 matches that I even starred. I can’t put them back. I needed to many of these.

  8. I went from about 74 “shaky leaf”matches to 31, which includes some new ones. (A loss of over 40 matches.) I hope Ancestry figures out why this happened. They note that they are working to resolve this issue.

    When I look at my download of V2 deleted matches, I see several that have my notes with them. I thought that all matches with notes would be saved. I cannot give feedback on this issue because I took the survey earlier to report another issue.

    Joan Fuson

  9. I lost 16, gained 39. Of the ones I lost – I have multiple other matches to the ancestors noted in the lost matches. I lost 5 DNA circles but gained 6. The ones I lost were all spouses of circles I still have. Go figure. I do know, from various genealogy FB pages, that Ancestry had major issues with people losing everything in their trees. I believe those issued were resolved. All in all, the new matches have been extremely helpful.

  10. It is all too confusing. It seems that matches that were starred or noted were removed from my list with the change. I thought AncestryDNA had agreed to leave them for a short time. I have downloaded the expired list, but it is useless without being able to go to the match.
    We can no longer find a FT by a user name. I guess one could search by the common ancestor if one has noted it, and hope to find the tree.

      • I guess the loss is one thing, but to me the addition of some 1,500 new 5th cousins with out trees is really daunting. If they don’t match and don’t have a tree of more than 350 individuals, I remove them. Somewhere less than 5% of matches that are contacted will ever respond. I had my sub-set in pretty good condition until this last onslaught. Now I am looking hour after hour of removing name, one at a time. Some time back I could set my filter to “NEW” and it would stay there, now I have to reset it after every removal. They just keep making it harder and harder.

  11. The V2 file does not appear to include all expired matches. Comparing my dad’s file, the V2 file shows only 5 lost matches. However, when I analyze my dad’s matches from 4/20 to 5/8, then it turns out he lost 1,057 matches (but then gained 1,761)

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