You Might Be Related to Genghis Khan

In A Nutshell

Genghis Khan was one of the greatest warlords of all time, ruling over an empire that rivaled that of Alexander the Great. Rising up from the role of a tribesman to become the ruler who was savage in his war practices, raping and murdering all those who stood in his path, his empire lasted for 150 years after his death—but his legacy continues to this day. According to a study done in 2003, it appears that 1 in every 200 men are descendants of Genghis Khan. Almost 800 years after his death, 0.5 percent of the men who are alive today carry his chromosomes.

The Whole Bushel

Mongolia, 1162. With a blood clot in his hand (a sign that his Mongolian mother believed indicated a life of great leadership), a boy named Temujin entered this world. The Mongol tribes at the time were not united, and life in the Mongol world was not an easy one. The need for building alliances was driven home to Temujin, later known as Genghis Khan, at a very young age. At age nine he was taken to live with the family of his future bride, Borte. The events that unfolded next were to light a spark within young Temujin that would spur him to change the face of the world, geographically and genetically.

Before we move ahead, we must jump back for a moment. Temujin received his name from his father who named him after a Tartar chieftain he had captured and now as his father was riding home from dropping young Temujin off with his fiancé’s family he came across a Tartar tribe who invited him in for a meal to show there were no hard feelings over this kidnapping, next thing you know Temujin’s father is poisoned in retaliation for his “past transgressions against the Tartars,”. When Temujin learns of his father’s death he raced home to claim his rightful place as chieftain of his clan, however, he was just a little kid so he was basically shoved out into the cold along with his family of younger brothers. The tension within the clan and the family mounted to the point where Temujin killed one of his half-brothers in an argument while hunting, although he lost a brother the death of this brother set Temujin up as the clan chieftain.

When Temujin was 20 he was captured and enslaved but was able to escape and began to build his army. First, he joined up with his brothers and clansmen and began to untie the Mongol clans eventually amassing an army of 20,000 men. His first target were the Tartars, in what were to become infamous military tactics Temujin took out the Tartars mercilessly slaughtering every Tartar male over 3 feet high (apparently measured by the height of a wagon wheel); he then attacked the clan that had enslaved him, brutally slayed them and then boiled their chiefs alive. The Mongol leader was so fierce that he was responsible for decimating entire Dynasties whilst building his vast empire.

Part of Genghis Khans warfare tactics included not only using the citizens of previously enslaved cities as human shields when they attacked the next but also the rape of whatever women he found along his travels, in this way he left behind many children; I mean tons. It makes sense I guess: take over, slaughter the men, and rape and impregnate the women. So Genghis Khan and his Mongol hoard raped and pillaged their way to glory, now this is where it gets interesting from a genetic standpoint. As Genghis Khan was prolific in his procreational talents, not only with the victims of his wars, but through his four legitimate wives it turns out that at the time of his death approximately 10% of the population within the Mongol Empire were descendants of Genghis Khan; he had amassed a huge empire not only in terms of land but in terms of descendants as well.

A study done in 2003 identified a Y chromosome that had several mutations or markers that was predominant within a larger area of Asia, basically the area that Genghis conquered. The Y chromosome is passed on from father to son and this particular Y-chromosome and its genetic markers one can be traced back to approximately 1000 years ago originating in Mongolia. By tracing lineage back from people who carry these markers and are believed to be direct descendants scientists have come to the conclusion that this chromosome is from Genghis Khan who had probably inherited it from his great great grandfather.

Now the study basically says that the rapid spread of this Y-chromosome is not a usual occurrence and that it did, in fact, occur because of “a novel form of social selection resulting from their behavior”; in layman’s terms because Genghis Khan and his descendants had unprotected sex with a plethora of women their descendants today account for 1 in every 200 men or basically approximately .5% of the total world’s population that is 0.5 percent of the world’s men directly descended from one man in one way or another, that is staggering.

The study can trace the lineage backwards from people claiming to be direct descendants of Genghis Khan; beginning with the Hazra people the scientists have used whom they believe to be descendants who share this Y-chromosome as a guideline to drawing their conclusions; however until we are able to locate, excavate and perform D.N.A. tests upon the body of Genghis Khan it is all well-formed, logical, historically based, genetic speculation; the fact remains though 0.5 percent of the men in the world share the same ancestor, and that is only based on the male chromosomes, if we can find a way to include women I am sure we would find that the results would be even more staggering.

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