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Famous DNA

Contested DNA Results

From ISOGG Wiki

The object of our Famous DNA pages is to provide information for educational purposes and interest. This is a rapidly advancing field and the technology for reading and interpreting ancient and forensic DNA evidence is constantly evolving. Consequently the results of earlier studies, especially those published prior to the advent of next generation sequencing, may be unreliable. Inclusion of studies on these pages does not imply endorsement from ISOGG. Please read the full text of the our disclaimer page for more information. Any linked pages listed on this page may be broken down into DNA types or groups and there may be specific pages with additional information about a specific person or group.

Contested or questionable Famous DNA which needs more conclusive studies to prove or disprove the results.


Aaron, Jewish, Cohen, probably related Y-DNA

DNA results of groups of people.

Y-chromosomal Aaron is the hypothesized most recent common ancestor of members of the Jewish priestly caste known as Kohanim (singular "Kohen", "Cohen", or Kohane). About half of contemporary Jewish Kohanim share the "Extended Cohen Modal Haplotype" in a subhaplogroup of J1-L862,L147.1: YSC235>PF4847/CTS11741>YSC234>ZS241>ZS227>Z18271 (age estimate 2731yBP).[1]. A further approximately 15% of Kohanim fall into J2a-L24: L25>PF7431>PF5368>FGC4992. The other 19 smaller lineage groups fall into subgroups of E, G, H, I, J2a, J2b, L, Q, R and T.


DNA results of individuals.

Cheddar Man

In 1903, skeletal remains were found in a cave in Cheddar, England. The remains of a 23 year-old man, who was killed by a blow to the face, were discovered to be at least 9,000 years old. Ninety-four years after the discovery of "Cheddar Man", scientists were able to extract mitochondrial DNA from his tooth cavity.[2]

Name Haplo Haplotype
Cheddar Man U5a 16192T, 16270T

DNA testing was done by Bryan Sykes who was then based at Oxford University. DNA test kits were distributed to local Cheddar schools, and a match was found with a local schoolteacher, Adrian Targett.[3] However, the results were never published in a peer-reviewed journal. It is thought that the results obtained were contaminated with modern DNA.[4] The Natural History Museum in London has plans to re-test Cheddar Man's DNA using advanced next generation sequencing methods that are more suited to ancient DNA analysis.

Albert Einstein

It is debatable that Albert Einstein belonged to haplogroup E1b1b1b2* E-Z830. The only evidence offered was with a sample taken from someone claiming to be a paternal descendants of Naphtali Hirsch Einstein. There is a lack of details published in a journal or online showing how Einstein is related to Naphtali Hirsch Einstein through Rupert Einstein. Who was the brother of Rupert from whom the tested person descends? Where is the paternal line of the tester posted?

Genghis Khan

Y DNA purported to be from Genghis Khan does not have the benefit of near and easily documented lineages. A distinct 'modal' result centers today on Mongolia. According to Zerjal et al. (2003),[5] Genghis Khan is believed to have belonged to Haplogroup C-M130711(xC3c-M48).According to Family Tree DNA, Genghis Khan is believed to have belonged to Haplogroup C-M217.[6] Gia Long, who was the first emperor of the Nguyễn Dynasty of Vietnam as founded by the Nguyen-Phuoc family, may have belonged to Y-DNA haplogroup O2a according to the DNA test of one documented descendant (if paternity matches genealogy). Given the sample size, however, this result cannot be regarded as conclusive and further testing of other documented descendants is necessary to help confirm or refute this finding.

STR Y-DNA Marker Results - Panel 1
Name Haplogroup 393 390 19 391 385a 385b 426 388 439 389i 392 389ii
Name Haplogroup 393 390 19 391 385a 385b 426 388 439 389i 392 389ii
Genghis Khan C-M217 13 25 16 10 12 13 11 14 10 13 11 29
STR Y-DNA Marker Results - Panel 2
Name 458 459a 459b 455 454 447 437 448 449 464a 464b 464c 464d
Name 458 459a 459b 455 454 447 437 448 449 464a 464b 464c 464d
Genghis Khan 18 8 8 11 12 26 14 22 27 11 11 12 16

Ysearch: GF44B

Mohammed, Prophet, Hashemites

Arab DNA forums and DNA Project admins reported that two test results of members of the Jordanian royal family (private kits) are positive for L859. The possible Y-DNA ancestor is Abdul Muttalib (497-578), the grandfather of Islamic prophet Muhammad (570-632). The haplogroup J1-P58-L147.1-L858-L859 can be observed in other members of Hashemites clan, founded by the great-grandfather of Muhammad and also within the larger paternal Quraish tribe. No descendant by classical genealogy (Hashemite, Sharif, Abbasid) of Abdul Muttalib has published positive testing for L859.

Famous STR Y-DNA Marker Results
Name Haplogroup 393 390 19 391 385 439 389i 392 389ii 458 437 448 Y-GATA-H4 456 438
Name Haplogroup 393 390 19 391 385 439 389i 392 389ii 458 437 448 Y-GATA-H4 456 438
Mohammed J1-P58-L147.1-L858-L859 13 24 14 11 10-14 10 13 13 30 16 14 19 10 15 12

Men claiming Hashemite ancestry belong also to other Haplogroups in J or other major haplogroups, so there is no consensus.

Tutankhamun, 18th Dynasty of Egypt, presumed ancient Y-STR

Y-STR testing on some of the related male Mummies of the Dynasty of Egypt (ca. 1550–1292 BC) predicted them to belong to R1b-M269.[7][8] However, the reliability of the genetic data and the validity of the conclusions have been disputed by other researchers.[9][10] A review by Habicht, Bouwman and Rühli found that "several facts speak clearly in favor of authentic aDNA" but recognised the need for next generation sequencing to "identify contamination and separate it from authentic DNA".[11] The putative Y-chromosome of King Tut (ruled ca. 1332 BC) has never been published, though his DNA profile was reconstructed at Zurich-based DNA genealogy centre, iGENEA, based on some screen captures from a Discovery Channel documentary that may or may not belong to the Pharaoh.[12]

The Wright Brothers

The Wright Brothers of the United States belonged to Y-DNA haplogroup E1b1b1, subclade E1b1b1a2 (V13)[Citation needed]. They were supposedly descended from Robert Wright of Brook Hall, Essex, England.[Citation needed] Look at Wright DNA Project.

STR Y-DNA Markers Results
Name Haplogroup 393 390 19 391 385A 385B 426 388 439 389 392 389
Name Haplogroup 393 390 19 391 385A 385B 426 388 439 389 392 389
Wright Brothers E1b1b1a2 (V13) 13 24 13 10 16 18 11 12 12 13 11 29


  1. Phylogenetic tree for haplogroup J-M267,
  2. More information on Cheddar Man
  4. Bandelt H-J, Yao, Y-G, Richards MB, Salas A. The brave new era of human genetic testing. BioEssays 2016: 30: 1246-1251.
  5. 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. doi:10.1086/367774. PMC 1180246. PMID 12592608.
  6. Family Tree DNA. "Matching Genghis Khan".
  7. Baghdjian, Alice. "Half of European Men Share King Tut's DNA". Reuters. Thomson Reuters, 01 Aug. 2011. Web. 15 Nov. 2016.
  8. Zahi Hawass, Yehia Z. Gad, Somaia Ismail et al (2010). Ancestry and pathology in King Tutankhamun's family'. JAMA 303(7): 638-647. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.121. First accessed 06 Nov 2016.
  9. Lorenzen ED, Willerslev E (2010). King Tutankhamun’s family and demise. JAMA: 303(24): 2471-2475.
  10. Shaer M (December 2014). The controversial afterlife of King Tut. Smithsonian Magazine.
  11. M.E. Habicht ME (2016), Bouwman AS, Rühli FJ (2016). Identifications of ancient Egyptian royal mummies from the 18th Dynasty reconsidered. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 159 (Supplement S61): 216–231.
  12. The Tutankhamun DNA Project, Igenea,