How 1 in 200 Men Today Have Genghis Khan’s Y Chromosome

16 million men can trace their descent back to Genghis Khan.

Sal
Lessons from History
6 min readMar 22, 2024

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Genghis Khan with sons | Image Source: Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)

Genghis Khan was the founder and first Khan of the Mongol Empire. He was a fearsome warrior and leader with exceptional military skills and strategy that helped him set the foundation for one of the largest empires in human history.

From 1206 to 1227, Genghis Khan transformed social and political life across the many continents he ruled. He was also known to be a prolific lover who frequently impregnated the women he came across as he rapidly expanded his empire across Eurasia.

Scholars claim that he was responsible for impregnating more than 1,000 women during his reign. Nearly nine hundred years later, genetic experts estimate that every 1 in 200 men alive today are his descendants.

A rival tribe abducted his first wife

During the 13th century, the Mongols were polygamists (a person who has more than one partner at the same time), although the men were more so than women. This meant that Mongol men could have as many wives as they wanted. They could even buy wives, although not all of them were purchased. The women played various roles in Mongol society.

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Sal
Lessons from History

I am a History Educator and a Lifelong Learner with a Masters in Global History.