AncestryDNA Sideview Assigns Matches to Mom or Dad

Diahan Southard

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AncestryDNA Sideview now assigns matches to your parents’ families! This new feature helps answer one of the most frequently asked questions: “Which DNA matches are from my father vs my mother?”

Mom’s side, dad’s side? Wonder no more.

AncestryDNA announced its SideView technology in 2022 and we are seeing additional benefits from this technology! Now you can see your AncestryDNA matches assigned to either Parent 1 or Parent 2. But you should know that you can only utilize SideView technology if you have an AncestryDNA Plus or a full Ancestry subscription. 

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As you may recall when we talked about the Ethnicity Inheritance tool, the SideView technology relies on the DNA segments you share with your matches. Therefore, the more close matches who have tested, the better your result will be.

While you can see an indication of this parental inheritance on the main match page, its effects are best viewed by going to your list of matches and selecting the “By parent” tab at the top of the page. This will allow you to view your matches split up by parent.

Here are the four most important things to know about this feature of AncestryDNA Sideview:

  • In this view you will see matches in four categories: Parent 1, Parent 2, both, and unassigned.
  • Parent 1 and Parent 2 listed here are the same as those in the Ethnicity Inheritance tool. So if you have already figured out which is your dad based on that tool, the same is true here.
  • Those matches related to both of your parents could be due to endogamy (intermarrying within a particular culture or population generation after generation). In fact, this new Parental view might just help you identify endogamy you didn’t realize you had. If it does, consider our DNA and Endogamy course.
  • Your parents do not have to be tested for you to enjoy this feature. To be sorted, a match must have 90% of their segments identified as Parent 1 or Parent 2. If that doesn’t happen, they will be “unassigned.” Testing more of your close family members can actually help reduce this number of unassigned matches.

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Now at first glance, this sorting tool might be unimpressive. After all, if you have close matches like half siblings or first cousins, you can already sort your matches into two groups using the Shared Matches tool and the dot system at Ancestry (want to know more? Check out my YouTube video below on how I use the dot system).

However, this technology is better in two ways:

  • Your first cousins and even half-siblings will not be able to sort ALL of your matches because they just won’t share DNA with all of your matches who are related in a similar way.
  • Also, because we are using the Shared Matches tool on these first cousins and half-siblings to make these groups, we are only able to sort matches who share at least 20 cM with us and our known relatives. However, the SideView technology will sort ALL of your matches down to 8 cM.

This tool is potentially also a very exciting development for those with endogamy as previously using the Shared Matches tool to sort their matches by groups was just nearly impossible. But this new way of sorting may provide some clarity (but I haven’t had a good chance to evaluate this, so give me a minute!).

The new Parental Inheritance interface also shows you the surnames that are common to this particular group, which may help to confirm which parent is which when known names are identified, but may also provide clues to missing branches when you see names you don’t recognize reoccurring in the group.

In short, this new feature courtesy of the SideView technology will be an asset to any genetic genealogist looking to accurately sort their matches to identify their Best Matches to help them find that missing ancestor.

Now that you can see which of your matches are from your father’s side and which are from your mother’s side, maybe you’re feeling more confident about contacting your DNA matches, especially your Best Matches. Download our free guide for tips on how to communicate with your DNA matches.

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<a href="" target="_self">Diahan Southard</a>

Diahan Southard

As founder and CEO of Your DNA Guide, Diahan Southard has been teaching people how to find family history answers in their DNA for several years, and she's been in the genetic genealogy field since its infancy. Diahan teaches internationally, writes for popular magazines, consults with leading testing companies, is author of Your DNA Guide–The Book, and producer of Your DNA Guide–the Academy, an online learning experience.


  1. Dorothy Peterson

    Your book just arrived in the mail. In less than 24hrs I understand more about interpreting
    my results then I did jumping from one company to another over the years. The book is concise and a very easy read. Looking forward to your classes.

    • Diahan Southard

      I’m so happy to hear that, thank you for sharing. See you in class 🙂


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