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When it comes to who you are and where you're from, there's the information handed down from your parents and grandparents, and then there's the story your DNA tells.

But how closely do these two actually relate? Could your grandparents have embellished things? Or has your family been able to keep tabs on everything through the generations?

We took three NZME. employees who were certain of unique or distinctive DNA profiles and had them take a MyHeritage DNA test. There were, to say the least, some surprises.



What did you think your DNA profile would show?

I thought it would show that I am Scandinavian and that I have some Maori blood.

What was your reaction to the results?

I was super surprised by the extent of Scandinavian that I had. I really expected there to be more of a mix of things, not such a majority.

Do the results change anything?

It definitely makes me want to travel to Sweden. It's always a country I have been interested in visiting but now I really want to go and see what it is like. Who knows, might even see my doppelgänger.


What did you think your DNA profile would show?

I guessed there'd be predominantly European ethnicity - English, Irish and Welsh - but also Maori from my dad's side. There's also been mention of Spanish and German heritage.

What was your reaction to the results?

The European component wasn't a surprise. But the lack of Maori or Polynesian DNA definitely was. The small percentage of Finnish heritage was interesting and I was completely confused by the Central American and South Asian revelations.

Do the results change anything?

Not really. It's definitely interesting and a really fun thing to check out. I'm keen to look up my family tree now and find out about some connections that might be of interest to my parents and other family members.


What did you think your DNA profile would show?

I didn't know a great deal about where either side of my family came from, but I felt certain I had English ancestry from both parents and that my mum carried Native American DNA from her biological grandfather.

What was your reaction to the results?

I was totally shocked to find that I had no traces of American Indian DNA in my genetic profile. It really made me question why that was and how that could have been lost in just a few generations.

It also came as a shock to me that I had such a large percentage of Eastern European DNA from Russia and Ukraine.

Do the results change anything?

I have never really had an interest in visiting Eastern European countries, but after finding out that 18 per cent of who I am comes from those countries, it has sparked a new interest in those areas for sure.

It also could be the perfect excuse for a summer getaway to Spain and Portugal, right?


After learning about our heritage, we had some questions for Rafi Mendelsohn from MyHeritage DNA. Here's what he had to say about the process, common Kiwi heritage and why sibling DNA doesn't always match.

How it works

"MyHeritage DNA is a very simple cheek swab, you take the swab on the inside of your cheek for thirty seconds, and the second one on the other side for thirty seconds.

"A DNA test with us has two things: There's firstly the ethnicity results, so the breakdown of your DNA according to bio ethnicity. And the second thing is the matches out of all the people who have taken the DNA test with us, those are the people [who] share your DNA and are your relatives."

Your DNA may not match your siblings, despite having the same parents

"Imagine you are making a big pot of chicken soup. You add all the ingredients, the chicken, the vegetables, the seasoning and then you ladle out a bowl of your chicken soup in one bowl. That is your DNA.

"Then you ladle out a second bowl, and in that second bowl is your siblings or a relative of yours. The exact make up of the two different bowls, it comes from the same place, the source is the same, the ingredients are the same, but the actual make up might be slightly different."

Common Kiwi heritage

"Out of all the thousands of people who have taken a test with MyHeritage DNA in New Zealand, it won't surprise you to know that one of the highest ethnicities that comes up is Polynesian. But also we see lots of people who have English, lots of people who have Scandinavian, North and Western Europe and also Iberian, which covers Spain and Portugal."