A group working at Family Tree DNA believes it has discovered the DNA signature of the Habsburg dynasty.
Project Administrator Harry Hoppes found that one of his Hoppes ancestors was enumerated in the Swiss property censuses of 1290 and 1292 under the surname Habesburc, the same spelling King Rudolf von Habesburc (later Habsburg) had engraved on his 1291 sarcophagus lid.
Subsequent research showed over a dozen other surnames that are close "genetic cousins" to the Hoppes family, namely: Fitze, Grass, Himmelsberger, Kreis, May, Mesmer, Neff, Penczer, Schiess, Schlatter, Schuepbach, Sittner, Tanner, and Waldburger (and related spellings). Many of these families have possible connections with 13th century knightly families throughout Switzerland and southwestern Germany.
Results appear to be supported by genetic tests on a family that claims descent from Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria (1858-1889). Historians have speculated that the Lorraine and Habsburg dynasties share a common paternal descent.
Results appear to be contradicted by genetic tests on a living member of the Habsburg-Lorraine dynasty who belongs to haplogroup G2a. These results are confidential. No further information is available. Results are also contradicted by tests on a family that believes they descend from Emperor Franz Josef. They belong to haplogroup J2. These results are also confidential.
The Hoppes and related families (and by extension perhaps the medieval Habsburgs) belong to haplogroup R-L2/S139 (currently designated R1b1a2a1a1b3c). The following five genetic markers are characteristic of the individuals of interest: DYS 390=25; DYS 392=12; DYS 389-2=28; DYS YCAb=19; and DYS 456=17.