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List of genetic results derived from historical figures

This is a list of genetic results derived from historical figures. Some people who trace their direct maternal or paternal ancestry to a noted historical figure have undergone genealogical DNA tests and have made their results publicly available.


Y DNA results

These results are Y-DNA genealogical DNA tests of men who have inferred paternal descent from historical figures. Scientists make the inference as a hypothesis which could be disproved or improved by future research.

John Adams

John Adams belonged to Y-DNA haplogroup R1b. [1]

Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton belonged to Y-DNA haplogroup I1a. [2] [3]

Thomas Jefferson

Main article: Jefferson DNA data

Direct male-line sons of a cousin of United States president Thomas Jefferson were DNA tested to investigate historical assertions that Jefferson fathered children with at least one of his slaves.[1] An extended 17-marker haplotype was published in 2007,[2] and the company Family Tree DNA has also published results for other markers in its standard first 12-marker panel.[3] Combining these sources gives the consolidated 21-marker haplotype below. The Jeffersons belong to Haplogroup K2.

DYS 393 390 19 391 385a 385b 426 388 439 389i 392 389ii 437 460 438 461 462 436 434 435 DXYS
Alleles 13 24 15 10 13 16 11 12 12 12 15 27 14 10 9 11 13 12 11 11 12

(Note: the value of DXYS 156Y was reported as 7 in the original paper. This is believed to translate to 12 in the convention now used by DNA testing labs and online databases)

Ysearch: Q8UXG (9 Y-STRs)

Genghis Khan

DNA purported to be from Genghis Khan does not have the benefit of near and easily documented lineages, but a distinct 'modal' result centers today on Mongolia; some question how accurate the articles relaying the information are.

According to Zerjal et al (2003),[4] Genghis Khan is believed to have belonged to Haplogroup C.

DYS 393 390 391 425 426 434 435 436 437i 438 439 388 389i 389ii 392
Alleles 13 25 10 12 11 11 11 12 8 10 10 14 10 26 1

According to Family Tree DNA,[5] Genghis Khan is believed to have belonged to Haplogroup C3.

Extended 25 Marker Y-DNA modal based on Mongolians matching the above modal haplotype in the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation database,[6] which also corresponds to the modal assigned to Genghis Khan released by Family Tree DNA:[5]

DYS 393 390 19 391 385a 385b 426 388 439 389i 392 389ii 458 459a 459b 455 454 447 437 448 449 464a 464b 464c 464d
Alleles 13 25 16 10 12 13 11 14 10 13 11 29 18 8 8 11 12 26 14 22 27 11 11 12 16

Ysearch: GF44B (78 Y-STRs)

Niall of the Nine Hostages

A recent study conducted at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland[7] found that a striking percentage of men in Ireland (and quite a few in Scotland) share the same Y chromosome, suggesting that the 5th-century warlord known as "Niall of the Nine Hostages" may be the ancestor of one in 12 Irishmen. Niall established a dynasty of powerful chieftains that dominated the island for six centuries. Niall belongs to Haplogroup R1b1c7 (M222). It should be noted that Dr. Moore's results examined some different parts of DNA (loci) from the result given here.

DYS 393 390 19 391 385a 385b 426 388 439 389i 392 389ii 458 459a 459b 455 454 447 437 448 449 464a 464b 464c 464d
Alleles 13 25 14 11 11 13 12 12 12 13 14 29 17 9 10 11 11 25 15 18 30 15 16 16 17

Ysearch: M5UKQ


Main article: Somerled

In 2003 Oxford University researchers traced the Y-chromosome signature of Somerled of Argyll, one of Scotland's greatest warriors who is credited with driving out the Vikings. He was also the founder of Clan Donald and it is through the clan genealogies of the clan that the genetic relation was mapped out.[8] Somerled belongs to haplogroup R1a1.

In 2005 a study by Professor of Human Genetics Bryan Sykes of Oxford University led to the conclusion that Somerled has possibly 500,000 living descendants - making him the second most common historical ancestor after Genghis Khan[9]

The Y-DNA sequence is as follows (12 markers): [4]

DYS 393 390 19 391 385a 385b 426 388 439 389i 392 389ii 458 459a 459b 455 454 447 437 448 449 464a 464b 464c 464d
Alleles 13 25 15 11 11 14 12 12 10 14 11 31 16 8 10 11 11 23 14 20 31 12 15 15 16

Ysearch: YS495

Joseph Stalin

Main article: Joseph Stalin

Joseph Stalin, from a genetic test on his grandson (his son Vasily's son; Alexander Burdonsky) shows his Y-DNA haplogroup to be G2a1 [5]

DYS 393 390 19 391 385A 385B 426 388 439 389I 392 389II 458 459A 459B 455 454 447 437 448 449 464A 464B 464C 464D
Alleles 14 23 15 9 15 16 11 12 11 11 10 28 17 9 9 11 11 25 16 21 28 13 13 14 14

Ysearch: GF44B

mtDNA results

The following are mtDNA results for historical figures who have had mitochondrial DNA tested.

Jesse James

In 1995 the body of Jesse James was exhumed and compared to two known living relatives, making a perfect match on both counts.

Name mitochondrial DNA sequence Haplogroup
body attributed to Jesse James 16126C, 16274A, 16294T, 16296T, 16304C T2

Luke the Evangelist

A body attributed to Luke the Evangelist that resides in Padua, Italy, underwent a mtDNA (mitochondrial DNA) test:

Name Location Approximate lifetime mitochondrial DNA sequence Haplogroup
body attributed to Luke the Evangelist Italy 1,850 years ago 16235G, 16291T H

Marie Antoinette

DNA taken from a lock of Marie Antoinettes hair cut from her as a child matched DNA believed to be from her son, King Louis XVII

Name mitochondrial DNA sequence Haplogroup
DNA attributed to Marie Antoinette 16519C, 152C, 194T, 263G, 315.1C H


The remains of Francesco Petrarca had DNA extracted from them in 2003.

Name mitochondrial DNA sequence Haplogroup
body attributed to Petrarch 16126C, 16193T, 16311C J2

Romanov: Tzar Nicholas II of Russia and Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna

Main articles: Alexandra Fyodorovna of Hesse and Nicholas II of Russia

Tzar Nicholas II of Russia and Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna were DNA tested along with the other bodies in their mass grave. The tests concluded that five of the skeletons were members of one family and four were unrelated. Three of the five were determined to be the children of two parents. The mother was linked to the British royal family, as was Alexandra. The father was determined to be related to several other Romanovs. Scientists said they were more than 99% sure that the remains were those of the Czar, his family and their attendants. Two skeletons remain unaccounted for: Alexei, the 13-year-old heir to the throne, and one of his sisters, either Maria or Anastasia. Anastasia received worldwide notoriety when rumors spread that she alone had survived the murders.

  • Tzar Nicholas Romanov & Count Trubetskoy: mtDNA Haplogroup T (16126C, 16169Y*, 16294T, 16296T, 73G, 263G, 315.1C)
  • Empress Alexandra & Prince Philip: mtDNA Haplogroup H (16111T, 16357C, 263G, 315.1C)

*Tsar Nicholas has a heteroplasmy, an instance of multiple mitochondrial types together in one cell of an individual: a normal & mutational cell, at 16169Y. The results were the same for Grand Duke Georgij Romanov, his brother.

Yasdigird the Sasanian, King of Persia

Yasdigird has potentially been shown to belong to mtDNA haplogroup J1a [6]


  1. ^ Foster, EA; Jobling MA, Taylor PG, Donnelly P, de Knijff P, Mieremet R, Zerjal T, Tyler-Smith C (1998). "Jefferson fathered slave’s last child". Nature 396 (6706): 27–28. doi:10.1038/23835. PMID 9817200.
  2. ^ King, TE; Bowden GR, Balaresque PL, Adams SM, Shanks ME, Jobling MA (2007). "Thomas Jefferson's Y chromosome belongs to a rare European lineage". Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 132 (4): 584–9. doi:10.1002/ajpa.20557. PMID 17274013.
  3. ^ Family Tree DNA. Comparing yourself to the Jefferson DNA. Retrieved on 2007-05-16.
  4. ^ Zerjal, T; Xue Y, Bertorelle G, Wells RS, Bao W, Zhu S, Qamar R, Ayub Q, Mohyuddin A, Fu S, Li P, Yuldasheva N, Ruzibakiev R, Xu J, Shu Q, Du R, Yang H, Hurles ME, Robinson E, Gerelsaikhan T, Dashnyam B, Mehdi SQ, Tyler-Smith C (2003). "The Genetic Legacy of the Mongols". American Journal of Human Genetics 72 (3): 717-21. PMID 12592608.
  5. ^ a b Family Tree DNA. Matching Genghis Khan. Retrieved on 2007-05-16.
  6. ^ SMGF: Genghis Khan modal haplotype search results.
  7. ^ Moore LT, McEvoy B, Cape E, Simms K, Bradley DG (2006). "A y-chromosome signature of hegemony in gaelic ireland". Am. J. Hum. Genet. 78 (2): 334-8. doi:10.1086/500055. PMID 16358217.
  8. ^ The Norse Code
  9. ^ DNA shows Celtic hero Somerled's Viking roots, The Scotsman, 26 Apr 2006

See also

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "List_of_genetic_results_derived_from_historical_figures". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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