A while ago I read something about Genghis Khan, it was very interesting. Then I saw some facts and it said that he has about 16 million male descendants (so could be 32 million in total). Can it really be possible that he has that many descendants?

Also (little known fact) Ivan the Terrible of Russia was one of Genghis Khan's descendants (if i recall that correctly).

  • 16M male descendants in 800 years sounds like a lot. That's about 50 generations, and you need to consider the number of female descendants and child mortality. Commented Oct 11, 2017 at 8:00
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    @DenisdeBernardy but exponentials grow very quickly. A mere 1.5 (that is, 3 children with 50% men) to the power of 50 gives you more than 630 million people (and Genghis Khan is said to have fathered many more children than that).
    – SJuan76
    Commented Oct 11, 2017 at 8:09
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  • @MarkC.Wallace just looked at your link, should I have changed the title to: can genghis khan really have 16m descendants. in your link, the you said this: 'If you don't understand how a baronetage ....... actually a rather good question).' I just think that I asked a good question (given that part of your example). can you please explain why you don't think this is a good question? Commented Oct 11, 2017 at 8:45
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    You asked "Did Ghengis Khan really have..." - that is questioning the reported facts without any justification. Your question refers to uncited sources and presents no reason why the research you read is not correct. There is no point to doing research to find the citation that you read (and did not share) and providing that as an answer. Why is the reported fact not sufficient? Can it be possible that he has that many descendants? yes, it is possible because it is true.
    – MCW
    Commented Oct 11, 2017 at 21:05

2 Answers 2


The only thing that has been proven is that many asian men share a same paternity line (0.5 % of total population in the world).

The study suggest that particular mutation came from Mongolia a thousand year ago.

A paternity line of this scale is uncommon. The probable explanation is natural selection.

So the scientists suggest that it should be Gengis Khan line (a male ancestor from Ghengis but not Ghengis himself). Because this line was highly popular in most Khanates, they blended well in Russia noble men.

Many muslim dynasties in Asia had blood coming from the Khan. These dysnaties commonly had harem.

For Ivan it cannot be proved he has DNA from Ghengis. Not enough document have survived. There are speculation that British Queen Elisabeth II may be a descendent.

The study


What the genetic analysis proves is only that those many people share a common male ancestor who lived in 13th century. They cannot prove this was Genghiz Khan, because his remains were never found. So he (or his father, or one of his sons) is only the most plausible candidate. The number of descendants is not so surprising: those guys could easily have hundreds or thousands of children.

Speaking of Ivan IV, his genealogy can be traced following historical records. I did not check this myself, but this is not surprising, and is frequently mentioned in the literature that Chenghiz Khan was among his ancestors. There was substantial intermarriage between Russian princes families and descendants of Mongols.

  • There's a paragraphs in the paper where they (justify the) use the Hazaras of Pakistan as a proxy for Khan's DNA.. Commented Oct 15, 2017 at 2:30

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