Two thumbs way, way up for Ancestry's new Sideview feature, which separates your AncestryDNA matches into maternal or paternal groups! This feature will be a game changer, particularly for people who are searching for clues about their birth parents.
Right now I have 88,831 DNA matches on Ancestry-- an overwhelming number-- and although I have worked diligently over the last few years to attribute my AncestryDNA matches to my ancestors, there are literally thousands of matches that I could never place. Now, with the ability to learn whether those matches are on my maternal or paternal side, there is a much better chance that I will be able to figure out how I am connected to those matches.
Since the update, when you go to your AncestryDNA matches the website will immediately show you the "By Parent" feature (BETA). At first, you will only see "Parent 1" and "Parent 2" as choices; you will have the opportunity to edit each parent to represent either your maternal or paternal side. In most cases, this should be pretty easy; a list of surnames and matches is provided to help you decide. **Hint** if you don't see anything definitive in the surname list, check out the matches.
For me, it was extremely easy to discern which Sideview parent was paternal!
As I have written many times before in this blog, I have a HUGE number of DNA matches to my paternal FRAZIER family, through the Quaker THOMAS FRAZIER Sr b 1725 North Carolina (and his wife MARY PUGH), down through his male descendants, to my paternal great grandmother CAROLINE AMELIA "CRAMELIA" FRAZIER HUBER. So attributing Parent 2 to the Paternal side was not a challenge!
Once I chose Parent 2 as Paternal, Ancestry marked my Parent 1 matches as Maternal. I was able to verify this by checking the DNA matches associated with Parent 1. It is fortunate that I have a few known close cousin matches on my maternal side, because the surname list was "generic" and would have offered no clues.
I am particularly excited to know which matches are Maternal in my list, since DNA matches for that side of my family tree have been few & far between (smaller families in general, fewer descendants). This tool will allow me to really hone in on my maternal ancestors who were "DNA providers."
Another great feature of Sideview is that it helps you correct your errors. Several matches I had previously marked as possibly related to BOTH my mother & father. Sideview has shown that those matches are actually on my Maternal side. At this time I have no DNA matches on Ancestry that are related to both parents.
If Ancestry disagrees with a parental designation that you had previously added to a match, it is marked in red. This allows you to go back & re-evaluate the match.
Overall, I am finding this feature to be a significant improvement for AncestryDNA. How could it be made even better? By adding a chromosome browser and/or showing segment & chromosome data for each match.
I have spent a lot of time cross-referencing my AncestryDNA matches with DNA matches on other testing websites & Gedmatch, and have added chromosome data to my AncestryDNA matches whenever possible. But finding those matches by cross-referencing doesn't happen frequently, and there are still thousands of matches in my list that are still unknown.
5694 of my AncestryDNA matches are currently marked "Unassigned". Looking forward to the next update!
Have a great day!
© Betty Tartas 2022