Lineage of Chinggis Khaan

admin Jun 06, 2019

Genghis Khan was related on his father's side to Khabul Khan, Ambaghai, and Hotula Khan, who had headed the Khamag Mongol confederation and were descendants of Bodonchar Munkhag (c. 900). When the Jurchen Jin dynasty switched support from the Mongols to the Tatars in 1161, they destroyed Khabul Khan.

Genghis Khan's father, Yesugei (leader of the Borjigin clan and nephew to Ambaghai and Hotula Khan), emerged as the head of the ruling Mongol clan. This position was contested by the rival Tayichi'ud clan, who descended directly from Ambaghai. When the Tatars grew too powerful after 1161, the Jin switched their support from the Tatars to the Keraites.



Autumn at the Onon River, Mongolia, the region where Temujin was born and grew up. Genghis Khan's birth name, Temujin, was derived from the Mongol word temur meaning "of iron", while jin denotes agency. Temujin thus means "blacksmith". Genghis Khan was probably born in 1162 in Deluun Boldog, near the mountain Burkhan Khaldun and the rivers Onon and Kherlen in modern-day northern Mongolia, close to the current capital Ulaanbaatar. 


The Secret History of the Mongols reports that Temujin was born grasping a blood clot in his fist, a traditional sign that he was destined to become a great leader.


He was the second son of his father Yesugei who was a Kiyad chief prominent in the Khamag Mongol confederation and an ally of Toghrul of the Keraite tribe.


Temujin was the first son of his mother Hoelun. According to the Secret History, Temujin was named after the Tatar chief Temujin-uge whom his father had just captured.


Yesukhei's clan was Borjigin (Боржигин), and Hoelun was from the Olkhunut sub-lineage of the Khongirad tribe. Like other tribes, they were nomads. Temujin's noble background made it easier for him to solicit help from and eventually consolidate the other Mongol tribes.