Separating maternal matches from paternal matches

A problem that endogamy presents is when you have a match who matches you on both your paternal and maternal sides of the tree.  If you do not know how you are related, figuring out the connection is challenging.

Working out how matches for my mother are connected can be difficult.  Both of her parents were Kanaka Maoli.  So unless they have trees or I have the motivation to trace a match’s ancestors beyond what they already have, I usually would ignore the match. It takes a lot of work to distinguish if the match is related on my mother’s paternal or maternal side.

While it is only my mother who comes from an endogamous background, my father, on the other hand, was Filipino and I get very distant matches on that side.  And like my endogamous side, I pay no attention unless the match has a tree where I could figure out our connection.

Being from Hawai’i, I do encounter a lot of matches who are like me where they are part Filipino and part Kanaka Maoli.  I have seen a few matches whose trees indicated ties to the same island as my Filipino grandmother.  For their Hawaiian branches, they may or may not show the same geographic area where my Kanaka ancestors lived.  For the most part, we do tend to match on a DNA level because of the endogamous side as I mentioned earlier, the matches on my Filipino side are usually distant.

Here I demonstrate showing my closest cousins on my Filipino side, and how they can easily match up relatives on my Kanaka side.  Basically, my mother matches a few of my cousins on my father’s side.  It is because my Filipino cousins are also part Kanaka Maoli, and they are connecting to my mother via that side.  Of course, something like DNAPainter or Kitty Cooper’s Segment Mapper could be used to show which segments are from my father versus my mother.  But the point here is to just compare how my paternal cousins also match my maternal cousins.

Paternal cousins indicated in RED and maternal cousins in BLUE.


I indicate the relationship (for the ones without names) how they are related to me, e.g.  1st cousin (1C), 1st cousin twice removed (1C2R).

For my maternal cousins in blue, I list how much they share with my paternal cousins.  But for my mother and myself, I show how much we share with both my paternal and maternal cousins.  In some cases, my cousins on my mother’s side have other endogamous (Kanaka) lines so they might share more DNA than expected compared to another closer relative of theirs, or even to my mother.  For an example, take a closer look at cousin #6 and to their parent cousin #5.  Another example is cousin #3 and #4 compared to my mother.

In the example above I only used my close paternal cousins, and know how we connect.  But when dealing with distant matches and no trees, it will be difficult to differentiate paternal versus maternal matches.

This does not include recent pedigree collapse where I do have on my Filipino side cousins who share the same common ancestors more than once, or where I have cousins who are related to each other in more than one way.  This can also affect the amount of DNA shared.

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