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, 22 (5), 681-7

Genetic Genealogy Reveals True Y Haplogroup of House of Bourbon Contradicting Recent Identification of the Presumed Remains of Two French Kings

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Genetic Genealogy Reveals True Y Haplogroup of House of Bourbon Contradicting Recent Identification of the Presumed Remains of Two French Kings

Maarten H D Larmuseau et al. Eur J Hum Genet.

Abstract

Genetic analysis strongly increases the opportunity to identify skeletal remains or other biological samples from historical figures. However, validation of this identification is essential and should be done by DNA typing of living relatives. Based on the similarity of a limited set of Y-STRs, a blood sample and a head were recently identified as those belonging respectively to King Louis XVI and his paternal ancestor King Henry IV. Here, we collected DNA samples from three living males of the House of Bourbon to validate the since then controversial identification of these remains. The three living relatives revealed the Bourbon's Y-chromosomal variant on a high phylogenetic resolution for several members of the lineage between Henry IV and Louis XVI. This 'true' Bourbon's variant is different from the published Y-STR profiles of the blood as well as of the head. The earlier identifications of these samples can therefore not be validated. Moreover, matrilineal genealogical data revealed that the published mtDNA sequence of the head was also different from the one of a series of relatives. This therefore leads to the conclusion that the analyzed samples were not from the French kings. Our study once again demonstrated that in order to realize an accurate genetic identification of historical remains DNA typing of living persons, who are paternally or maternally related with the presumed donor of the samples, is required.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Overview of the patrilineal relationships between the three selected living members of the House of Bourbon and the French Kings Henri IV and Louis XVI. These five individuals are given in grey. The English names (if they are used in English literature) and titles of the members of the House of Bourbon are given in the genealogical tree together with their year of birth and death.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Overview of the matrilineal relationship between the French King Henri IV and Louis XVII, both given in grey. The English names and titles of the maternal ancestors are given in the genealogical tree together with their year of birth and death.

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