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Thomas Jefferson

Monday 14 May 2007

The Y chromosome carried by President Thomas Jefferson belongs to haplogroup K2, a lineage representing only approximately 1% of chromosomes worldwide, and most common in East Africa and the Middle East.

Phylogenetic network analysis of its Y-STR (short tandem repeat) haplotype shows that it is most closely related to an Egyptian K2 haplotype, but the presence of scattered and diverse European haplotypes within the network is nonetheless consistent with Jefferson’s patrilineage belonging to an ancient and rare indigenous European type.

This is supported by the observation that two of 85 unrelated British men sharing the surname Jefferson also share the President’s Y-STR haplotype within haplogroup K2.


- King TE, Bowden GR, Balaresque PL, Adams SM, Shanks ME, Jobling MA. Thomas Jefferson’s Y chromosome belongs to a rare European lineage.
Am J Phys Anthropol. 2007 Apr;132(4):584-9. PMID: 17274013