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Famous people's Y-DNA listed by haplogroup

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Author: Maciamo Hay.
Last update November 2016

Famous C3 individuals

According to an analysis of the paternal lineages of Tungusic males conducted by Zerjal et al. (2003), Genghis Khan, founder and Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, and his patrilineal descendants are believed to have belonged to Haplogroup C3 (M217).

Xue et al. (2005) estimated that Nurhaci (1559-1626), founder and first Emperor of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912) of China, and all subsequent Qing emperors, probably belonged to Haplogroup C3c, a subclade that seems to have arisen in Manchuria some 500 years ago. Shin Yan et al. (2014) tested the Y chromosomes of seven modern male individuals who claim belonging to Aisin Gioro family, and they concluded that the haplogroup of the Imperial House of Qing Dynasty was C3b2b1*-M401(xF5483).

Famous D1b1a2 individuals

According to this Japanese blog, patrilineal descendants of Emperor Higashiyama had their Y-DNA tested and all belonged to haplogroup D1b1a2 (IMS-JST055457/CTS107), formerly known as D2a1b. The article explains that 6 million Japanese people carry the same Y-DNA lineage as the Imperial family and the Genji clan, and that they share a common ancestor about 1000 years ago. If this is correct, it could mean that most Japanese emperors, at least since the Heian period (794-1185) would have belonged to haplogroup D1b1a2, if non-paternity events did not occur.

A website published the modal haplotype of Minamoto no Yoritomo (1147-1199), the first shogun of the Kamakura shogunate. He and the Minamonto (aka Genji) clan presumably belonged to the same haplogroup D1b1a2 (IMS-JST055457/CTS107) as the Imperial family, from whom they are probably descended. However little information is available on how many people were tested.

Famous E1b1a individuals

Zahi Hawass et al. (2012) tested the remains of Ramesses III, the second pharaoh of Egypt's 20th dynasty. Based on 13 STR markers tested his haplogroup can be assigned as E1b1a. The 20th Dynasty of Egypt (1189-1077 BCE) started with Setnakhte and counted nine kings named Ramesses, from III to XI. The pharaohs are buried in the Valley of the Kings.

Nelson Mandela (photo by South Africa The Good News / www.sagoodnews.co.za - Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license)

The Origins Centre at the University of the Witwatersrand tested the DNA of Nelson Mandela (1918-2013), the famous South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician and philanthropist, who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, and determined that he belonged to haplogroup E1b1a.

Famous E1b1b individuals

E-V13 branch

The Wright Brothers, the inventors of the world's first successful airplane, belonged to haplogroup E-V13. They were supposedly descended from Robert Wright of Brook Hall, Essex, England, which allowed the Wright Surname DNA Project to isolate their paternal lineage.

Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973), the 36th President of the United States, was identified as a member of haplogroup E1b1b1 through the Johnson/Johnston/Johnstone DNA Surname Project. His haplotype, although not confirmed by SNP testing yet, is predicted as E-V13.

E-M34 branch

The Harvey Y-DNA Genetic Project managed to retrace the ancestry and identify the Y-chromosomal haplogroup of William Harvey (1578 -1657), the first person to describe completely and in detail the systemic circulation and properties of blood being pumped to the body by the heart. He belonged to the subclade E-M34.

Gérard Lucotte et al. (2012) recovered the DNA of Napoleon Bonaparte from beard hair follicules and compared his Y-DNA to that of one of his present-day descendants, Charles Napoléon. They established that both men belonged to haplogroup E-M34, a subclade which is thought to have reached Mediterranean Europe from the Levant during the Neolithic period. Napoleon I had previously been identified by Lucotte's team as a member of mtDNA haplogroup H.

The acclaimed theoretical physicist Albert Einstein is presumed to have belonged to Y-haplogroup E-Z830 based on the results from a patrilineal descendant of Naphtali Hirsch Einstein, Albert Einstein's great-grand-father. Approximately 20% of Ashkenazi Jews belong to haplogroup E1b1b.

Steven Pinker (Photo by Rebecca Goldstein - CC BY-SA 3.0)

Steven Pinker is a Canadian experimental psychologist, cognitive scientist, linguist, and popular science author. He is Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University, and is known for his advocacy of evolutionary psychology and the computational theory of mind.

Cage at the 2011 San Diego Comic-Con International (CC BY 2.0)

The American actor and producer Nicolas Cage (born 1964),has been found to belong to haplogroup E1b1b-M84. His real name is Nicolas Kim Coppola, and his paternal great-grand-father emigrated to the U.S. from the South Italian town of Bernalda in Basilicata. He is the nephew of screenwriter, film director and producer Francis Ford Coppola, who shares the same haplogroup.

E-M81 branch

Zinedine Zidane (CC BY 2.0)

The French footballer of Algerian origin Zinedine Zidane (born 1972), is a member of haplogroup E1b1b (M81) according to his brother's DNA test. Zidane was named the best European footballer of the past 50 years in the UEFA Golden Jubilee Poll.

Undetermined E1b1b branch

The great Italian Baroque painter Caravaggio (1571-1610) were excavated to confirm the circumstances of his mysterious death at the age of 38. His DNA was compared to modern carriers of the same surname. The study revealed that he belonged to haplogroup E1b1b1.

Ronny Decorte, a geneticist from the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium, tested relatives of Adolf Hitler and determined that the Fürher belonged to haplogroup E1b1b. Ironically this haplogroup thought to be at the origin of Afro-Asiatic languages, which includes the Semitic languages and peoples that Hitler despised so much.

Richard Attenborough (Photo by gdcgraphics - Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.)

Sir David Attenborough (b. 1926), an English broadcaster and naturalist at the BBC explained in the Tree of Life how the Attenboroughs belonged to haplogroup E1b1b1. In 2002 he was named among the 100 Greatest Britons following a UK-wide vote. His brother is the producer, director and actor Richard Attenborough (b. 1923 - pictured), who won two Academy Awards for Gandhi in 1983.

Famous G2a individuals

Ötzi the Iceman, Europe's oldest natural human mummy, dating from 5,300 years ago, had his full genome sequenced (the oldest European genome ever tested) and was found to belong to haplogroup G2a-L91 (G2a2a2, formerly known as G2a4).

On 12 September 2012, archeologists from the University of Leicester announced that they had discovered what they believed were the remains of King Richard III of England (1452-1485) within the former Greyfriars Friary Church in the city of Leicester (see Exhumation of Richard III). The skeleton's DNA matched exactly the mitochondiral haplogroup (J1c2c) of modern matrilineal descendants of Anne of York, Richard's elder sister, confirming the identity of the medieval king. Further tests published in December 2014 revealed that his Y-chromosomal haplogroup was G2 (not tested for downstream mutations, but statistically very likely to be G2a3 as a northern European). This however did not match the Y-DNA of three modern relatives (who were all R1b-U152 xL2) descended from Edward III, Richard III's great-great-grand-father. Richard descends from the House of York, while the modern relatives descend from the House of Lancaster via John of Gaunt. Therefore it cannot be determined at present when the non-paternity event occured in the Plantagenet lineage, and whether most of the Plantagenets monarchs belonged to haplogroup G2 or R1b-U152. Both haplogroups are considerably more common in France than in Britain, however, which is consistent with the French roots of the House of Plantagenets.

Joseph Stalin, who was of Georgian origin, belonged to haplogroup G2a1a. This was determined by testing his grandson, Alexander Burdonsky (his son Vasily's son).

Famous I1 individuals

Malmströma et al. tested the DNA of Birger Jarl and his son Eric Birgersson, and they were identified as members of haplogroup I1. Birger Jarl was one of Sweden's greatest medieval statesman. He was the founder of Stockholm, and acted as regent of Sweden for 18 years. His sons Valdemar and Magnus suceeded each others as kings of Sweden, and their descendants for one hundred years. This dynasty is known as the House of Bjelbo, and all six kings were presumably members of haplogroup I1.

Jacques I, Prince of Monaco

Based on the numerous results from the Gentis Grimaldorum DNA Project, the original House of Grimaldi, which inlcuded the Lords then Princes of Monaco until Louis II of Monaco (1870-1949), belonged to a Scandinavian branch of haplogroup I1a1 (L22>Y3549>P109>Y3662>S14887). The House of Grimaldi also produced three doges of Genoa, a prince of Salerno, and several archbishops and cardinals. The current Princes of Monaco descend from the House of Polignac.

The Hamilton DNA Project compared the Y-DNA of four descendants of Alexander Hamilton, one of the a Founding Fathers of the United States of America. All shared very close STR values, proving beyond reasonable doubt that they shared a same recent patrilineal ancestor.

Andrew Jackson

Andrew Jackson (1767-1845), the 7th president of the United States, most probably belonged to haplogroup I1 based on a comparison of his genealogy and results from the Jackson DNA Project.

The haplogroup of the celebrated Russian writer Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy, usually known as Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910), was inferred by testing one of his descendants, Pyotr Tolstoy. He is regarded as one of the greatest authors of all time, and is best known for the novels War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1877), often cited as pinnacles of realist fiction.

Calvin Coolidge (1872-1933), the 30th President and 29th Vice President of the United States, was identified as a member of haplogroup I1 according to testing of relatives.

The personal genomics company 23andMe tested the Y-chromosomal haplogroup of business magnate and multi-billionaire Warren Buffett and singer/film producer Jimmy Buffett to determine whether they shared a common patrilineal ancestor. Both men were found to belong to haplogroup I1, though apparently not to closely related subclades.

Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton (born 1946), who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001, most probably belonged to haplogroup I1 based on the results of distant cousins testing available at Ysearch.org.

Sting in Drammenshallen, Norway, November 21st 1985 (photo by Helge Řverĺs - CC BY 2.5)

The English musician, singer-songwriter, and actor Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner, known professionally by his stage name Sting (b. 1951), was revealed to belong to haplogroup I1 by the PBS TV series Finding Your Roots. He was the principal songwriter, lead singer, and bassist for the new wave rock band The Police from 1977 to 1984, before launching a solo career. With The Police, Sting became one of the world's best-selling music artists. Solo and with The Police combined, he has sold over 100 million records.

Famous I2a1 individuals

The famous Protestant reformer Martin Luther appears to have belonged to haplogroup I2a-Din-N (L147.2+) according to probable relatives whose haplotypes can be found on the Luther Surname DNA Project, including one genealogically traceable 1st cousin 13 times removed, as well as on ySearch (especially ySearch ID: YTE6E).

The Serbian-American scientist and inventor Nikola Tesla (1856-1943), most famous for his work on the modern alternating current (AC) electricity supply system, the induction motor, the Tesla coil, etc., is thought to have belonged to haplogroup I2a-Din-S (L147.2+). The Serbian DNA Project at Poreklo has tested a Tesla from the same village as Nikola's father, who is very likely from the same Tesla line.

Miklós Horthy (1868-1957), was Regent of of the Kingdom of Hungary from 1920 to 1944. Prior to this, Admiral Horthy served as commander-in-chief of the Austro-Hungarian Navy in the last year of the First World War. In 1919, he ousted the communists of Béla Kun from Hungary and banned the Hungarian Communist Party. The following year was declared Regent and Head of State. Cousins of Horthy posted their Y-DNA results at MolGen, and all belonged to I2a-Din-N (or I2a1b3a in current ISOGG nomenclature).

Famous I2a2 individuals

All the Dukes of Hamilton since William Douglas-Hamilton (1634-1694) belonged to haplogroup I2-M223-Isles-E L1193+ based on the data from the Hamilton Surname DNA Project. The dukedom is the highest ranking title in the Peerage of Scotland. Famous dukes have included the art collector Alexander Hamilton and the pioneering aviator Douglas Douglas-Hamilton (1903-1973), the chief pilot of the first flight over Mount Everest.

A direct descendant of Sir Henry Clinton (1730-1795) tested as I2-M223, predicted with moderate confidence to be I2-Isles-E L1193+, or I2a2a1 in current ISOGG nomenclature. Sir Henry Clinton was the British Commander-in-Chief in North America during the American War of Independence. His notable patrilineal relatives included the Earls of Lincoln and most of the Dukes of Newcastle, all presumably belonging to the same haplogroup.

Professor Lucotte tested the Y-DNA of Napoleon I, Napoleon III and their descendants, and was able to confirm that Napoleon III was not the biological nephew of the first Emperor of the French. While Napoleon I belonged to haplogroup E-M34, Napoleon III, the presumed son of Louis Bonaparte and Hortense de Beauharnais, belonged to haplogroup I2 (apparently to the M223 subclade). It has been hypothetised that Napoleon III was the son of Count Charles de Flahaut, who was Hortense's lover and had an illegitimate son (the Duke of Morny) with her three years after Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte's birth. In that case, Napoleon III would be the grandson of Prince Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord. Another possibility is that Napoleon III was fathered by Carel Hendrik Verhuell.

Andrew Johnson (1808-1875), the 17th President and 16th Vice President of the United States was identified as a member of haplogroup I2a2a (former I2b1) based on the results from the I-M223 Project.

The American magazine publisher Henry Luce (1898-1967) belonged to haplogroup I2-M223-Isles-E L1193+, (a.k.a. I2a2a1 in current ISOGG nomenclature) according to the Luce Surname Project. He launched the magazines Time, Life, Fortune, and Sports Illustrated and was called "the most influential private citizen in the America of his day".

Crop of Chuck Norris with Mike Huckabee (photo by Craig Michaud - CC BY 3.0)

The American martial artist, actor, film producer and screenwriter Chuck Norris (b. 1940) belongs to haplogroup I2a2a-Z79 (downstream of Z161) according to WikiTree.

Stephen King (photo by Pinguino- CC BY 2.0)

Stephen King (b. 1947), the renowned American author of contemporary horror, supernatural fiction, suspense, science fiction, and fantasy, belongs to haplogroup I2a2a-Y7272 (downstream of Z161 and S2364) according to genealogical research. King has received Bram Stoker Awards, World Fantasy Awards, and British Fantasy Society Awards, among others. In 2003, the National Book Foundation awarded him the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.

Famous I2c individuals

The I2* Haplogroup Project (new ISOGG I2b and I2c) was able to determine that the haplotype of the Georgian house of Tsitsishvili was I2c-B (L596+). The most famous member Pavel Tsitsianov (1754-1806), an Imperial Russian military commander and infantry general who also served as head of the Russian troops in Georgia and Viceroy of the Caucasus.

The American rock legend and cultural icon Elvis Presley (1935-1977) was revealed to belong to haplogroup I in the book Old World Roots of the Cherokee (p.42). Elvis's paternal grandfather was born out of wedlock and got his mother's surname. His Y-DNA test showed numerous exact matches with the Wallace surname in Scotland, who within haplogroup I belong overwhelmingly to the rare haplogroup I2c1a2a1a1a (F2044).

Famous J1 individuals

Coat of Arms of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan during the reign of King Hussein

The Hashemites are the royal family of the Hejaz (1916–1925), Iraq (1921–1958), and Jordan (1921–present). The family belongs to the Dhawu Awn, one of the branches of the Hasanid Sharifs of Mecca – also referred to as Hashemites – who ruled Mecca continuously from the 10th century until its conquest by the House of Saud in 1924. Their eponymous ancestor is Hashim ibn Abd Manaf, great-grandfather of the Islamic prophet, Muhammad. The 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 mutation under haplogroup J1.

According to a study conducted by L.A. Ferydoun Barjesteh van Waalwijk van Doorn and Sahar Khosrovani published in Qajar Studies, Journal of the International Qajar Studies Association, volume VII (2007), Qajar dynasty, the Iranian royal family who ruled over Persia from 1785 to 1925, belonged to haplogroup J1.

Famous J2 individuals

Coat of Arms of the Earls of Eglinton (work by Czar Brodie - Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license)

The Earl of Eglinton, a Scottish noble family descended from Hugh Montgomerie, 1st Earl of Eglinton (c. 1460–1545), belongs to haplogroup J2a1-L26 according to FTDNA Montgomery DNA Project.

Salomon Rothschild

The Rothschild family, who established an international banking business, acquired the largest fortune in modern world history and established a true dynasty in the 19th century, apparently belonged to haplogroup J2a1-L210 (a subclade of M67) based on the results from the Rothschild DNA Project and of the J2-M172 Haplogroup Research.

John Curtin (1885-1945), the 14th Prime Minister of Australia from 1941 to 1945, was identified as a member of haplogroup J2a4h2 (F3133+) by the Curtin Clan Y-DNA Project.

Burt Bacharach

Burt Bacharach (b. 1928) is an American singer–songwriter, composer, record producer and pianist. A six-time Grammy Award winner and three-time Academy Award winner, he is known for his popular hit songs and compositions from the late 1950s through the 1980s. He belongs to the subclade J2a1-L556/L560.

Mike Nichols

Mike Nichols (1931-2014) was a German-born American television, stage and film director, writer, producer and comedian. He is one of a small group of people who have won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award. He belonged to the subclade J2a1b.

Ben Affleck speaking at a rally for Feed America in 2009 (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The American actor and filmmaker Ben Affleck, famous among others for his roles in Good Will Hunting, Shakespeare in Love, Pearl Harbor, Daredevil and Hollywoodland, and his brother Casey Affleck, an actor, film director, screenwriter, and producer, were identified as members of haplogroup J2a1d (M319) through Ben's DNA test, which was revealed by the PBS television series Finding Your Roots. They descend from Robert Affleck (1785-1854), listed on the J2 Y-DNA Project.

Famous L1 individuals

A study by Chuan-Chao Wang et al. (2013) investigated the Y chromosomes of Sayyid Ajjal, the ancestor of many Muslims in areas all across China, through his modern descendants. Sayyid Ajjal was Yunnan's first provincial governor in history and was of Arab, Turkic or Persian Muslim origin. One of his most illustrious descendant was admiral Zheng He (1371-1433), sometimes dubbed the Chinese Columbus, commanded expeditionary voyages to Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, and East Africa from 1405 to 1433. Their lineage was assigned to haplogroup L1a-M76.

Famous N1c1 individuals

Ivan the Terrible

According to the descendant testing listed at the Russian Nobility DNA Project at FTDNA, the branch of the Rurik dynasty descended from Vladimir II Monomakh (Monomakhoviches) belong to Y-DNA haplogroup N1c1, and includes Alexander Nevsky (1220-1263) and Ivan the Terrible (1530-1584). Notwithstanding, the branch descended from Vladimir II Monomakh's presumed paternal cousin Oleg I of Chernigov (Olgoviches) belonged to R1a1a. The Y-DNA from the Proto-Rurikid branches is N1c1 and matches the distinctive haplotype of the Monomakhoviches. Furthermore, this N1c1 haplotype possess the distinctive value DYS390=23, found in Scandinavia but not in Uralic populations, confirming that this was indeed the original haplotype of the Varangian prince Rurik (c. 830-c. 879) who established the Kievan Rus'.

Wladislaus II Jagiello, King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania

The Rurikid Dynasty DNA Project at FTDNA managed to determine that the Lithuanian Gediminid dynasty, although not descended from the Rurik dynasty, also belongs to haplogroup N1c1. The House of Geminidas ruled as Grand Duke of Lithuania from ca. 1285 to 1440. An offshoot of Geminids is the Jagiellonian dynasty who ruled as the Kings of Poland and Grand Dukes of Lithuania from 1386 to 1572, and also include two Kings of Bohemia, Hungary and Croatia between 1471 and 1526.

Famous O1a individuals

Yo-Yo Ma (Photo by Kris Krüg - CC BY 2.0)

Yo-Yo Ma (b. 1955) is a Chinese-American cellist. Born in Paris, he spent his schooling years in New York City and was a child prodigy, performing from the age of five. He graduated from the Juilliard School and Harvard University and has enjoyed a prolific career as both a soloist performing with orchestras around the world and a recording artist. He has recorded more than 90 albums and has received 18 Grammy Awards. The PBS TV series Faces of America disclosed that he belonged to mtDNA haplogroup O1a1.

Famous O2a individuals

Zhu Xi (1130-1200), the most influential Neo-Confucian scholar and philosopher in Chinese history, may have belonged to Y-DNA haplogroup O2a1a, based on the test of one documented descendant. This needs to be confirmed by further descendant testing.

Gia Long (1762-1820), the first Emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty of Vietnam, could have belonged to Y-DNA haplogroup O2a, based on the test of one documented descendant. The results need to be corroborated by other descendant testing.

Famous Q individuals

J. Robert Oppenheimer

According to commercial tests conducted by other members of the Jewish Oppenheimer family, the American theoretical physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer (1904-1967) belonged to haplogroup Q1b. Oppenheimer played a major role in the Manhattan Project and is considered one of the fathers of the atomic bomb.

Deepak Chopra in November 2006, speaking at Yahoo (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Deepak Chopra (b. 1947) is an Indian American author, public speaker, alternative medicine advocate, and a prominent figure in the New Age movement. He was revealed to belong to haplogroup Q1b-L275 by the PBS television series Finding Your Roots.

Tony Kushner (photo by The Laura Flanders Show - CC BY 3.0)

Tony Kushner (b. 1956) is an American playwright and screenwriter. He received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1993 for his play Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes. He co-authored with Eric Roth the screenplay for the 2005 film Munich, and he wrote the screenplay for the 2012 film Lincoln, both critically acclaimed movies, for which he received Academy Award nominations for Best Adapted Screenplay. For his work, he received a National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama in 2013. The PBS television series Finding Your Roots mentioned that he carries a Y-haplogroup common among Asians and Native Americans and found in 6% of the Jews, which can only be haplogroup Q. All Jewish Q fall under the Q1b branch.

Famous R1a individuals

R1a-L664 branch (Germanic)

The Drake DNA Surname Project managed to identify the haplogroup of Sir Francis Drake, the famous English navigator and privateer from the Elizabethan era. Two of his known descendants were tested by two different companies and both lineages had practically identical STR values, which confirmed their recent common ancestry. Other Drakes also turned up with the same haplotype. All of them belong to the typically north-western European R1a-L664 (DYS388=10).

R1a-Z284 branch (Norse)

In 2003, an Oxford University scientist traced the Y-chromosome signature of Somerled of Argyll (1100-1164), a military and political leader of the Scottish Isles of Norse-Gaelic descent. Somerland drove the Vikings out of Scotland and became King of Mann and the Isles. He was the founder of Clan Somhairle, the father of the founder of Clan MacDougall, and the paternal grandfather of the founder of Clan Donald (which includes the MacDonalds and MacAlisters). The researcher reported that the tested members of these clans with a confirmed paper trail all belonged to the Norwegian variety of R1a-L448, and more specifically to the subclade L176.1, which to date has been found almost exclusively among the descendants of Somerled. In 2005, geneticist Bryan Sykes asked for DNA samples from clan chiefs (Lord Godfrey Macdonald, Sir Ian Macdonald of Sleat, Ranald MacDonald of Clan Ranald, William McAlester of Loup and Ranald MacDonnell of Glengary) to complete the project, and all matched the presumed Somerled haplotype. Not all Macdonalds, MacAlisters and MacDougalls are descended from Somerled though. The majority (about 70%) are members of the Celtic haplogroup R1b. Check the Donald Clan Genetic Genealogy Project for more information.

David Hume

An analysis of the Hume DNA Project has provided conclusive evidence that the Scottish philosopher, historian and economist David Hume (1711-1776) belonged to haplogroup R1a-Z284 (CTS4179 subclade). This subclade is the most common Scottish variety of R1a. It is belived to have come from Norway with the Vikings. David Hume was one of the fathers of the Scottish Enlightenment and one of the leading Empiricist philosophers.

The American actor, producer, writer, and director Tom Hanks, best known for his roles in the films Philadelphia, Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan, Catch Me If You Can, The Da Vinci Code, was found to belong to haplogroup R1a-Z284 through the Hanks DNA Surname Project as a descendant of William Hanks of Richmond, Virginia.

R1a-Z280 branch (Balto-Slavic)

(Max von Sydow - Photo by Mario Antonio Pena Zapatería - CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Swedish actor Max von Sydow, who played in eleven films by Ingmar Bergman and many Hollywood movies and series, including more recently Game of Thrones, was identified as a member of haplogroup R1a-Z280 (Pomeranian P269 subclade) through the the test of a 2nd paternal cousin at FTDNA.

King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, belongs to haplogroup R1a-Z280 (north-western Slavic S18681 subclade) according to the testing of a distant cousin with FTDNA. He is the son of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands and German diplomat Claus von Amsberg, whose family hails from Mecklenburg.

R1a-Z93 branch (Indo-Iranian)

Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent

Based on descendant testing, it appears most likely that the sultans of the Ottoman dynasty belonged to haplogroup R1a-Z93. This has not been officially confirmed yet. All sultans of the Ottoman Empire (1299-1922) descend in patrilineal line from Osman I, making it one of the longest reigning Y-chromosomal lineage in history.

The Israeli politician Benjamin Netanyahu, who has served four times as Prime Minister of Israel, belongs to haplogroup R1a-Z93 (Jewish Y2630 subclade) according to his brother's Ido's DNA test at FTDNA.

Unknown R1a branch

Anderson Cooper (photo by Tulane Public Relations - CC BY 2.0)

The American journalist, television personality Anderson Cooper, best known for being the primary anchor of the CNN news show Anderson Cooper 360°, belongs to haplogroup R1a according to the PBS TV series Finding Your Roots.

Famous R1b individuals

R1b-L11 branch

John Adams, second U.S. president

The Adams Surname Y-DNA Project compared the Y-DNA of 15 families that have an oral history of being related to the US Presidents John Adams (second president of the United States) and his son John Quincy Adams (6th president). All the men tested share the same haplotype that falls into the R1b-L11 (aka P310 or L151) subclade.

R1b-U106 branch (Germanic)

Larmuseau et al. (2013) tested the Y-DNA of three living members of the House of Bourbon, one descending from Louis XIII of France via King Louis Philippe I, and two from Louis XIV via Philip V of Spain. They concluded that all three men share the same STR haplotype and belonged to haplogroup R1b-U106 (Z381* subclade). These results contradict earlier studies by Laluez-Fo et al. (2010), who had analysed the DNA from a handkerchief dipped in the presumptive blood of Louis XVI after his execution, as well as by Charlier et al. (2012), who tested the DNA of the severed head which allegedly belonged to Henry IV of France. Both of these studies had identified the remains as belonging to haplogroup G2a. All kings of France being descended in patrilineal line from Robert the Strong (820-866), unless a non-paternity event happened some time before Louis XIII, it can be assumed that all kings of France belonged to the same R1b-Z381 lineage. The House of Bourbon also includes all the kings of Spain from Philip V (1683-1746) to this day with King Juan Carlos, all the kings of the Two Sicilies, the grand dukes of Luxembourg since 1964, and of course all the dukes or Orléans and the dukes of Bourbon.

Leopold I, King of the Belgians

The lineage of the House of Wettin was identified as R1b-U106 (Z381 > Z156 > Z305 > DF98+ branch) by the testing of two known descendants of the Wettin line by Brad Michael Little. The results confirmed that the two men, who share a common ancestor in Francis, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, possess the same haplogroup and haplotype. Members of the House of Wettin include the Kings Edward VII, George V, Edward VIII and George VI of the United Kingdom, all the Kings of the Belgians, the Kings of Portugal from 1853 to 1910, the Kings of Bulgaria from 1887 to 1946, several Kings of Poland and Grand Dukes of Lithuania, the Margraves of Meissen from 1075 to 1423, the Electors of Saxony from 1423 to 1806, the Kings of Saxony from 1806 to 1918, and the rulers of the numerous smaller Saxon duchies.

James K. Polk

James K. Polk (1795-1849), the 11th president of the United States, was a member of L48 subclade based on the results from the Polk-Pollock DNA Project. He was a descendant of William Polk/Pollock (c. 1700-1757).

Ulysses S. Grant

According to the Grant DNA Project, Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885), the 18th President of the United States and the military commander of the American Civil War, belonged to the Z159 subclade of R1b-U106, downstream of L47.

James D. Watson

The two first human beings to have their whole genome sequenced, James D. Watson, the co-discoverers of the structure of DNA, and biologist Craig Venter both happen to be members of Y-DNA haplogroup R1b-S21 (U106), although they belong to distinct subclades (Z30, downstream of Z9 for Watson, and L45, downstream of L47 for Venter). Though both are American citizens, their patrilineal ancestors are respectively Scottish and German.

R1b-L21 branch (Atlantic Celtic)

King Charles I of England & Scotland

According to the Stewart Stuart DNA Project House of Stuart, who ruled Scotland from 1371, then also England and Ireland from 1603 until 1707, belongs to the S781 branch of R1b-L21, downstream of DF13 and L744.

James Buchanan

The Buchanan DNA Project confirmed that the 15th President of the United States, James Buchanan (1791-1868) was a descendant of the Scottish Clan Buchanan, and as such belonged to the CTS11722 subclade of R1b-L21, downstream of L1335.

William Ewart Gladstone

William Ewart Gladstone (1809-1898), a British Liberal politician who served a record four times as Prime Minister under Queen Victoria, belonged to R1b-L21 based on a comparison of his genealogy with the results from Gladstone DNA Project.

Joseph Smith Jr.

The analysis of his descendants's Y-chromosomal DNA confirmed that Joseph Smith (1805-1844), the founder of Mormonism and the Latter Day Saint movement, belonged to haplogroup R1b-M222.

Che Guevara

The forensic analysis of the skeletal remains of Che Guevara (1928-1967), the Argentine Marxist revolutionary and major figure of the Cuban Revolution, revealed that he belonged to haplogroup R1b-L21.

R1b-U152 branch (Italo-Celtic)

Emperor Charles V of Habsburg

Based on the data from the Habsburg Family Project, there is a high likelihood that the haplogroup of the House of Habsburg was R1b-U152 (L2+ branch). The Habsburg originated in the eponymous village in northern Switzerland. They first became Kings of the Romans in 1273, obtained the title of Duke of Austria. The Habsburgs provided all the Holy Roman Emperors but one from 1440 until the dissolution of the empire in 1806. The Habsburgs retained the title of Emperor of Austria, then Austro-Hungary until 1918. Their dynasty also ruled over Spain, Naples, Tuscany, Parma and Milan, among others. Check also Haplogroups of European kings and queens for mtDNA lines of many Habsburg family members.

George Washington

The first President of the United States, George Washington (1732-1799) may well have belonged to the L2 subclade of U152. This deduction is based on the results from the Washington DNA Project. George Washington's ancestors hailed from Oxfordshire, and before that from Lancashire. Washington is a relatively rare surname and was originally distributed exactly in those two regions according to the 1881 survey. All project members with ancestry confirmed in those regions share the same haplotype, hinting at a common paternal ancestry.

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), the 16th president of the United States, appears to have belonged to R1b-S20376 (U152>L2>Z142>Z150>S20376). The Lincoln DNA Project tested several descendants from Samuel "the weaver" Lincoln, who was Abraham Lincoln's great-great-great-great-grandfather, and they all share the same haplotype.

Grover Cleveland

Grover Cleveland (1837-1908), the 22nd and 24th president of the United States, could have belonged to R1b-L20, a subclade of L2, based on the numerous results from the Cleveland DNA Project.

Undetermined R1b branch

Bogdanowicza et al. (2009) tested the Y-chromosomal DNA and mitochondrial DNA of the exhumed remains of the Renaissance astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus. They established that he belonged to Y-haplogroup R1b and mt-haplogroup H.

Tsar Nicholas II of Russia

Rogaev et al. (2009) tested the DNA of the presumed grave of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and all his five children, and compared them against archival blood specimens from Nicholas II as well as against samples from descendants of both paternal and maternal lineages. The results unequivocally confirmed that the grave was the one of the last Russian Royal family. Nicholas II belonged to Y-haplogroup R1b and mt-haplogroup T2. Consequently, all Russian emperors of the Romanov dynasty since Peter III (1728-1762) also belonged to haplogroup R1b. This paternal lineage ultimately descends from the House of Oldenburg, which includes all the Kings of Denmark since Christian I (reigned from 1448) as well as several Kings of Norway, Sweden and Greece, and the current heirs to the British throne (Prince Charles and his son Prince William).

Quite a few U.S. Presidents had their haplogroups deducted from descendant testing. Among those whose R1b subclade remains to be determine, we find Zachary Taylor (12th), Franklin Pierce (14th), William McKinley (25th), and Woodrow Wilson (28th).

Charles Darwin

The great English naturalist Charles Darwin (1809-1882), who proposed the scientific theory of evolution and the process of natural selection, was a member of haplogroup R1b according to the test results from his great-great-grandson.

Kevin Bacon

Kevin Bacon (b. 1958), an American actor and musician whose films include musical-drama film Footloose (1984), the controversial historical conspiracy legal thriller JFK (1991), the legal drama A Few Good Men (1992), the historical docudrama Apollo 13 (1995), and the mystery drama Mystic River (2003). Bacon has won a Golden Globe Award and three Screen Actors Guild Awards, and was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award. The Guardian named him one of the best actors never to have received an Academy Award nomination.

Robert Downey Jr. speaking at the 2014 San Diego Comic Con International, for

The American actor Robert John Downey Jr. (b. 1965) had his Y-haplogroup was revealed by the PBS television series Finding Your Roots. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor and won him the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role in the movie Chaplin (1992), and won a Golden Globe Award for his role in the TV series Ally McBeal. He is also known for portraying the role of Marvel Comics superhero Iron Man.

Famous T1a individuals

The testing of Thomas Jefferson's DNA revealed that the third US president belonged to haplogroup T.

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