In October, AncestryDNA added a new feature building off its SideView Chart. It can now sort your matches into maternal and paternal sides of your tree. It’s taken me awhile to play with the feature and these are my impressions.
First off, this is what SideView looks like. I’m fortunate that my parents had very different backgrounds so it was easy for me to label the two sides.
Once I applied labels to SideView, the matches sorted into maternal, paternal, both sides, and unassigned. If you have not labeled your SideView Chart, you will see parent 1 and parent 2 as your labels.
Since I was able to label the two sides of my Side View Chart, mine says maternal/paternal. If you know which side is which, you can label yours, too! On the SideView page, scroll down to this chart and click on Edit Parents.
One thing you can do with these new labels is label and color code your matches by parent. There are two ways to do it. The long way is to click on By Parent on your match screen. This takes you do a overview page. You click on View Matches under either Maternal or Paternal which takes you back to your match screen.
Or, on the match screen, click on Groups in the upper menu. Then, choose Maternal or Paternal.
You’ll see something like this:
By clicking on Maternal or Paternal, you can see all the matches that have been grouped either way. Remember, if you haven’t labeled your SideView Chart, you are going to see parent 1 and parent 2. The match below is labelled maternal side because it comes from my mom’s side of the tree.
Note that some are unassigned. As Ancestry perfects this, we should see more and more matches get labeled. From what I understand, new matches are not automatically assigned.
Have you spent time labelling your matches as mother’s side or father’s side already? These will appear under Custom label maternal/paternal side. I don’t think this is ready for prime time yet. I’ve label at least 50 matches, maybe more, but it only shows under 10 for each side.
Parental sorting is going to be more helpful for some than others. If both your parents come from the same village or there’s endogamy in your tree, you may not be able to benefit as much from this. It can be possible to label your SideView Chart even with these challenges.
According to AncestryDNA, I have 5607 maternal matches, 1239 paternal matches, and 1482 unassigned matches. I have zero both sides matches which is a good thing! I did find a handful of people who were incorrectly labelled. Less than 5. That’s not really bad when you are counting in the thousands.
Have you played with the sorting feature? If so, tell us what you think in the comments. How has it worked for you?