Have you ever wondered about the origins and descendants of one of the most influential rulers in history? Genghis Khan, the founder of the Mongol Empire, was not only a formidable conqueror and leader, but also a prolific father and grandfather. His family tree spans continents and centuries and includes some of the most famous and infamous figures in world history.
In this blog post, we will explore the fascinating and complex family tree of Genghis Khan, from his mythical ancestors to his modern descendants. We will also answer some of the most frequently asked questions about his family and legacy. Whether you are a history buff, a genealogy enthusiast, or just curious about the Mongols, this post will give you a comprehensive and engaging overview of Genghis Khan’s family tree.
Genghis Khan’s Ancestors
Genghis Khan was born with the name Temüjin around 1162 in the Khentii Mountains of Mongolia. He was the son of Yesugei, a chieftain of the Borjigin clan, and Hoelun, a woman from the Olkhonud tribe. His father was poisoned by the Tatars when Temüjin was eight years old, leaving him and his family in a precarious situation.
Temüjin’s ancestry can be traced back to Borte Chino (Grey Wolf) and Gua Maral (White Doe), the mythical progenitors of the Mongols. According to legend, they were created by Tengri, the supreme god of the Mongols, to lead their people out of a dark cave into the light. Their son was Bat Tsagan (Firm White), who had many descendants that formed different clans and tribes.
One of these descendants was Dobun Mergen (Many Skills), who married Alan Gua (Beautiful Woman), a woman with supernatural powers. She gave birth to three sons: Belgunudei (Not Fearful), Bugunudei (Not Weak), and Bodonchar Munkhag (Boiling Cauldron). After Dobun Mergen’s death, she claimed she conceived another son by a ray of light from Tengri. This son was Bukha Noyon (Blue Lord), who became the ancestor of Genghis Khan.
Bukha Noyon’s lineage included several notable figures, such as Kabul Khan (Paternal Grandfather Khan), who defeated the Jin dynasty of China in 1135; Ambaghai Khan (Uncle Khan), who was captured and executed by the Tatars; and Khabul Khan (Grandfather Khan), who united several Mongol tribes under his rule. Khabul Khan’s son was Yesugei, who named his son Temüjin after a Tatar chief he had killed.
Temüjin grew up in a turbulent time when the Mongol tribes were constantly at war with each other and their neighbors. He faced many hardships and challenges, such as being captured by his enemies, losing his wife to a rival tribe, and fighting against his former allies. He gradually gained followers and allies through his charisma, courage, and cunning. He also adopted a new name: Genghis Khan (Universal Ruler).
Genghis Khan’s Wives and Children
Genghis Khan had many wives and concubines throughout his life, but his first and principal wife was Börte. He married her when he was 16, as part of an alliance with her tribe, the Konkirats. She was kidnapped by the Merkits shortly after their marriage, but Genghis Khan managed to rescue her with the help of his friends Jamukha and Toghrul. She gave birth to his eldest son Jochi soon after her return, but there were doubts about his paternity due to her captivity.
Genghis Khan had three other sons with Börte: Chagatai, Ögedei, and Tolui. They were his legitimate heirs and successors, who inherited different parts of his empire. He also had several daughters with Börte, such as Alakhai Bekhi, Checheikhen, Alaltun, etc. His daughters played important roles in Mongol politics and diplomacy, often marrying foreign rulers or acting as regents for their brothers.
Genghis Khan also had many other wives and concubines from different tribes and regions he conquered. Some of them were Khulan Khatun, Yesugen Khatun, Yesulun Khatun, Ibaqa Khatun, Möge Khatun, etc. They bore him more sons and daughters, such as Shigi Qutuqu, Mutugen, Khulan, Tümelün, etc. Some of his sons became prominent generals and governors in his empire, such as Khasar, Khachiun, Temüge, Belgutei, etc. Some of his daughters became influential queens and princesses in foreign lands, such as Khutulun, Sorqoqtani Beki, Alaqai Bekhi, etc.
Genghis Khan divided his empire among his sons before his death in 1227. He appointed Ögedei as his successor and the Great Khan of the Mongols. He also gave each of his sons a specific territory and responsibility: Jochi was to rule over the western regions (Golden Horde), Chagatai over the central regions (Chagatai Khanate), Tolui over the eastern regions (Toluid Dynasty), and Ögedei over the core regions (Yuan Dynasty).
Genghis Khan’s Grandsons and Great-Grandsons
Genghis Khan’s grandsons continued his legacy of conquest and expansion. They also fought among themselves for power and supremacy. The Mongol Empire reached its peak under his grandsons but also began to fragment and decline.
Some of his most famous grandsons were:
- Batu Khan: He was the son of Jochi and the founder of the Golden Horde. He led the Mongol invasion of Russia and Eastern Europe in 1236-1241. He also clashed with his cousin Hulagu over the control of the Caucasus and Persia.
- Berke Khan: He was another son of Jochi and the successor of Batu. He was the first Mongol ruler to convert to Islam. He also waged war against Hulagu and supported the Mamluks of Egypt against the Mongols.
- Güyük Khan: He was the son of Ögedei and the third Great Khan of the Mongols. He was elected after a long dispute with his cousin Batu. He tried to assert his authority over the other khanates but died shortly after his coronation in 1248.
- Möngke Khan: He was the son of Tolui and the fourth Great Khan of the Mongols. He was elected with the support of his brothers Kublai and Hulagu. He launched major campaigns against China, Tibet, Vietnam, Iraq, Syria, and Anatolia. He died during the siege of Diaoyu Castle in 1259.
- Kublai Khan: He was another son of Tolui and the fifth Great Khan of the Mongols. He was also the founder of the Yuan Dynasty in China. He completed the conquest of China and established his capital in Beijing. He also attempted to invade Japan, Java, Burma, and Vietnam, but with mixed results. He promoted trade, culture, and religious tolerance in his realm.
- Hulagu Khan: He was yet another son of Tolui and the founder of the Ilkhanate in Persia. He led the Mongol invasion of Southwest Asia in 1256-1260. He destroyed the Abbasid Caliphate in Baghdad and the Assassins in Alamut. He also fought against the Mamluks and the Crusaders in Syria and Palestine.
- Ariq Böke: He was the youngest son of Tolui and a rival claimant to the throne of Genghis Khan. He challenged his brother Kublai for the title of Great Khan after Möngke’s death. He started a civil war that lasted for four years (1260-1264). He eventually surrendered to Kublai and died in prison.
Genghis Khan’s great-grandsons were also influential and powerful rulers in their own right. Some of them were:
- Zhenjin: He was the son of Kublai Khan and the crown prince of Yuan China. He was a capable administrator and a patron of arts and sciences. He died before his father in 1285.
- Abaqa Khan: He was the son of Hulagu Khan and the second ruler of the Ilkhanate. He continued his father’s wars against the Mamluks and the Byzantines. He also maintained diplomatic relations with the Mongols of Central Asia, the Yuan Dynasty, and the European powers.
- Temür Khan: He was the grandson of Kublai Khan and the second emperor of the Yuan Dynasty. He succeeded his grandfather in 1294 and ruled until 1307. He consolidated his power by defeating his rivals and rebellions. He also reformed the administration and taxation system of China.
- Arghun Khan: He was another son of Abaqa Khan and the fourth ruler of the Ilkhanate. He was a staunch supporter of Buddhism and a fierce opponent of Islam. He also sought to establish an alliance with the Christian states against the Mamluks and the Muslims.
Genghis Khan’s Legacy and Descendants
Genghis Khan’s family tree had a profound impact on world history and culture. His descendants ruled over vast territories and diverse peoples for centuries. They also influenced the development of art, literature, religion, science, law, trade, and warfare in their domains.
However, Genghis Khan’s family tree is also shrouded in mystery and controversy. The sources and records of his family are often incomplete, contradictory, or biased. The accuracy and authenticity of his family tree have been challenged by historians, genealogists, and DNA tests. The identity and number of his descendants are also disputed and debated.
Some of his modern descendants claim to be direct or indirect heirs of Genghis Khan. They include royalty, nobility, politicians, artists, athletes, and celebrities from various countries and regions. Some examples are:
- Timur (Tamerlane): He was a 14th-century conqueror who claimed to be a descendant of Genghis Khan through his maternal grandfather Chagatai Khan. He founded the Timurid Empire in Central Asia and Persia.
- Babur: He was a 16th-century ruler who claimed to be a descendant of both Genghis Khan and Timur. He founded the Mughal Empire in India.
- Zahiruddin Muhammad Babur: He is a 21st-century politician who claims to be a descendant of Babur. He is the current president of Afghanistan.
- Elizabeth II: She is a 21st-century monarch who claims to be a descendant of Genghis Khan through her paternal grandmother Mary of Teck. She is the current queen of the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth realms.
- Genghis Khanid: He is a 21st-century rapper who claims to be a descendant of Genghis Khan. He is a popular hip-hop artist in Mongolia.
Genghis Khan’s family tree is a fascinating and complex topic that reveals much about Mongol history and identity. It also shows how one man’s family can shape the world for generations to come. Whether you admire or despise Genghis Khan and his descendants, you cannot deny their influence and legacy.
We hope you enjoyed this blog post and learned something new about Genghis Khan’s family tree. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to share them below. We would love to hear from you!
If you want to learn more about Genghis Khan’s family tree or other related topics, here are some suggestions for further research or exploration:
- Read The Secret History of the Mongols, a 13th-century account of Genghis Khan’s life and family
- Watch Marco Polo, a Netflix series that depicts Kublai Khan’s court and empire
- Visit The Family Tree DNA Project for Genghis Khan’s Descendants, a website that provides genetic testing and information for people who claim to be related to Genghis Khan
- Play Crusader Kings III, a video game that allows you to create your own dynasty and interact with historical characters such as Genghis Khan.
- Who was Genghis Khan’s father and mother?
- Genghis Khan’s father was Yesügei, a Mongol chieftain of the Borjigin clan, and his mother was Hoelun of the Olkhonuds.
- How many wives and children did Genghis Khan have?
- Genghis Khan had at least six wives: Börte, Khulan, Yesugen, Yesulun, Ibaqa, and Möge. He had at least 14 children: Jochi, Chagatai, Ögedei, Alakhai Bekhi, Tolui, and others.
- Who were Genghis Khan’s most famous descendants?
- Some of Genghis Khan’s most famous descendants were his grandsons: Möngke, Kublai, Hulagu, and Ariq Böke. They were the Khagans (Great Khans) of the Mongol Empire and its successor states: the Yuan dynasty in China, the Ilkhanate in Persia, and the Chagatai Khanate in Central Asia.
- How did Genghis Khan’s family tree influence the history of Asia and Europe?
- Genghis Khan’s family tree influenced the history of Asia and Europe by expanding the Mongol Empire to cover most of Eurasia. The Mongols conquered and ruled over China, Persia, Russia, India, and other regions. They also facilitated trade, communication, and cultural exchange across their vast domains through the Pax Mongolica.
- How can I trace my ancestry to Genghis Khan?
- Tracing one’s ancestry to Genghis Khan is not easy, as there are no reliable records of his genealogy beyond his immediate family. However, some genetic studies have suggested that a large proportion of men in Central Asia and other regions may carry a Y-chromosome haplogroup that originated from Genghis Khan or his close relatives.