Alessandro Vezzosi and Agnese Sabato have spent 10 years advancing a project researching Leonardo da Vinci’s DNA. Their study, published in “Human Evolution” (Pontecorboli Editore, Florence), documents with new certainty the continuous male line, from father to son, of the Da Vinci family from progenitor Michele (born 1331) to grandson Leonardo (born 1452) through to today. 21 generations, including five family branches are identified, as are 14 living descendants.
It team spelled out the documentary data and information sources over seven centuries to the present day registry office, and work on additional family branches is ongoing.
Although he never had children, Leonardo had at least 22 half-brothers. Five family branches are traced from Leonardo’s father, ser Piero (5th generation), and half-brother Domenico (6th). Since the 15th generation, data has been collected on more than 225 individuals.
This extraordinary, authoritative 690-year genealogical investigation is fundamental to affiliated scientific work Vezzosi and Sabato have underway with the international Leonardo da Vinci.
The Y chromosome, passed on to male descendants, is known to remain almost unchanged through 25 generations. Comparing the Y chromosome of today’s male relatives with that of their ancestors in ancient and modern burial sites would both verify the uninterrupted family line and certify Leonardo’s own Y chromosome marker. The extensive study, with the collaboration of the living descendants, contributes to the work of the Leonardo Da Vinci Heritage Association.
Original Release: Eureka Alert