January 21st, 2010

What I Discovered About Genghis Khan’s DNA Has me Searching My Family Genealogy And Might Have You Doing It Too!

It wasn’t what I anticipated as I lazily enjoyed an evening of history on television last week. In 2003, Researchers found, that nearly 8% of the 200 men living in the region of the former Mongol Empire, carry nearly identical Y-chromosomes. That’s about 0.5% of the men in the world or roughly 1 in every 200 men. This led the researchers to believe they all had a common fore-father.

I sat straight up in my chair and listened more intently. And to my surprise; I learned Genghis Khan’s DNA might possibly be in my family genealogy! and he could be in yours too!

No way, that is impossible, I thought. I have to check this out.

Who was Genghis Khan?

Genghis Khan (1162-1227), born in Mongolia, is infamous for attempting (and partially succeeding) to conquer the world. His empire stretched all the way from Poland in the West to Korea in the East. From Vietnam in the South to the Arctic Shores of Russia in the north. In his quest to rule the world, he attacked and captured many countries and took advantage of the women.

Considering his military successes, it is difficult to argue that Genghis Khan was one of the greatest military minds in history. He was relentless in his quest. To his credit, only few armies have succeeded in conquering Russia.

Is Genghis Khan your Grandfather?

In an article in National Geographic News from February 14, 2003, researchers found that the widespread appearance of Genghis Khan’s DNA is a clear example that culture plays a big role in genetic variation and diversity in human population. This is the first documented case when human culture has caused a single genetic lineage to increase to such an enormous extent in only a few hundred years.

Does this mean, more people are from the same family tree than we have come to believe? I mean, is my next-door neighbor my cousin or the Prime Minister of Pakistan my great-great grandfather? Is Genghis Khan your grandfather? (Khan is a popular name in Pakistan).

But even if your name isn’t Khan, and you have no direct reason to believe Genghis Kahn is in your family tree, his DNA can be found all over Europe and Russia – where my family and many North American families originate. You can read more about DNA Genealogy in an earlier post called DNA Genealogy: The Fascinating Link to Our Origins.

History has it that Genghis Khan’s oldest son had 40 sons of his own. Reportedly, his grandson, Kublai Khan had 22 legitimate sons and every year added 30 virgins to his harem. The exact number of sons Genghis Khan had is unknown, but documented evidence show he had at least four.

Multiple wives having multiple children is a definite recipe for spreading DNA.

Wouldn’t you like to know who’s really in your Family Tree?

I hope you are as curious as I am to explore this possibility. Will this information add another branch to my Family Tree? Is Genghis Khan’s DNA is in your family tree?

I don’t know how long it will take or what you will find. But I would love to know where your research takes you.

I hope eventually researchers will find Genghis Khan’s remains, extract his DNA and solve the mystery. How interesting that would be?

Tell me. Would you have your DNA tested? You can test it right now and find out what how you are related genetically to others and find out if the journey your ancestors took made them cross paths with dear old Grampa Genghis. You can order ancestral DNA genealogy testing kits online from GeneTree.com.

Please leave a comment or drop me a line. Let me know what you think.