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Famous DNA

Royal DNA

From ISOGG Wiki

Royal DNA.png

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.


Nurhaci & the Qing Dynasty of China

Nurhaci, founding father of the Qing dynasty, may have belonged to Y-DNA haplogroup C-M401 according to DNA tests of men from northeastern China and Mongolia which revealed a unique haplotype and is estimated to be about five centuries old[1]. This haplotype used to belong to haplogroup C3b2[2][3]. Currently(11 Nov 2016), C-M401 belongs to C2b1a3a[4] as found on ISOGG's Y Tree page, Y-DNA Haplogroup C and its Subclades - 2016. Its very recent spread corresponds with the rise to power of the Qing dynasty. Testing of known descendants of Nurhaci would help confirm this finding.

Listed Alleles of the "Manchu" cluster can be found below. C-M401(C2b1a3a) is downstream from C-M48(C2b1a2)[4]. The "Manchu" cluster is the central result values of the alleles tested in 7 modern male individuals who claim ancestry to the Aisin Gioro family.[1] Aisin Gioro is the name of the imperial clan of Manchu emperors of the Qing Dynasty.

Famous STR Y-DNA Markers
Name Haplogroup 19 389i 389ii 390 391 392 393 437 438 439 448 456 458 635 Y-GATA-H4 385a 385b
Name Haplogroup 19 389i 389ii 390 391 392 393 437 438 439 448 456 458 635 Y-GATA-H4 385a 385b
Center value of "Manchu" cluster C-M48 16 13 16 24 9 11 13 14 10 11 20 15 17 23 10 12 13

Zhu Xi & the Ming Dynasty of China

Zhu Xi, the most influential Neo-Confucian scholar and philosopher in Chinese history, may have belonged to Y-DNA haplogroup O2a1a according to the DNA test of one documented descendant.[5] This finding is significant since Zhu Xi was allegedly a distant cousin several times removed of Zhu Yuanzhang, founding emperor and ancestor of China's Ming Dynasty according to Zhu (surname) records. Given the sample size, however, this result cannot be regarded as conclusive and further testing of other documented descendants of Zhu Xi is necessary to help confirm or refute this finding. Furthermore, testing of documented descendants of Zhu Yuanzhang would help confirm whether there is in fact a recent, common male ancestry between Zhu Xi and the Emperors of the Ming Dynasty.


Richard III

Richard III's mitochondrial haplotype was inferred from living descendants and then the identity of his remains confirmed through a multidisciplinary process including genetic analysis of both his mitochondrial and Y-DNA. In 2004 British historian John Ashdown-Hill traced a British-born woman living in Canada, Joy Ibsen (née Brown), who is a direct maternal line descendant of Anne of York, Duchess of Exeter, a sister of Richard III of England. Joy Ibsen's mtDNA was tested and belongs to mtDNA Haplogroup J.[6][7] Joy Ibsen died in 2008. On 4 February 2013, University of Leicester researchers announced that there was an mtDNA match between that of a skeleton exhumed in Leicester suspected of belonging to Richard III and that of Joy Ibsen's son, Michael Ibsen, and a second unnamed direct maternal line descendant.[8][9][10] They share mtDNA haplogroup J1c2c.[11][12]

Mitochondrial DNA Results
Name Haplo Haplotype
Richard III J 16069T, 16126C, 73G, 146C, 185A, 188G, 263G, 295T, 315.1C

Richard III, last king of the House of York and last of the House of Plantagenet, was YDNA G-P287, in contrast to the Y haplotypes of the putative modern relatives.[13]

For further details see the University of Leiceter's Richard III website and the blog post by Debbie Kennett Richard III - a king is found.

Royal Wettin Line (aka King George V)

An important outcome as a result of Brad Michael Little's research[14] is that the haplogroup of two individuals of the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha shows the royal House of Wettin to be downstream of R-DF98 (a branch of R1b-U106). Technically its full SNP profile is R1b-U106 > Z381 > Z156> Z306 > Z304 > DF98 > S18823 > S22069 > S8350.


Ramesses III

According to a genetic study in December 2012, Ramesses III, second Pharaoh of the Twentieth Dynasty and considered to be the last great New Kingdom king to wield any substantial authority over Egypt, belonged to Y-DNA haplogroup E1b1a, mainly found in West Africa, Central Africa, Southwest Africa and Southeast Africa.[15]


French Kings from Henry IV to Louis XVI "Bourbon", ancient Y-DNA

King Louis XVI of France from a genetic test on blood in a cloth purported to have been collected at his beheading and maintained in an ornate gourd decorated with French Revolution themes. Confirmation of this genetic profile requires testing of a known relative because the "relic" cloth was a popular item sold for money following Louis XVI's execution.[16] The sample was tested at two laboratories with the same results. The sample is most consistent with G2a3b1a samples and contains unusually high, rare values for markers DYS385B and DYS458 in this haplogroup G subgroup. Subsequent testing in 2012 on a mummified head, purportedly that of King Henri IV of France, revealed that typing of a limited number of Y-STR's showed a Y-Dna haplogroup of G2a. Reported researchers: "Five STR loci [from the sample taken from the head] match the alleles found in Louis XVI, while another locus shows an allele that is just one mutation step apart. Taking into consideration that the partial Y-chromosome profile is extremely rare in modern human databases, we concluded that both males could be paternally related." The two French kings were separated by seven generations.[16]

Famous STR Y-DNA Markers
Name Haplogroup 393 390 19 391 385a 385b 439 389i 392 389ii 458 437 448 Y-GATA-H4 456 438 635
Name Haplogroup 393 390 19 391 385a 385b 439 389i 392 389ii 458 437 448 Y-GATA-H4 456 438 635
Louis XVI (presumed blood sample)[16][17] G1(M285) or G2(P287) 14 22 15 10 13 18 12 12 11 18 21 15 21 12 15 10 21

Midde East - Old Persia

Fath Ali Shah Qajar

Fath Ali Shah Qajar (1772-1834), the second emperor/shah of the Qajar Dynasty of Persia belonged to haplogroup J1 with DYS388 = 13 as deducted from testing of descendants of several of his sons.[18]


Emperor Nicholas I & II, Russia, House of Oldenburg, ancient and descendant Y-DNA

Y-STR extracted from a bloodstained shirt of Nicholas II of Russia (1868–1918) has been predicted as having an R1b haplotype.[19][20][21] Testing of descendants of the great great grandfather Nicholas I of Russia (1796–1855) has confirmed the haplotype. Possible Y-DNA ancestor is Christian I of Denmark (1426-1481) from the influential Royal House of Oldenburg with many branches that rule or have ruled in Denmark, Russia, Greece, Norway, Schleswig, Holstein, Oldenburg and Sweden.

Famous STR Y-DNA Markers
Name Haplogroup 393 390 19 391 385a-b 439 389i 392 389ii 458 437 448 Y-GATA-H4 456 438 635
Name Haplogroup 393 390 19 391 385a-b 439 389i 392 389ii 458 437 448 Y-GATA-H4 456 438 635
Nicholas I descendents R1b 13 24 14 10 11-14 11 13 13 29 17 15 19 12 16 12 24


  1. 1.0 1.1 Yan, Shi ;Tachibana, Harumasa ;Wei, Lan-Hai ;Yu, Ge ;Wen, Shao-Qing ;Wang, Chuan-Chao. "Y chromosome of Aisin Gioro, the imperial house of the Qing dynasty" Journal of Human Genetics 60, 295-298 (June 2015). doi: 10.1038/jhg.2015.28. Retrieved 6 November 2016.
  2. International Society of Genetic Genealogy (2013). Y-DNA Haplogroup Tree 2013, Version: 8.89, Date: 31 December 2013, ISOGG Y Tree. Date of access: 6 Nov 2016.
  3. Direct link to Y-DNA Haplogroup C and its Subclades - 2013.
  4. 4.0 4.1 International Society of Genetic Genealogy (2016). Y-DNA Haplogroup Tree 2016, Version: 11.303, Date: 5 November 2016, ISOGG Y Tree. Date of access: 6 Nov 2016.
  5. Ploysongsang, Edward. "Displaying User ID: YCS5T". YSearch. Family Tree DNA, n.d. Web. 6 Nov. 2016.
  6. Joy Ibsen's mtDNA sequence: 16069T, 16126C, 73G, 146C, 185A, 188G, 263G, 295T, 315.1C in Ashdown-Hill, John (2010). The Last Days of Richard III. Stroud: The History Press. ISBN 9780752454047.
  7. "Richard III dig: 'It does look like him'". BBC News. 4 February 2013. Retrieved 7 February 2013.
  8. "Results of the DNA analysis". University of Leicester. 4 February 2013.
  9. "Geneticist Dr Turi King and genealogist Professor Kevin Schürer give key evidence on the DNA testing". University of Leicester. Retrieved 5 February 2013.
  10. Burns, John F (4 February 2013). "Bones Under Parking Lot Belonged to Richard III". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
  11. Rachel, Ehrenberg (6 February 2013). "A king's final hours, told by his mortal remains". Science News. Society for Science & the Public. Retrieved 8 February 2013.
  12. Bower, Dick (Director) (27 February 2013). Richard III:The Unseen Story (Television production). UK: Darlow Smithson Productions.
  13. "Identification of the remains of King Richard III". Retrieved 25 February 2015.
  14. Littlle, Brad Michael. The King's Son. Createspace, 2012.
  15. Hawass, Z.; Ismail, S.; Selim, A.; Saleem, S. N.; Fathalla, D.; Wasef, S.; Gad, A. Z.; Saad, R.; Fares, S.; Amer, H.; Gostner, P.; Gad, Y. Z.; Pusch, C. M.; Zink, A. R. (17 December 2012). "Revisiting the harem conspiracy and death of Ramesses III: anthropological, forensic, radiological, and genetic study". BMJ. 345 (dec14 14): e8268–e8268. doi: 10.1136/bmj.e8268. PMID 23247979. Retrieved 6 July 2013.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Larmuseau, Maarten H D; Delorme, Philippe; Germain, Patrick; Vanderheyden, Nancy; Gilissen, Anja; Van Geystelen, Anneleen; Cassiman, Jean-Jacques and Decorte, Ronny. Genetic genealogy reveals true Y haplogroup of House of Bourbon contradicting recent identification of the presumed remains of two French Kings, European Journal of Human Genetics (2014) 22, 681–687; doi:10.1038/ejhg.2013.211; published online 9 October 2013.
  17. European Journal of Human Genetics (2014) 22, 681–687; Supporting Table.
  18. "L.A. Ferydoun Barjesteh van Waalwijk van Doorn (Khosrovani), 'Short Report: DNA-evidence versus the Paper Trail. Groundbreaking News on the Origine of the Qajars', in: Qajar Studies VIII (2008)".
  19. "". 2009-02-27. doi:10.1073/pnas.0811190106. Retrieved 2011-05-12. 
  20. Rogaev, E. I.; Grigorenko, A. P.; Moliaka, Y. K.; Faskhutdinova, G.; Goltsov, A.; Lahti, A.; Hildebrandt, C.; Kittler, E. L. W. et al. (2009). "Genomic identification in the historical case of the Nicholas II royal family". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106 (13): 5258–5263. doi:10.1073/pnas.0811190106. ISSN 0027-8424. 
  21. "Supporting Information (The last Russian emperor)" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-05-12.