AncestryDNA is rolling out a new pricing scheme, called AncestryDNA Plus, that charges a small subscription fee to access to some advanced DNA tools, like SideView and Traits. SideView automatically sorts your matches into parental sides (i.e., Parent 1 and Parent 2) that can be manually assigned to maternal and paternal. Traits are genetic predictions about things like personality, appearance, and fitness.
If you already subscribe to the genealogy records at Ancestry.com, nothing will change for you or any DNA kits that you can view. If you don’t subscribe, you will soon lose access to these advanced features. In fact, you may have already lost access.
What can you do? If you’d like to preserve your maternal/paternal assignments, you can use the custom groups (colored dots) to replicate AncestryDNA’s assignments. Assigning colors one by one is tedious, so you’ll want to use my speedy trick. In your match list under “Groups”, select an assigned group (e.g, Maternal, Paternal, Parent 1, Parent 2) then use the “Click All Checkboxes” extension to assign a unique color to all group members at once. You can do the same for matches assigned to “Both sides” or “Unassigned” should you want to preserve those, as well.
Some of you will have already lost access to these features as freebies. Should you decide to subscribe temporarily, you can use this trick to retain the information once your subscription lapses.
On the plus side, Ancestry is promising to add “new and exciting features” to this subscription tier.
What might those new features be? They haven’t said, but I expect one of them to be the extension of SideView to the grandparent level. I would also love to see them add clustering.
And, of course, a lot of people would be thrilled to see them add a chromosome browser. I’m not saying they will—I have no insight into that—but they’d certainly get a lot of new subscribers if they did!