In this article, we will discover the life and the children of Genghis Khan. Genghis Khan has been known to father many children, most of them official and the rest to have populated the lineage of history, according to studies. How many exactly is unknown, and various studies have revealed the mysterious identical Y-chromosome across male population in Central Asia.
Genghis Khan’s real children:
Temujin or Genghis Khan’s first son he considered as his own is Jochi, from his wife Borte. Although Borte was captured by the Three Merkits and only rescued eight months after, she gave birth to a son Jochi which gave doubts to who the father is. Temujin let Jochi in their family and considered him as his own. They had three more sons, Chagatai (1183-1242), Ogedei ((1186–1241), and Tolui (1191–1232).
Genghis Khan, born as Temujin (1158-August 18, 1227) with a title coming from the Turkic “tengiz” which means “sea”, and posthumously known as Genghis Huangdi, was the famous founder and first Great Khan and Emperor of the Mongol Empire. Temujin’s name is derived from the Mongol word temur which means iron, and jin as agency, or correlates to “blacksmith”.
There is little knowledge of the early years of Genghis Khan due to lack of records. He had an arranged marriage at the young age of nine to the family of his future wife Borte Ujin, of the tribe Khongirad. It was common then to the Mongol men to have many wives and concubines.
Genghis Khan was responsive to the conflict between his children particularly, between his sons Chagatai and Jochi especially when he died. He then divided his empire amongst his sons and they became Khan in their own right, while appointing one of his sons to be his successor.
Chagatai has threatened that he will not follow Jochi if he would be the next successor and it will create a rift in the empire. Tolui, being the youngest son is not suitable to become the next successor as younger sons were not given much responsibility. The throne was then given to Ogedei to be the next successor.
Ogedei Khan (1186 – Dec. 11, 1241):
Ogedei was the favorite of his father ever since his childhood. His body was big built, cheerful, and a charismatic man, who was most interested in good times. Ogedei was the third son of Genghis Khan from Borte and second great Khan of the Mongol Empire. He followed after his father’s reign in the Mongol Empire.
He continued the massive expansion that his father conquered and became a world figure when the Mongol empire reached the farthest extent west and south during the invasions of Europe and Asia. He also extensively participated in conquests in China, Iran and Central Asia.
When he was 17 years old, his father Genghis Khan experienced a massive defeat of Khalakhaljid Sands against the army of Jamukha. Ogedei was seriously wounded and lost on the battlefield. After his rescue, his father gave him to Torogene, the wife of a defeated Merkit chief as addition to his wives which is not uncommon to the steppe culture.
After Genghis Khan was proclaimed Emperor of Khagan in 1206, thousands of the Jalayir, Besud, Suldus, and Khongqatan clans were given to Ogedei as his appanage or as inheritance to a younger child who would not receive any otherwise.
Ogedei was perceived by Genghis Khan as having a generous and courteous character. His personality is credited to the success of the empire in keeping with his father’s footsteps. The empire has remained stable during his reign mainly due to his charisma and his father’s well organized conquests.
Ogedei was a practical man, and made several mistakes during his reign. He was well aware that he cannot be compared to his father’s greatness as a military commander therefore he used his abilities to the best of his capabilities. Ogedei was condemned by the Persians and Mongol chroniclers for a crime he committed in 1237, which allegedly consisted of ordering the rape of four thousand Oirat girls above the age of seven and given to caravan’s hostels amongst the Mongol empire to serve as prostitutes.
Ogedei was also known to be an alcoholic. His brother Chagatai entrusted an official to watch over him but he still managed to drink anyway. He vowed to reduce his drinking then had the cups created twice its size for his personal use. He died at dawn of 11 December 1241, after a whole night drinking spree with Abd-ur-Rahman, his people blamed Abd-ur-Rahman and the sister of Tolui’s widow. The Mongols however recognized that his demise was brought by his own lack of self-control.
Family Tree of Genghis Khan:
Jochi (c. 1182 – February 1227):
Jochi’s true paternity has always been in question due to his mother’s abduction and his birth right after the rescue. Genghis Khan has treated Jochi as his first son, but historically a doubt remained whether his father was Genghis Khan or Chilger Bokh. Jochi’s descendants were never considered for the succession of the throne or claims for their family’s heritage.
Jochi is a revered military leader who participated in his father’s conquest of Central Asia along with brothers and uncles.
Genghis Khan made Jochi responsible for the supervision and conduct of the communal hunt, which is a large-scale military exercise specifically used for the training of the army. In 1207, Jochi conquered many of the forest peoples in Siberia, enlarging the northern border of the Mongol empire primarily. He led two campaigns against the Krygyz in 1201 and 1218.
He was central in Khwarezm war of 1219–1221 in Central Asia and was given command of operation against the city if Urgench or presently known as Turkmenistan, the capital of Khwarezmian empire.
Certain incidents had portrayed Jochi as a kinder man than his father. Although he had some shares of carnages of civilians. However, on one instance Jochi pleaded with his father to spare the life of a son of an enemy chief which also happened to be a great archer, so Jochi can take him into his own Mongol army.
The request was denied and the captive executed. Like his father, Jochi had a large number of wives and concubines and had at least fourteen sons and two daughters. Joshi died in 1227 while his father lived. Several scholars have commented on the possibility that Jochi was poisoned by an order from his father after an argument with conquered lands.
Super Father Genghis Khan
Modern day study indicates that Genghis Khan has fathered many children with different women and found that up to 16 million men or half percent of the world’s male population were genetically linked to Genghis Khan. It is believed that 8 percent of men living within the area of the Mongol empire have the DNA of the royal line. The lineage goes back to a thousand years.
Geneticist Spencer Wells mentioned that this is the first documented case when human culture has produced a single genetic lineage to such an massive extent in just a few hundred years.” The genetic mutation that defines the lineage does not originally start with Khan, but could have been passed on to him by his great great grandfather.
The random mutation is also called markers. Once these markers are identified, geneticists go back in time to trace them to a point of their origin or a unique lineage of descent.
The lineage was found in another population outside of the former Mongolian empire, in Pakistan. The Hazaras of Pakistan have a long belief that says they are direct descendants of Genghis Khan. Kubilai Khan, his grandson who established the Yuan Dynasty in China, produced 22 legitimate sons.
The Mongol empire has reached its maximum conquered area from China to Iran and some parts of Russia extending over to Europe. The Mongol army expanded aggressively through Asia. The many children of Khan having had more children expanded his genetic legacy across the continent.
Death of Genghis Khan:
Genghis Khan passed away in August 1227, during the fall of Yinchuan. The exact cause of his death remains a mystery and is variously ascribed to illness, or being killed in battle against Western Xia, or falling off his horse, or sustained wounds from his battles. In the book of Secret History of the Mongois, he fell off his horse and died from his injuries. He was already old and tired from his many battles.
Years before he passed away, he asked to be buried with no markings according to the traditions of his tribe. After he died, his body was returned to Mongolia and to his birthplace in Khentii Aimag. It was legendary that the funeral escort killed anyone who might have knowledge in his actual burial site to conceal it. The Genghis Khan Mausoleum was constructed many years as his memorial but not his burial site.
Genghis Khan has produced many children through many different women. Genghis Khan and all his male relatives have impacted the population with a certain set special circumstances. The identified Y-chromosomal lineage was found in 16 populations throughout a large region of Asia, with 8 percent of the men in this region convey it.
The rapid spread in the population cannot occur by chance and can only be explained by a result of selection. The unique lineage is carried by male-line descendants and has spread through social selection resulting from their behaviors.
FAQ on Genghis Khan Children:
How many children does Genghis Khan have?
Genghis Khan children are officially composed of four sons, with Jochi and Ogedei being the more important ones. He was also the common ancestor of many Asian ruling families which includes the Kublaids of China, the Jochids of the Golden Horde, Hulaguids of Persia, and the Mughals.
How many children does he have?
The few Y-DNA studies have linked that the 8% of males in Central Asia, or around 16 million people have possible lineage to Genghis Khan. There is no concrete evidence for a direct link, even though the theories are not impossible.
Why did Genghis Khan have a lot of children?
In 1206 AD, Genghis Khan historically started the Mongol invasion. Raping women and slaughtering their children was part of the conquest of war. Rape is often used as a weapon of war. To make alliances with conquered tribes, it was necessary to make babies with the women to spread the bloodline further.
Was Genghis Khan a Muslim?
No, he was not. He believed in a religion of tengrism, or closely revolving around the concept of shaman, or religious masters believed to have supernatural powers and capability to speak with gods and spirits. The popular god is the creator god Tengri. Although Geghis Khan is officially a tengrist, he was very tolerant of other religions.
How old was Genghis Khan when he died?
He was approximately 65 or 72 since he was born 1155 or 1162, and died in 1227. The lands he conquered were divided between his three eldest surviving sons. His eldest Jochi died in his lifetime. His grandsons started war against each other in keeping to the footsteps of their grandfather.