Last night, I got to thinking about blood type. I wondered how come I have a B+ blood, when everyone in my family is O or A. I decided to go hunting on the Internet to see if I could learn something about where I come from using this tidbit of information.

Blood type O: the Americas
Blood type O: the Americas

It turns out, B-type people are universally less common than O and A.

I discovered that there is a high probability I have some Asian — Siberian, Mongolian, Chinese, Indian — ancestor. Genghis Khan made serious inroads into Europe and I am probably proof of it.

Blood Type A: Central and Eastern Europe
Blood Type A: Central and Eastern Europe

The incidence of type B is low amongst Jews. Low everywhere, really. It’s not unheard of, nor so infrequent as to be rare, but low. My mother was type O, the most common blood group everywhere. Among native peoples in the western hemisphere, type O is close to 100%. Many scientists theorize that “O” was the “original” human blood type and all other types mutated from it.

That’s one theory, anyhow.

This is a bit of a hot topic because some places, blood typing has been used to categorize people as inferior, notably Japan. There are always racists looking for a way to prove they are superior to everyone else. At least one study (I’m not sure I should dignify it with that name) claims people of B-type blood are descendants of Neanderthals while O and A descended from Cro-Magnon. This is pure speculation. Not research.

Worse, there are pockets of racists who contend that A is the only pure Aryan blood type. What evidence did they base this on? None. Particularly interesting since O is the dominant blood type everywhere.

Blood type B: Asia
Blood type B: Asia

Overall in the world, B is the rarest ABO blood allele. Only 16% of humanity has it. It reaches its highest frequency in Central Asia and Northern India. It’s believed to have been entirely absent from Native American and Australian Aboriginal populations prior to the arrival of Europeans. However, there are relatively high frequency pockets in Africa too. 

B is not a dominant blood type anywhere. It is highest in the Philippines and Siberia, lowest in the Americas. Very rare in the British Isles and Scandinavia. The highest percentage it reaches is 38% of the population and that is in the Philippines. The middle East, melting pot that it is, is more or less evenly divided into the three major blood types. If this shows some kind of migratory pattern for our ancestors, no one can prove it. Not yet, anyway.

It turns out there is no universally accepted theory of the origins of man. Scientists and other theorists can’t even agree whether or not we all have the same progenitors.

blood types around the world

So after all this, I don’t know much more than I did when I started. Clearly there is something to be learned from the distribution of blood types in the world, but no one is sure what, exactly.

So, did you learn anything? I think it shows that somewhere in my dim, distant family history, a soldier from the Golden Horde left some DNA behind. I wish I knew more. It would make a terrific story. Very romantic.


  1. Garry Armstrong January 13, 2015 / 11:09 am

    “The Golden Horde” (’53-Columbia) Cornel Wilde, Patricia Medina.


    • Marilyn Armstrong January 13, 2015 / 11:42 am

      Thank you. Can I day dream that the blood of Genghis himself runs in my veins? Cool. Maybe that’s why I like horses so much.


    • Hagen July 14, 2017 / 4:39 am

      Check this Website; “garden of truth and lies”
      i have B+ too.


      • Marilyn Armstrong July 14, 2017 / 12:09 pm

        That blog is one ghastly mess of bullshit mixed with some bazaar religiosity and lord knows what else. What a pile of crap! Do people actually BELIEVE that? They really ARE stupid.


  2. Soul n Spirit January 13, 2015 / 11:18 am

    Blood typing can ever be related to race? I am scared…..I have a good news to tell you…You know what? I have bought The 12- foot Teepee on kindle in the evening ! I don’t feel like writing prompt and want to read it just after the dinner…Yayyyy 🙂


    • Marilyn Armstrong January 13, 2015 / 11:41 am

      You come from a part of the world where you might actually be type B … maybe … It’s not rare there, but it is rare HERE. So I just got interested to figure out how come I have this blood type that is so uncommon. I hope you enjoy the Teepee 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. evilsquirrel13 January 13, 2015 / 11:22 am

    This is something I’ve never really delved into before, so I was quite fascinated to see the maps, and I had no idea O was THAT common! I know my blood type is A since that was confirmed as part of a class biology experiment, and I’d assume A- since that’s my Mom’s blood type. My Dad is AB-, which is supposedly the rarest of the 8 types with RH factor. I always heard we tend to get our blood type from our mothers, although I’d say yours is a truly weird case indeed! Maybe you have some of Charlie Sheen’s tiger blood in you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marilyn Armstrong January 13, 2015 / 11:39 am

      The inheritance of RH factor is complicated. Whether or not you are + or -, you might want to find out. Easiest way? Donate blood. They will tell you. My guess is you aren’t A- or blood banks would be calling you all the time. It’s rare and they never have enough. I have a couple of friends who are A- or AB-. They donate blood often because their type is so hard to come by. Garry is O+ — the universal donor. He was getting calls from every blood drive to the point where he told them to bugger off. He’s a good sport, but enough is enough.

      The only way I can have B+ blood — which I do — is for both of my parents to have carried it as a recessive (at least). I found it interesting. I didn’t realize it was rare. Who knew? Mostly, what I learned, is that there is probably an Asian somewhere back there … Maybe Genghis himself? Therein lies a story 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • evilsquirrel13 January 13, 2015 / 11:42 am

        The wrath of Khan….

        I doubt I would be able to stomach donating blood. I can’t even look when I get blood drawn for labs… I’m just not good with blood, unless it’s in one of my comics!


        • Marilyn Armstrong January 13, 2015 / 11:53 am

          Ah, yes. So many people feel the same way. I am not squeamish, but I have really difficult veins, so giving blood tends to get ugly … and receiving it, uglier still.


          • Danae July 3, 2017 / 4:53 pm

            If you have trouble with blood draws, I can’t help but wonder if you are going in dehydrated. Drink plenty of water before the draw.


            • Marilyn Armstrong July 3, 2017 / 6:05 pm

              I drink a lot in advance. The problem really is that my veins are thin. They roll. They deflate. They have been subject to a lot of abuse over my lifetime and essentially, they had enough. I tend to agree with them.


      • AB neg May 26, 2017 / 1:15 pm

        i believe your info is incorrect or you r not understanding or repeating it correctly. study up on recessive & dominant blood/genetic terminology. + there is definitely rare AB both neg & pos genotypes but blood banks do not commonly search out & recruit for donors & pre-computers prob didn’t keep running lists. Most people r not aware of their own or general blood type data unless they were ID in military or presurgical. The ethnology & science is complicated


        • Marilyn Armstrong May 26, 2017 / 3:45 pm

          “Blood banks do not commonly search out & recruit for donors” — except for me, they did. Because when you have a lot of heart surgery in a hospital deeply involved in research, you’d be astonished at what they check, double-check and track. It’s good they did because otherwise, I’d probably not have survived all that surgery. Most people don’t even know the basics of their blood type. I do.


  4. Rick January 13, 2015 / 11:52 am

    You’re like Rambo. First blood and all that.


    • Marilyn Armstrong January 13, 2015 / 11:56 am

      Well, from now on, I’m claiming descent from the great Khan (great Con Artist?). I mean, hell, why not.


  5. angloswiss January 13, 2015 / 11:56 am

    Now you should do a check to see if you had that blue birthmark in a very sensitive place when you were born, the sign of Gengis and his merry men. If you did probably an innocent girl harvesting in the fields many years ago somewhere in an outpost of Europe met a Tartar gentleman on his horse who had not seen a woman for a few years and there you have your origins. Oh, how romantic. I have just normal A+. It seems this might be due to my Huguenot ancestors, but who knows. I think your blood group is much more interesting when you see the possibilities.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marilyn Armstrong January 13, 2015 / 12:11 pm

      It certainly makes an entertaining fantasy. My guess is you have exactly the right take on it. But maybe they fell in love and he didn’t go back with all the other Tartars and stayed for love!

      I actually did all this research last night. I had no idea what today’s prompt would be, but having spent a couple of hours last night trying to figure out how I got this blood type that is so rare among “my people,” I figured I might as well make some use of the research. It IS kind of interesting. I’m not sure what it proves, if it proves anything at all, but it’s interesting.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Marilyn Armstrong January 13, 2015 / 12:16 pm

      It turns out that Genghis and the gang were so good at spreading their DNA around that more than 2/3 of infants are born with the Mongolian Blue Spot. I gather it disappears over the years, so I would not know if I had it … and my mom is long gone. Just interesting to speculate 🙂 It also appears in weird places like Polynesia, making it kind of unlikely that it came entirely from the Mongolian invaders, though that is certainly a more entertaining way to look at it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • angloswiss January 14, 2015 / 10:53 am

        There are quite a few victims in France with the blue mark I believe.


        • Marilyn Armstrong January 14, 2015 / 11:11 am

          I looked it up and apparently, it’s become downright common. Those Mongolian guys really got around. Who’d have thunk it? I wish I could ask my mom if I had “the mark,” but she’s long gone from this world. I guess I’ll just have to keep wondering. But I’m sure it was Genghis himself!

          Liked by 1 person

  6. swo8 January 13, 2015 / 12:38 pm

    Interesting thought.


  7. wscottling January 13, 2015 / 1:52 pm

    I have O+ my first husband has AB+ our four kids have either O+, or A+, or B+. None of them have AB+ I know this because it interested me when they were born. Both the first husband and I are very much European stock (his family is mostly from Germany so far as I’ve been able to ascertain), so don’t ask me how he got his AB+ blood.


    • Marilyn Armstrong January 13, 2015 / 2:18 pm

      Blame it on those Mongolian invaders. Because if any of us were purely European, we wouldn’t have that B allele. Some roaming Tartar saw a young lass and then …


      • wscottling January 13, 2015 / 2:23 pm

        Don’t tell his family that, they’d all die of a brain aneurysm. Gotta keep that bloodline pure you know. One of the many reasons why he’s my first husband.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Thomas Weaver January 13, 2015 / 4:31 pm

    My twin told me that he’d read somewhere a few years ago that it is now thought many if not most people of European descent with type O blood are descended from someone who actually caught the Black Death (bubonic plague) but survived. Since the disease attacked the proteins on the red blood cells (those same proteins that make the cells type A or type B, type O if neither is present, or type AB if both are) the body getting rid of the proteins on its own — an epigenetic change — resulted in a person being type O when they’d previously been type A or B or whatever. (I remember this because WE’RE type O, and I made some fiction-related joke referring to the name he went by in his creatively anachronistic days… Anyway, the information stuck, even if I don’t have a link to the article right now.)

    The point is, if someone can BECOME type O through epigenetic change, it is far more difficult to map where that blood type originated, because anyone who contracted but survived a disease that can cause such a change (or had the change triggered by some other means) could have been some other type originally, but they’d pass on the O type — and ONLY the O type — to their children.

    (I’m probably explaining this wrong. Too early in the day for me. I really need to find that science article again, though, since I need it for a blog post I’ve been planning anyway.)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Marilyn Armstrong January 13, 2015 / 5:56 pm

      At least one of the articles I read suggested that under very rare circumstances — usually involving a transfusion — blood type could change. They didn’t mention disease. But then again, this is a surprisingly vague area of knowledge. I thought there would be tons of information on this, but there isn’t much. Maybe if you are a researcher and have access to specific scientific and medical site, there’s a lot more. But for the general public, there is surprisingly little solid evidence. There’s a lot of information on what, but almost nothing on how or why.

      Liked by 2 people

    • stillsearching@ May 26, 2017 / 1:44 pm

      on one hand it does make sense tht if population with specific blood type was more successful at surviving plagues, viruses epidemics there would survival of the fittest type explanation without even getting into transfusion incompatibilities esp in times when transfusions were not regularly done ( although first attempt procedures date back centuries). There may even be climate advantages et al tht we can’t imagine. Infant survival would not have been an advantage for any but AB pos.


      • Marilyn Armstrong May 26, 2017 / 3:26 pm

        Not only don’t I know why the various blood types evolved, I don’t think anyone else knows either. There’s a lot of speculation, but the answers have yet to be found. However, since some of us “pop up” with blood types that theoretically can’t show up given our parents, but we obviously are their kids — no one could look as much like my parents as I do and not BE theirs! — yet B+ shouldn’t happen. So there are recessives in bloodlines and I know, because I had heart surgery, that I also have some other untypical blood typing that would normally not even be checked, but major heart surgery in a really top hospital — they test and retest everything. They still can’t answer how come I’m a B+ in an A and O world.


  9. draliman January 13, 2015 / 4:54 pm

    That’s interesting, I always assumed that the distribution of blood types was the same everywhere. I’m type A, if that helps your research any 🙂


    • Marilyn Armstrong January 13, 2015 / 5:53 pm

      As pretty much everyone of European and Celtic descent are (or used to be), though as maps show, nowadays, there’s a little of everything everywhere. I should be type A or O. What intrigued me was that B is not common for my ethnicity or countries of origin.

      I get on a trail and I’m like a demented hound, I keep following the scent until I decide I’ve gotten as far as I can. I was just curious.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. bkpyett January 14, 2015 / 4:47 am

    Interesting thoughts. I know my blood is negative, but forgotten which letter! No help at all!!


    • Marilyn Armstrong January 14, 2015 / 10:06 am

      It is interesting. You might want to find out what your blood type is. It could save your life.


  11. Mona Gustafson Affinito February 23, 2017 / 9:39 pm

    Thanks for the like — and interesting stuff about blood type. I knew mine once. I think it’s still on a card in my wallet. I do wish I had time for your google challenge, but right now everything else is lying around in messy piles as I focus everything on “My Father’s House,” except when I just can’t resist making a comment, or an effort to sell “Figs & Pomegranates & Special Cheeses.”


    • Marilyn Armstrong February 23, 2017 / 10:07 pm

      Thanks for dropping by. I wrote this … well … at least two or three years ago, so I’m always pleased when someone digs it up. You are always welcome at my house 🙂


  12. Bette A. Stevens March 16, 2017 / 7:32 pm

    Fascinating, Marilyn. I’m O+, and I learned that I rank in the most common of blood types. xo


    • Marilyn Armstrong March 16, 2017 / 9:35 pm

      I should not be B+. And they never believe me in the hospital. But, apparently, these things pop up from somewhere. Recessive? Complexly recessive? I think my mother was AB+. No idea what my father was, but there was some mid-Asian guy in there … maybe way, way back. Which answers at least one question about where at least one part of the family came from. Yes, it really IS interesting.


  13. Andrea M. Boardman June 17, 2017 / 2:43 am

    Hi Marilyn,
    I’m B+ like you. My mother is B+ and my father was A+. I don’t know what my maternal grandparents were. I’ve got five siblings. I know one sister is AB+ and one is O+. The others I don’t know. I’m of European descent, so very curious about this as well.


    • Marilyn Armstrong June 17, 2017 / 2:48 am

      Generally, as far as I can tell, the B group comes from central Asia, the Philippines, a few spots in Africa … and the middle east. The general belief is that the origin is probably Asia, but since we all come originally from Africa — all human seem to have started there — really hard to know. There are so many theories and basically, no proof of any kind. I like to think that the Mongol invaders hit an ancestor of mine, but that also just my personal romantic fantasy. I did as much research as I could do using open scientific papers. Probably someone with better access to scientific documents might make more progress. There isn’t nearly as much information about this as I expected. At least, not in the U.S. I think they’ve done more with it in Europe and Japan. But they don’t seem to have a lot more solid information. It’s a mystery.


  14. Paula July 6, 2017 / 2:26 am

    🙂 I am A- and I enjoyed this read a lot. I did not know about the distribution on the continents, and now thanks to you I know more. Some years ago there was a craze about eating according to your blood type. I researched what I am supposed to eat but it was all so very restricted. Back in that time I found out that B was mostly spread in Asia – I know that cause I wanted B type diet and I could only eat A. These were my concerns – not romantic story behind it 😀 When Pope John II was dying I found out from the media that he has a rare blood type A- just like me. That made me feel special :D. Thank you for this interesting post, Marilyn.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marilyn Armstrong July 6, 2017 / 4:36 am

      There’s a huge amount more, but it gets really obscure. This is about as far as I could go without a medical license! But yes, it really IS interesting. There’s a lot more research going on and I expect we will all learn more pretty soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. kethuprofumo July 9, 2017 / 9:22 am

    Dear Marilyn, thank you for curious information to ponder on. I deal with history, so this idea to compare the blood types is an interesting approach to learn some new facts about us.
    Best wishes,


    • Marilyn Armstrong July 23, 2017 / 9:06 am

      Be careful what you think you are learning. A lot of people think they are learning a lot, but they really aren’t. There aren’t a lot of facts in this information, just a loose, unproven, bunch of possibilities.

      Liked by 1 person

      • kethuprofumo July 23, 2017 / 9:24 am

        Thank you for warning, dear Marilyn. Though I work only with archives. I don’t study facts, but the reality of the past.


        • Marilyn Armstrong July 23, 2017 / 11:25 am

          I worry because blood type has become another version of racism in places like Japan. People have a very nasty way of turning potential information into damning facts.

          Liked by 1 person

          • kethuprofumo July 23, 2017 / 11:35 am

            God exists and He sees everything. Light always wins Shadows. That’s the Truth proved through centuries. 🙂 Have a nice week!


  16. Gordon C. Stewart July 23, 2017 / 7:22 am

    Aha! I have another theory. You knew I might! Your recent stories of being scammed lead me to a different hypothesis: B+ was the type of Abel, the biblical archetype of victimization. You’re carrying forward the blood that still cries out from the ground to YHWH.😱🤓


    • Marilyn Armstrong July 23, 2017 / 9:00 am

      I’m not sure whether to say thank you … or not! Um … thank you? It’s been pretty messy, but I’m hoping we’re through half of it — more to come. This is one of Those Summers. I hope we are out of emergencies. We are out of funds to deal with them! Unless YHWH is sending money?


      • Gordon C. Stewart July 23, 2017 / 9:35 am

        Who knows? Maybe three messengers will show up? Seriously, so sorry for what you’re going through!


        • Marilyn Armstrong July 23, 2017 / 11:26 am

          I appreciate it. We got through this and we are exhausted. Stress is tiring. I just now need the remainder of the potential calamities to wait some months and give us a little time to recover, though with the way life is structured, I don’t know how much recovering we’re going to do until the next time tax refunds arrive.


  17. jcalberta September 11, 2017 / 10:27 pm

    i always wondered why i was fond of dragging my knuckles.
    sometimes i kinda lope around too.


    • Marilyn Armstrong September 11, 2017 / 10:29 pm

      I don’t know that this proves anything except that probably if you have a B blood type, somewhere genetically you have some blood from an Asian or Africa or the Philippines or the middle east. That’s a lot of territory.


      • jcalberta September 12, 2017 / 1:28 am

        I’m thought about checking out my family tree thing, but never do. Possibly a bit of fear in there.


        • Manex Giovanni (@ManexGiovanni) November 14, 2017 / 7:04 am

          Check it, if your parents are “O” and “A” you can’t be possibly “B”. If you are “B” than there must be another explication to that. Your family tree is not much use here, only your two parents’ blood type.


          • Marilyn Armstrong November 14, 2017 / 8:57 am

            It isn’t that simple. Unlike fruit flies, we carry inheritance through many generations and in a lot of peculiar combinations. They WERE my parents — no question about it — and they were A and O and I am B+ — with some relatively rare extra bits that I’m sure my doctors could explain. Quite possibly from the North African part of the past heritage. I wanted desperately to be adopted when I was a kid. Sadly, I was such an image of my father — well — not really likely. Even I couldn’t make that stick. And after a wild variety of heart surgeries, the B+ with those other odd pieces … well … the doctors were OK with it, so I guess you will have to deal with it too.


  18. Helen Bushe November 25, 2017 / 1:38 pm

    I now have a wonderful image of Genghis Khan


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