This blog is about my discoveries and experiences in genetic genealogy focusing mainly on autosomal DNA where I figure out how my matches and I connect.  As a Kanaka Maoli [aboriginal Hawaiian], I am learning how complex autosomal DNA can be when looking for close matches among other Polynesians.

Polynesians are the results of successive founder’s effects and have gone through several bottle necking which resulted in the lack of genetic diversity.  As Polynesians slowly began moving towards the east, the lack of genetic diversity increased causing the extreme results that eastern Polynesians, i.e. Hawaiians & Maoris.

The scientific evidence confirms what we already knew from our oral traditions, that we come from the same few ancestors who came from different parts of Polynesia.

Kalani Mondoy




13 thoughts on “About

  1. I don’t know if this will help or not concerning the Bot 15 and 17 DNA. I might be able to help a bit with the story. My father is on the Colonial Spanish roles in North America. Meaning, his ancestors where in South America at the time these men were there, and probably when they passed. Since there were no women on those ships to my knowledge, This would mean a Spanish man, would have to had a child with a woman related to Bot 15 and 17, as Im related to both. Or maybe one, and they inter married? I am still working on my fathers Spanish history, as he passed before I met him, and Im adopted. I have no one to ask. Im filling in the blanks rather quickly. Some how that Native child ended up in North America. Although Im not sure how many generations it took? My point being, the Spanish did have something to do with this. I dont’ know if they went to the islands? Or traded with people that did? I do know that some where along the line, a Spanish man, had a child with daughter of Bot 15 and 17. I hope this helps?


    • So what I did not say, is that recently (I think it was back in June?) it was revealed that basically the Botocudo skulls were mislabeled. Actually, it was found in the archives of the former Wellington Colonial Museum (now known as Te Papa Tongarewa) that there was a Maori and a Moriori skull that coincided with the dates of when the skulls were catalogued in Rio. They haven’t repatriated those skulls yet.


  2. Morena Kalani,

    Your work is facinating! I wonder if you could assist us with something?

    We have all taken the ancestry DNA test and my wife’s dad is “100% Polynesian.” He is Samoan born but what is interesting is that he is “4th cousins of closer” at high probability with New Zealanders with only Maori and Pakeha ancestors.

    I’ve also done the test and what I know is that someone who connects to you genetically as closely as I’ve described above will mean there are fairly “close” traceable ancestors – and usually closer than 4th cousins. Plus he has quite a few more Maori cousins more distantly.

    I had originally just assumed that due to generic closeness between Maori and Samoan meant that there will be connections generations ago and that’s what we would be seeing. Having read your blog I’m now thinking there must be an actual recent common ancestor however.

    Do you have any suggestions? Thanks in advance.


    • Hey Nick,

      What does morena mean? I know of one meaning. 😀

      Polynesians lack genetic diversity. That’s the short version. Samoans and Tongans being western Polynesians and much, much older than the rest of us are much more diverse than eastern Polynesians like Tahitians, Maoris and Hawaiians. This is why Hawaiians and Maoris and Tahitians are close matches to each other. My mother’s matches (from August when I last counted) showed 133 possible 2nd – 3rd cousins (predicted 2nd cousins), and many of them are Maoris, not all Hawaiians.

      The Samoans and Tongans will come up as a more distant match, again because they’re more diverse than eastern Polys. Imagine a bowl of M&M candies in various colors like red, blue, green, yellow & orange. That’s western Polynesians. Then some of those M&Ms are taken out of that bowl, like when a group of Polynesians left that area, to start a population in a new area. The new founding population begins to marry among each other and produce offspring. Their offspring will carry their DNA. In a bowl, that could be just some red and blue, a few yellow and no orange. Since there’s a lot of red and blue, there is a greater chance of that color appearing more, just as certain traits or segments of DNA can appear in a population if there’s more of it.

      Then again it is repeated, people leave that new island for yet another, only some. In a bowl of M&Ms, that could mean maybe the red, maybe the blue, maybe it could be just the yellow and blue. And in turn that is passed on and so forth.

      So, eastern Polys are basically that one or two or three colors. And no, the proximity had nothing to do with it, esp. if we look at the linguistic evidence plus we have oral traditions. For the Maoris, they have ties to Hawaiki and Rangiatea according to their traditions. Ra’iatea’s old name was Havai’i. And it was from Tahiti did the last expansion move out to the north (Hawaii), east (easter island) and south west area (aotearoa).


  3. KiaOra 🙂 plz excuse my complete ignorance around Polynesian DNA but question i have is my Uncle who is supposedly NZ Maori for 20 or so generations has FTDNA matches all around the 600cms mark all belonging to Kalani MONDOY family.Can you plz help make sense of this as we would have assumed that Hawaiin DNA would show but not at that high level? Nga Mihi julez


  4. You’re welcome!

    It is interesting, as we know we are cousins, but to see how DNA predicts a much, much closer prediction despite the 8 centuries of isolation.


    • Most definately it also confuses the mix when trying to sort thru gedmatches lolz..There is one match which is 795cms and is no way the uncle or brother it says the match would be.
      So really we may not find current generation matches as all could be the big mix from ions ago?


      • When looking at something that close, look at the largest segment or longest block. They should be well over 20cM, preferably more than 30cM.


  5. I’ve really enjoyed following your blog, the work you’ve done is fantastic! I have to admit, I get lost sometimes in just how much information there is on this! I wanted to ask you for some start-up advice for someone who is about to go on some ancestory hunting of their own!

    My boyfriend is Hawaiian, Guamanian, and Filipino. He doesn’t know what percentage of his DNA comes from each or if there are other polynesian groups in there as well. I was going to get a DNA kit for him around christmas so he could figure it out but most of them seem lacking in information. If he gets a test back that says 45% polynesian and 55% southeast asian, he won’t really learn anything from it. What test should I get for him that will get him the most information and the biggest bang for my buck? What additional research could I do with his genetic code to reveal more about where his ancestors came from?



    • Hi Kellen,

      Thank you! MyHeritageDNA.com has a sale still as they are new. It’s only $69, so check it out. I think the sale is until Oct 8th? I could be wrong. But they seem to be good with separating the Filipino and Hawaiian, at least for me. But for others, if we have a small percentage of European, that is reduced or removed. And since your bf is Guamanian (Chamorro?), that would definitely affect the results as I’ve yet to see someone of Chamorro & Filipino background get tested. Not to mention combined with Hawaiian, definitely would be interesting to see!

      If you end up getting a DNA test from Ancestry (currently not on sale), you can always upload the raw data (after receiving the results) to MyHeritageDNA.com for free, while that free upload lasts. That may change in the future.

      How much has he traced on his Guamanian & Filipino side? I only ask about those lines as I’m unfamiliar with Guamanian records and know that Filipinos don’t know how to access records to research their Filipino side.


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