Monday, May 7, 2018

The Sacred Merovingian Dynasty in DNA - Haplogroup G2A

Amidst the chaos that followed the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, a new power arose -- the Merovingian Dynasty. They were the predecessors to the Carolingians (the family of Charlemagne) that formed the Holy Roman Empire, and indeed the Carolingian Dynasty descended from the Merovingians. Their blood remains in some families today. 

Merovingian King Clothair I

The Merovingians were Franks and so are an important part of the history of what eventually became Germany and France (France takes its name from the Franks). They have even been the subject of fiction, such as the highly fanciful version of the Merovingians portrayed in The DaVinci Code. The real Merovingians, however, laid the groundwork for the structure of Medieval Europe and eventually the modern western world. At its greatest extent, the lands of the Merovingians covered much of Europe, from western Germany to the Spanish border, and from the north of France to the northern border of Italy. Charlemagne added Italy (formerly ruled by the Lombards), Bavaria, and other territories to the empire. 

As science and technology have progressed, DNA evidence has helped to provide more insight into the Merovingians. Based on DNA found in a gravesite linked to the dynasty, their Y-DNA haplogroup (that's the direct male line) is G2A with a likely subclade (subdivision) of P140. That haplogroup is rare and of Latin origin, with a particular concentration in central Italy. It is sometimes known as the "Merovingian Haplogroup."

King Richard III (Plantagenet) of England
A part of the Merovingian DNA Haplogroup

When the body of King Richard III was discovered and tested, the haplogroup was the same -- G2A. Blood on a handkerchief believed to have been soaked in the blood of King Louis XVI at his execution was likewise the same haplogroup. However, other tests on living male-line descendants of the Bourbon family suggest that Louis was of a different haplotype, R1b-U106. 

King Louis XVI (Bourbon) of France
It is unclear if he is of the Merovingian Haplogroup of not.
However, as a king, he succeeded them in rule of France.

The legacy of the Merovingian Dynasty and its successor, the Holy Roman Empire, persists to this day around the globe. In the monarchies and even in the republics of the modern world, their blood runs through the veins of several noble families and distinguished lineages.