Florida Accountant Descended From Genghis Khan

Status: Apparently True
Tom Robinson, a mild-mannered professor of Accounting living in Florida, has been identified as a descendant of the fierce Mongol warlord, Genghis Khan. When informed of his ancestor, Robinson expressed admiration for the Mongol leader, but has not yet indicated any plans to begin a campaign of raping and pillaging.

Although it sounds odd, the science behind the claim seems valid enough. It stems from a 2003 genetic study that identified Genghis Khan as the common ancestor of 8 percent of Asian men. A British company, Oxford Ancestors, searched its client database to find more matches with Genghis Khan and identified Tom Robinson as one of his descendants. He is the first man of European or American background to be so identified. Here's how the match was made:
The link is revealed by the Y chromosome, a packet of DNA that determines male sex, which is passed down from father to son. Men who share a Y chromosome are invariably descended from the same man at some point in the past, and the accumulation of mutations can be used to date the common ancestor. Women do not have a Y chromosome, so they cannot be tested in the same way, although millions are likely also to be descended from the warlord.
The Mongolian embassy is going to be holding a reception in Robinson's honor next month. Like I said, the science seems sound enough, but the entire article about this guy reads like an extended advertisement for Oxford Ancestors, which is now inviting the general public (men only) to submit DNA samples to find out if they too are descended from Genghis Khan. It'll cost you only £195.

History Science

Posted on Wed May 31, 2006


Oh, no raping and pillaging? That's no fun at all!
Posted by Nettie  on  Wed May 31, 2006  at  09:58 AM
Such activities might be a bit too tame for the tastes of an accounting professor, Nettie.
Posted by Accipiter  on  Wed May 31, 2006  at  10:47 AM
I read this a couple of days ago and of course spotted the obvious flaw in their "findings". The Y chromosone is passed from male to male unchanged, but finding a Y chromosone that matches a famous person such as Genghis Khan doesn't actually prove that you descended from him, merely that, at some point throughout history, you and he shared a common male ancestor. Temujin (Genghis' birth name) had brothers, as did his father, and his father before him. It is likely that, by the time Genghis Khan was old enough to have children, there were hundreds or thousands of copies of the same Y chromosone already running around the planet; some raiding and conquering nations, others tabulating and accounting for the spoils. Color me skeptical but the odds that this guy is a direct descendant of scourge of Asia are slim at best. Cute human interest angle on an otherwise meaningless genetic anomaly, though.
Posted by Winter  on  Wed May 31, 2006  at  11:04 AM
Winter, the counter argument to this is the same as the argument in favour of this chap being descended from Genghis. The study showed that 8% of Asian men share a Y chromosone, not that 8% shared a chromosone with Khan; obviously they don't have any of his DNA to check against. The point is that he was personally alleged to have fathered thousands upon thousands of children across his empire, which, given the relatively small population at the time and assuming the much-credited stories about Khan's indiscretions are true, is why the chromosone is so common. Thus people with the chromosone are far more likely to have acquired it from him rather than anyone else.
Posted by Nick  on  Wed May 31, 2006  at  03:16 PM
I feel a need to link to this: http://www.mindgazer.org/dontpanic/read/book1.htm
Posted by Citizen Premier  on  Wed May 31, 2006  at  04:06 PM
do ctrl-f and skip to "gengis."
Posted by Citizen Premier  on  Wed May 31, 2006  at  04:07 PM
I'm pretty sure I'm related somehow to Emperor Norton, but I can't afford the genetic studies to prove it.
Posted by Big Gary  on  Wed May 31, 2006  at  04:49 PM
Actually, if I'm not mistaken, it's been proven that a LOT of people are related to Khan.. he fathered an atrocious number of children, across a vast swath of Asia. Being related to Khan is like saying you've got ancestors from Europe.
Posted by Robin Bobcat  on  Wed May 31, 2006  at  08:38 PM
In the absence of a genetic sample of Ghengis himself, this is all just a cardhouse of conjecture and speculation...

I shake my head again that people automatically consider something "scientificly" proven as soon as genes are drawn in. But if the methodology is not sound, you can draw in all kinds of high-tech techniques and still end up with bogus.

Genetics appears to be the New Religion: the cure to everything and providing answers to everything. Kneel for the high priests in their white coats, hail their vials and test-tubes in reverence! They hold the answer to Everything! And if you doubt The Word....burn, you Heretic!!!!
Posted by LaMa  on  Thu Jun 01, 2006  at  03:16 AM
"do ctrl-f and skip to "gengis."

Or Genghis, even.
Posted by Maegan  on  Thu Jun 01, 2006  at  09:53 AM
bleh, I'm used to using "Ghengis," and I got them mixed up.
Posted by Citizen Premier  on  Thu Jun 01, 2006  at  07:25 PM
Reminds me of 'hitchhikers guide' where some mild mannerd guy was a direct decendant of khan.

Posted by ed  on  Fri Jun 02, 2006  at  08:58 AM
Turns out, it ain't so:

June 21, 2006, 11:17PM
Genghis Khan not his kin after all, prof learns

Associated Press

MIAMI - An accounting professor who thought he was a direct descendant of the fearsome Mongol warrior Genghis Khan has now been told: never mind.

Tom Robinson, 48, said Wednesday that a second DNA test, by Family Tree DNA in Houston, showed he matched some genetic markers with Genghis Khan but that a direct line, as an earlier test had indicted, wasn't likely after all.

Posted by SoxSweepAgain  on  Fri Jun 23, 2006  at  11:52 AM
Nobody's going to mess with that professior! 😊
Posted by United States Adjusters  on  Sat Aug 23, 2008  at  09:52 AM
That is pretty incredible. But how does one actually go about obtaining a sample of Genghis Khan's DNA? Was his body found or mummified in some way? Thanks.
Posted by Brown Fort Myers  on  Wed Feb 04, 2009  at  01:45 PM
Check out this guy: Dschero Khan, he claims to be the prince of Mongolia and great grant son of Genghis Khan. He lives in Horst (Horst aan de Maas) in the Netherlands.
You can check on his website http://www.dscherokhan.com/
(Specially item 85 as it seems to be "proof" of his claim.)
Posted by Me  on  Tue Nov 27, 2012  at  04:51 AM
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