I have heard claims that people have traced their genealogy back to King David of the Old Testament. But I've also heard that most (if not all) have major gaps or assumptions in the lineage.

Is there any published genealogy that is properly sourced and considered to be effectively "proven" (in a professional genealogical sense) that traced one line back to a biblical character (any person) in the Old or New Testament?

Follow up:

Canadian Girl Scout's excellent answer made me look around for some Jewish lines back to the bible. And I may have found the one I had thought I heard of. Although not a Levite line as CGS suggested, there is a book: The Lurie Legacy by Neil Rosenstein that traces a notable family back through Rashi and Hillel to King David. I have not read it, so I can't comment on whether every step has been validated.

The author of that book is Dr. Neil Rosenstein, a distinguished genealogist. The web page includes some of Dr. Rosenstein's other books that may also go back to biblical times, including "A Rothschild Saga: From King David to Baron David".

Could these be examples of validated lineages back to a biblical character?

Follow up #2:

Today I discovered a blog post by Tammy Hepps from 2012 titled: These People Can Trace Themselves to Adam. She indicates some published genealogies that make 3 specific steps back to King David of the Bible.

Her post gives excellent sources to reference and links to many other sites that provide additional detail.

Follow up #3:

Paula Williams Madison was a Keynote speaker at RootsTech 2016. She claims to be connected to the Lowe family of China that has a documented lineage that goes back 3,000 years and 151 generations to 1006 BC. There is a documentary telling her story and she wrote a book about it as well.

I don't know if this line has been properly sourced or not, and it goes back into Chinese history, not biblical history. But it is worth mentioning here because this does go back sufficiently far to get to biblical times.

  • Does your question assume that the "genealogies of the ... testaments" are able to meet the Genealogical Proof Standard? Let's begin with the undeniable proposition that every available source is derivative.
    – Fortiter
    Commented Nov 28, 2012 at 5:35
  • @Fortiter - No. I don't care about the testament genealogies meeting the GPS, because they don't. That part would be a belief rather than proof.
    – lkessler
    Commented Nov 28, 2012 at 6:15
  • The answer to this worded question is a NO. Remove modern from the question and the answer may differ.
    – Joel
    Commented Nov 29, 2012 at 4:12
  • @ColeValleyGirl - This isn't about biblical genealogy. It is about connecting your modern genealogical research back as far as a biblical figure.
    – lkessler
    Commented Apr 12, 2014 at 16:00
  • meta.genealogy.stackexchange.com/q/1827/104 has been opened to discuss this
    – user104
    Commented Apr 12, 2014 at 16:24

3 Answers 3


It is impossible to prove negative existence, but I would say that without reasonable doubt the answer to your question is "No, nobody has proven themselves to be related to any Biblical person".

There is simply in the western and middle-eastern world no sources (never mind reliable sources) for lineages outside royalty that stretches back beyond the medieval. And not even these non-reliable pre- or early medieval lineages claims relations with biblical persons, as far as I am aware. However, some medieval royal houses did indeed claim to be from the house of David, and hence descended from David. I would guess that any modern claims to being a descendant of David comes from a suspected relation to these royal houses.

But not even these claims can be traced back beyond a thousand years ago or so, meaning there are still some two thousand years of lineage unaccounted for.

On a related note, the Danish royalty did use to claim to descend from Odin and had a made up lineage for this. So if you are related to them, you can claim to be related to gods. And that's not bad. :-)

  • Only one example is needed to show positive existence. e.g. Does Alexander the Great connect to biblical figures? Does anyone's genealogy connect provably to him? What about Egyptian genealogy, or Chinese? The Roman Empire? Es tu Brute?
    – lkessler
    Commented Nov 29, 2012 at 14:04
  • 1
    @lkessler: Correct. I'm not aware of any such example. The only biblical person I would even consider possible of having any such connection would be King Herod. But if any royal line actually had a connection to King Herod they probably would not mention that, and hence that connection would by now be lost. All others in the bible are either not high enough in society or living many hundreds of years before Christ and hence having no genealogical record outside the Bible. Hence I'm quite confident that such examples do not exist. Commented Nov 29, 2012 at 14:14
  • "It is impossible to prove negative existence" Proving non-existence is usually difficult but not impossible.
    – Geremia
    Commented Feb 11, 2022 at 16:50
  • In cases where you can prove that the things existence is self-contradictory, maybe. But you can't look everywhere in the universe. So if the thing is possible, then you can't probe it does not exist somewhere. Commented Feb 26, 2022 at 13:31

Might there be a line of Jewish genealogy that could do this, possibly through the Levites? Would there not be records of priests - rabbinical writings at least until Jesus' time? Are not the midrash and responsa usually attributed to particular rabbis? I think that the concentrated gene pool and advances in DNA testing might make this possible one day. There are priests named in the New Testament (you don't need to go all the way back to Adam to affirm this question).

Perhaps someone studying Jewish genealogy could shed some light on how far back the culture has been able to reliably trace.

  • This feels like half a comment and half an answer. Removing comments about the validity of the question would improve the answer.
    – user47
    Commented Nov 28, 2012 at 16:34
  • @JustinY Okay, done. Commented Nov 29, 2012 at 2:51
  • Yes, I saw the same problem. This answer provides some interesting leads (comments) which might lead to an answer, but that's not typically how this is done. I would invite folks to improve on this answer (fill in the missing information) or conduct such investigations in chat, and bring your results back to this post. Commented Nov 30, 2012 at 1:23
  • @RobertCartaino - JustinY wasn't pointing out anything about the leads in CGS's answer. He was referring to CGS's mention that the question is reasonable and shouldn't be closed, which CGS edited out before you saw the answer. See CGS's edits: genealogy.stackexchange.com/posts/2333/revisions
    – lkessler
    Commented Nov 30, 2012 at 4:58
  • @lkessler Ah, maybe I misread, but my larger point about finishing this answer by filling in the new questions raised is still apt. Commented Nov 30, 2012 at 15:38

Coincidentally, I was just reading the Summer issue of American Ancestors Magazine (see http://www.americanancestors.org/american-ancestors-magazine/). It has an article on 'A Continental Collection' with several pages on 'Ancient Ancestry'. On page 40, it mentions a 1947 Register article as the beginning of the modern study of 'Ancient Ancestry' with a speculative line for Charlemagne back to ancient Rome. It also references one article titled 'Saint William, King David, and Makhir: A Controversial Medieval Descent'. So it appears there are some scholarly pursuits in this area albeit with 'Controversial' in the title. Anyone interested may want to pursue these articles.

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