18 August 2016
Genghis Khan, founder of the Mongol Empire, died on 18 August 1227
On this day in history, 1227: Genghis Khan, founder of the Mongol Empire, dies.
By the end of his life Genghis Khan ruled over much of central Asia and China, a territory gained, often through genocide, and one that he divided between his sons and grandsons as his ruling successors.
Perhaps, to us, as family historians, it is the size of his possible family tree that is of far greater interest than the magnitude of his former lands, however.
Legends have long abounded that vast numbers of people walking the planet today are direct descendants of Genghis Khan. With the advent of DNA testing, this tale is being put to the test.
Geneticists have identified that Genghis Khan may have belonged to Haplogroup C-M217. And a major DNA testing company has released a 25 marker Y-DNA profile for Genghis Khan. Direct male line descendants of Genghis Khan should match these figures – the Y-chromosome being passed from father-to-son over the generations – and it is estimated that about 0.5% of men in the world fit the bill.
After such an unforgettable life, Genghis Khan was laid to rest – as many of our ancestors, and his descendants, were - in an unmarked grave in a location that has been lost to history.
Pictured: Is this man your ancestor? DNA testing suggests that Genghis Khan has millions of descendants walking the planet today.