[FoRK] Genghis Kahn

Jeff Bone jbone at place.org
Thu Jun 5 17:06:32 PDT 2008

On Jun 5, 2008, at 6:01 PM, paul wrote:
> The old man thinks for a moment, and says, "I want Genghis Khan
> resurrected. I want him to re-unite his mongol hordes, march to the
> Polish border, and then decide he doesn't want the place and march  
> back
> home."

Have I mentioned that my wife enrolled me in the National Geographic  
Genographic survey for my birthday last year?  (Stay with me, there is  
a punch line.  Sort of.)  They take a tissue scraping of the inside of  
your cheek and partially sequence your genome to identify your  
"haplogroup."  You do the sampling at home yourself and send it off,  
it's keyed with a random string ID so you're anonymous, you check back  
on the website and use your ID to access the test results.  Basically  
they're looking to match you to (and flesh out) major, mapped lines of  
descent going back to ur-humans.  You indicate which chromosome you  
want read --- 23 X or Y, indicating whether you want to know about  
matrilineal or patrilineal heritage.  (If you want both, you've got to  
get two separate kits.)

So I finally got around to doing the test and sending it off in  
February;  it took until May to get the results.  My results were a  
bit of a surprise;  I'd asked for my X chrome to be read, but they did  
the Y instead for some unknown reason.  My Dad's family is primarily  
Scottish from just a couple of generations back, with a smattering of  
other western Europeans.  My mom, on the other hand, has enough  
Cherokee in her that I could have qualified for a full ride at UT on  
that basis, and has some Austrian Jewish ancestry as well (odd mix, I  
know.  Little bit of English and possibly Portuguese in there, too.)

However the survey identified me as being part of "haplogroup c3" on  
my Dad's side.  That's "descended from Genghis Kahn."  Going back to  
the ur-humans, that means out of Africa, a bit of mix-in from Papua  
New Guinea, then all over central and east Asia.  Normal migration  
paths up and around and then down the west coast of North America.   
Nary an indication of migration through Europe, much less Scotland, in  
my Dad's apparent lineage.  So that's quite a mystery.

About 1 in 200 male humans alive today is descended from Genghis Kahn,  
but apparently those are mostly concentrated in central and east Asia,  
where the rate is as high as 1 in 10 males.

So I've got that going for me.

Perhaps this explains my predilection for small fur hats and my  
frequent dreams of horses and violence. ;-)

Anyway, I think this is an awesome program and urge anyone who has an  
interest in such things to check it out, and help do a little science  
in the meantime:



PS - I've also decided that all future challenges to my authority in  
any sense will be met simply with "I'm Genghis Kahn, dammit!!" ;-)

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