The randomness of autosomal DNA

Now that Ancestry is able to show how many centimorgans and number of segments are shown, I was comparing my top two closest matches.  They are listed as “lkauhi” and “Frank”.  They are under the 2nd cousin category predicted in the 2nd – 3rd cousin range.

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Prior to my mother getting DNA tested, I had no idea exactly how close they would really be.   Now that my mother got DNA tested and I figured out who my mother’s biological parents were, I was able to construct a diagram.  “lkauhi” is on my grandfather’s side while Frank is on my grandmother’s side.

How Frank & “lkauhi” are related to me.

My mother Judy is a 2nd cousin to “lkauhi”.  That makes me and “lkauhi” 2nd cousins once removed.  While Frank and I are 2nd cousins, because his mother and my mother are 1st cousins.

Here is how much Frank and I share and how much “lkauhi” and I share.

Screen Shot 2015-12-02 at 1.53.14 PM

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224 centimorgans is what “lkauhi” and I share

And although my mother shares 439cM with Frank while sharing 430cM with “lkauhi” (not shown in any diagram), the amount shared seems pretty high for a 2nd cousin.  However, we are talking about Hawaiians whose ancestors have gone through repeated founder’s effect which resulted in our high shared amounts.  She in return managed to pass unto me more of her father’s DNA so that when compared with “lkauhi” we end up sharing more compared to Frank who is in my generation and on my grandmother’s side of the family.  Unfortunately my grandparents are not alive to get them DNA tested for a true comparison.

Also, both of these people have not transferred over to GEDmatch so I am unable to get a better comparison.  This reminds me of what my cousins said about how much I look a lot like our uncle, and that both my mother and I really look like my grandfather Joseph Kaapuiki.  Maybe it is something genetic?  If my mother shared a lot with “lkauhi”, it could be because we inherited more from Elena Kauhi, my mother’s paternal grandmother.

The good thing about all of this is that it confirms that Joseph Akana fka Joseph Kaapuiki was my mother Judy’s biological father, since Joseph’s mother was Elena Kauhi.  And “lkauhi’s paternal grandfather Johnathan Kauhi was a brother to Elena Kauhi.

Both of these closest matches are from each of my maternal grandparents’ side.  Frank is from my grandmother Rose Kanae’s side while “lkauhi” is from my grandfather Joseph Kaapuiki’s mother Elena Kauhi’s side.

5 thoughts on “The randomness of autosomal DNA

  1. This is very interesting, the fact that you can receive more dna likeness from one side of the family. In essence, all we have to do is look at the person’s physical traits and personality to determine which side of the family they’ll take after. And dna will verify the amounts.
    Mahalo for sharing Kalani,



    • Unfortunately I don’t have people willing to test all grandparents compared to more than one grandchild, but have seen two different people recently posted their results. In fact one person has always mentioned & showed how they really do not get 25% from each grandparent. But it very interesting to see!

      I am assuming that if they physically resemble one branch of the family more than the other, that could probably mean that they inherited more DNA from that branch vs. the other branches. And as you said, only the DNA could verify that. Of course I am comparing ONE relative on my KANAE-HOLBRON side vs. ONE relative on my KAUHI side. I’d need more relatives on both sides to really see how that could be true or not. But very interesting to see.


  2. This is very interesting, Kalany.
    Its beautiful to see how you can relate DNA and family history with land, immigration and world history.
    I was curious to know, what does it mean for you to be more than 25% DNA from one side or other side, and what it means for your community?


    • Hi Gis. I’m not sure if you are referring to Hawaiians and blood quantum? They are the only Polynesians I know that has a situation where the amount of blood quantum determines whether or not the U.S. Govt. will provide for, or exclude you from certain privileges. A few coming from the federal, most however coming off of revenue generated by the “State of Hawaii” which came via the Crown Lands, or government lands that the Hawaiian Kingdom owned. But strictly on a DNA level, we can see how random that is and it’s not always clear cut.


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