Sunday, January 6, 2019

New MedBetterWTHAY Chrome browser extension released

MedBetterWTHAY is a Chrome browser extension for use with the Ancestry website to enhance the Search All People feature available from the Chrome Web Store. It displays a popup window that shows the Relationship (to you) and LifeStory of a person when the cursor is placed, or hovered, over that person's Search entry. This can be useful, for example, to more easily determine people who have a family tree entry, but are not attached to your main family tree, also known as orphans or islands.

Install the extension and navigate to your family tree page, select Find Person and List of All People from the right dropdown menu. From this page, or a specific search on this page, hover the cursor over any person's name whom you are interested in seeing further information. After two seconds, you will see a red line appear under their name. This indicates the extension is loading information from the Ancestry website. When the information is retrieved, a popup window containing the Relationship and Lifestory is displayed.

Some entries may have a blank LifeStory if there is no information on record, but all entries should have a Relationship if they are connected to the main family tree. If you see a blank Relationship, this is a strong indication that the entry is an unattached "island" and can either be removed, or possibly reconnected, to the main tree.

Verify that the entry is truly unattached by clicking the person's listing link to see the their information before deleting them. An entry with no relationship to you listed below their name means that they have no or an unknown connection to your family tree.

I have personally used MedBetterWTHAY to detect and remove over 200 people, as well as over two dozen multi-person subtrees not attached to the main tree. Prior to the extension popup, I needed to click each person's entry and view their information page to check their relationship to my family tree.
Of course, this is not the only purpose for the extension. You may also use it to quickly view more information about a person in the Search listing that you are interested in or curious about.

Please note that while the two second delay before the red line is always present (to avoid constantly loading pages as you move the cursor about the page), the time after that is purely dependent on the time spent loading the information from the site. If you have a slow connection, or the Ancestry server is bogged down or otherwise acting like a slug, it may take a while to view the information. At worst case here (so far), I have seen delays of around five seconds to retrieve information when the Ancestry server is engaged in other tasks of vital importance.

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