Alexander Palace Forum

Discussions about the Imperial Family and European Royalty => The Myth and Legends of Survivors => Topic started by: Louis_Charles on January 25, 2006, 02:23:42 PM

Title: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Louis_Charles on January 25, 2006, 02:23:42 PM

I have a more general question after this, and I suppose this thread will be the best place for it. Has any pretender from Perkin Warbeck on  --- has any one of them ever been proved real?

Naundorff? Naundorff? Anyone?
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Helen_Azar on January 25, 2006, 02:39:43 PM
Quote
Has any pretender from Perkin Warbeck on --- and let's face it, to judge by this list alone that's a lot of pretenders --- has any one of them ever been proved real?

Naundorff? Naundorff? Anyone?


Good question, Simon. There were so many, but as far as I know not even one was proven to be legit... Naundorff, much like AA, was ousted by that *evil* DNA!  ;)  

I think it would be fun to make a list of all the known royal pretenders, who claimed to have survived an execution.
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Georgiy on January 25, 2006, 03:20:43 PM
Interesting that Alexei and Maria were the most 'popular' ones to be. We hear of course so much about AA and Eugenia Smith that we assume Anastasia had the most presumers, but that is obviously not the case.
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Belochka on January 26, 2006, 12:24:57 AM
Quote
Interesting that Alexei and Maria were the most 'popular' ones to be.


To satisfy all potential males aspirants one may as well have sought the top of the line role. Previously in the absence of DNA profiling, it was so easy to suggest that Alexei did not suffer from a terminal condition to explain "their alleged" survival.

It is certainly a mystery why there were more Mariya's available .... perhaps vanity may be one small consideration here? ;)

Ah, the games people decided to play and many still remain attracted to their mythical tales whether to write or be amused by tiresome books or create a program about absolutely nothing! :-/
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: jeremygaleaz on January 26, 2006, 02:03:47 AM

Thanks Helen :)

Did they also list names, photographs, and backgounds? Just curious as to how many were found roaming around mental institutions....
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: ChatNoir on January 26, 2006, 08:32:59 PM
Quote

So a girl who had been declared legally insane, and was so desperate to ditch her life and identity that she tried to kill herself, would be a perfect candidate for this club!


With all due respect: When and where was Anna Anderson declared legally insane?
Inquiring minds want to know.
Kind regards
Chat Noir
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: elena_maria_vidal on January 27, 2006, 08:26:16 AM
I don't believe she was ever declared legally insane.
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Annie on January 27, 2006, 08:39:28 AM

FS was declared legally insane in 1916.   FS was AA.

Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Helen_Azar on January 27, 2006, 08:48:27 AM
Last night I was watching a documentary on Charles Lindbergh, and wouldn't you know it, evidently there were several people who crawled out of the woodwork years later to claim that they were Charles Augustus Lindbergh Jr (Lindbergh's baby who was kidnapped and killed in the 1930's) - alive and well! And this was after the poor kid's body was found and id'ed, which was shortly after the kidnapping. I suppose it doesn't matter to these people if there was a body or not, they will put forth their claims anyway. And even more strangely, many people will believe them...

In addition, apparently there were also many "pretenders" who, after Lindbergh's death, came out to claim that they were his illegitimate children. And guess what, a couple of them were proven to be for real! So to answer your original question, Simon, whether any "pretenders" were ever proven to be legit: yes, Charles Lindbergh's "other" family - the Hesshaimers, provided their DNA samples in 2003 and were proven to be his biological children...


Left: Astrid Hesshaimer, the woman proven to be Lindbergh' biological daughter (via DNA tests in 2003):

(http://img90.imageshack.us/img90/1622/96lindberghdaughter9ac.jpg)
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: ChatNoir on January 27, 2006, 09:07:26 AM
Quote
FS was declared legally insane in 1916.   FS was AA.



So how come AA was NOT insane?
Kind regards
Chat Noir
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Louis_Charles on January 27, 2006, 09:23:07 AM
The Lindbergh Case is interesting, yes. But not exactly the same, I think, since Lindbergh himself was a presence in the lives of his German family until he died. Weren't there photos of him with them? Letters in his hand to them? Didn't he surreptitiously visit them during their childhood? If I remember correctly, there was a predispostion on the part of Reeve and the surviving "legitimate" Lindberghs to accept them even before the DNA tests.

But of course the larger answer, that their claims to identity were proved by DNA, remains.

There is a case which meets what I am looking for as an example. Has anyone read Annette Gordon-Read on Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemmings? For years there had been an oral tradition among the African-American community in Albemarle County, Virginia, that Jefferson had maintained a long-term relationship with Hemmings, a slave who had come to Monticello as part of his wife's dowry (she was also Martha Jefferson's half-sister, don't ask). Over the course of his life after Martha died, he and Sally produced at least five children. Allegations about their relationship were flying thick and fast from at least 1803 on, but Jefferson never commented upon it, and we have nothing from Sally Hemmings, either. Obviously it would be more palatable if they were having a romantic affair, but the fact is that she was his slave, and by that definition,  unable to refuse him, so . . .

Their children were kept as slaves. Some were allowed to "run away" from Monticello once they became young adults and had been taught a trade on the estate. The remainder,  and their mother, were freed by the terms of Jefferson's will when he died in 1826.  In a Charlottesville census in the early 1830s Sally and a son, Easton (I think; I am doing this from memory, so bear with me) were listed as white. During the course of her research, Gordon-Reed discovered that nearly all of the remaining children had chosen to "pass" as white in society, since their parentage gave them that option. Only Madison Hemmings did not, and after the Civil War he gave an interview to an Ohio newspaper in which he revealed that Jefferson and Sally Hemmings were his parents, and expressed some bitterness at his father's treatment of him and his siblings.

The legitimate Jefferson family line was aware of the Hemmings claim and discounted it, as did every historian writing about Jefferson until well into the 20th century. In part this was due to an idealization of Jefferson the man, and in part to the racist aspects of the society in which they were writing. It was simply unacceptable that Jefferson had conducted a long-term affair with a black woman, despite what might have been an affinity for her based upon her resemblance to his dead wife.

When DNA testing confirmed that there was indeed a relationship to Jefferson's mother (shades of Anastasia!), the Jeffersonians were falling all over themselves to pin the rap on Jefferson's nephew, anyone but Jefferson. Gordon-Reed, a lawyer, did absolutely brilliant historical research that demonstrated Jefferson had been present at Monticello nine months before each of Hemming's various births. There is now widespread acceptance among historians (including Joseph Ellis, who wrote American Sphinx just before Gordon-Reed published, and who had concluded that Jefferson could not have had this relationship. He conceded that Gordon-Reed had proved it by using DNA combined with historical evidence.}

This, I think, is what we are waiting to happen in the Andersen case. I remember thinking when I read Gordon-Reed how fascinating some of the parallels were.

But here's the deal: the DNA was accepted by the historians only after the historical evidence was marshalled that proved his presence at Monticello. Prior to that there was widespread revulsion at the idea that Jefferson could have had the relationship. Why? Well, it sticks in the craw to discover that the man who wrote the American Declaration of Independence could have kept his own children as slaves. There is also the inherent racism. African-Americans whose ancestors were held as slaves have no problem accepting the fact that there are whites among their forebearers. It was a fact of life for those held in that situation. But there was a reluctance to admit that the reverse was true, i.e. that several of the First Families of Virginia contained black members. Even today the "legitimate" descendants of the Jeffersons refuse to allow the Hemmings descendants burial in the family cemetery.

Again, this debate could have continued for another 150 years without the introduction of DNA testing. There was a lot of you say potato, I say potahto back-and-forth about it until science entered the fray. But what ultimately tipped the matter for historians was the DNA combined with the historical evidence, that pushed it to virtually definitive that Jefferson had been the father of her children.

Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Annie on January 27, 2006, 09:27:45 AM
Helen and Louis- very interesting updates on fascinating stories.

I thought Jefferson's nephews admitted to fathering 7 of the children?
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Louis_Charles on January 27, 2006, 09:29:19 AM
No, the rap was pinned on them after everyone concerned was dead.

I believe she was only documented as having had five, and again, I am not near my books.
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Annie on January 27, 2006, 09:38:54 AM
Wasn't his DNA traced through the y chromosome instead of using mtDNA? Since the nephews in question were sons of his sister Jane, they would share mtDNA with Jefferson, but not a y chromosome. They would also not share mtDNA with the kids.

He has more decendants that way, all but one of his children by his wife died young :( The one that lived did have 11 children.  I wonder if Sally resembled his beloved Martha, since they were half sisters.
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Helen_Azar on January 27, 2006, 09:39:10 AM
Quote
Lindbergh himself was a presence in the lives of his German family until he died. Weren't there photos of him with them? Letters in his hand to them? Didn't he surreptitiously visit them during their childhood? If I remember correctly, there was a predispostion on the part of Reeve and the surviving "legitimate" Lindberghs to accept them even before the DNA tests.
 


I don't know that much about this case, just the information this program presented, but yes, they did mention that the Hesshaimers did have some material proof. However, many were still skeptical and didn't believe them, and until the DNA tests came back positive they were not officially (historically) accepted as Lindberg's children. Of course there were also other claimants who were false, so this is why all of them were veiwed with suspicion... But in this case, as in many others like it, the DNA had the final word.

Quote

When DNA testing confirmed that there was indeed a relationship to Jefferson's mother...


I am just curious, what type of testing was done in the Jefferson case? They couldn't have used mtDNA, because that would have to be based on the maternal line, which means that Sally's children would not have mtDNA in common with Jefferson's mother. They could have done Y linked testing with Sally's son's or grandson's DNA, but I think that those are more complicated than mtDNA.

Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Helen_Azar on January 27, 2006, 09:40:03 AM
Quote
Wasn't his DNA traced through the y chromosome instead of using mtDNA? Since the nephews in question were sons of his sister Jane, they would share mtDNA with Jefferson, but not a y chromosome. They would also not share mtDNA with the kids.
  


I made my previous post before I saw yours, yes, I was thinking along these lines too.
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Louis_Charles on January 27, 2006, 10:31:01 AM
Dear Helen and Annie,

Thanks, I was doing this from memory, so this helps. It's a little odd, isn't it, to see the words "Martha Jefferson" and "DNA" and "identity" showing up in another case!

Helen, I am really interested in Anne Morrow Lindbergh, not Charles, but of course, you get one, you get them both!

Regards,

S
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Forum Admin on January 27, 2006, 02:51:08 PM
 Clearly you know little about Anna Manahan's last years. She was clearly suffering from substantial mental illness.
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: ChatNoir on January 27, 2006, 03:24:16 PM
Quote
I don't think it was much of a "recovery". Clearly you know little about Anna Manahan's last years. She was clearly suffering from substantial mental illness.


Yes, she was. Like so many other old people.
Kind regards
Chat Noir
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Annie on January 27, 2006, 04:00:16 PM
She wasn't all that stable when she was younger, either. She did spend years pretending to be Anastasia, and probably came to believe it because of her mental illness. She was completely disfunctional in ordinary life.
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Louis_Charles on January 27, 2006, 04:14:11 PM
I wonder what percentage of those claiming to be OTMAA died with their boots on, so to speak? As in he/she spent their entire lives claiming the identity and never relinquished it, even on deathbeds?

[heads off to start compiling a list]
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Helen_Azar on January 27, 2006, 04:24:28 PM
Quote
I wonder what percentage of those claiming to be OTMAA died with their boots on, so to speak? As in he/she spent their entire lives claiming the identity and never relinquished it, even on deathbeds?

[heads off to start compiling a list]


Good question, can't wait for your list!  ;)  I believe that with most "claimants", they do hold on to their "identity" until they die, as such is the nature of this particular mental illness (delusions of grandeur, etc.)
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Annie on January 27, 2006, 04:27:39 PM

I am sick to death of hearing about AA! I would love to hear more about these other claimants on the list. It would be so refreshing to hear a different story!

Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Robert_Hall on January 27, 2006, 07:05:20 PM
I wonder how the list was compiled.  Certainly far more than I had ever heard of. Are these just Russian  claimants or worldwide ?
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Belochka on January 27, 2006, 07:34:09 PM
Quote
I wonder how the list was compiled.  Certainly far more than I had ever heard of. Are these just Russian  claimants or worldwide ?


Wonderful question Robert.

Somehow I doubt that there would be that many pretenders inside the Soviet Union. It would not have been politically appropriate to make such claims.
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Robert_Hall on January 27, 2006, 07:57:55 PM
I think it was in one of the Massie books that after the revoultion and during the Civil War, there was a rush on claimants in Russia.  The total list he gave was not nearly  so high in numbers though.
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Tsarina_Liz on January 27, 2006, 09:01:54 PM
Quote

So how come AA was NOT insane?
Kind regards
Chat Noir


Do you know how many people suffering from mental illness at this very moment are "undiagnosed" and therefore untreated?  Thousands if not millions.  And all of them exhibit symptoms.  Unfortunately, stats would have been worse in AAs time because of the relative youth of psychology/psychiatry and a general public ignorance and negative attitude.  And even if AA had been AN, she still would have been mentally ill.  Just a mentally ill GD.

Also, if a person attempts suicide that's one of the biggest, reddest psychological flags there is.          
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: ChatNoir on January 27, 2006, 09:45:12 PM
Quote

  And even if AA had been AN, she still would have been mentally ill.  Just a mentally ill GD.    


You should read a little more, my dear. Dr. Hans Willige said that AA "lacked any symptoms of insanity". And he was a doctor. You and I are not.
Kind regards
Chat Noir
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Louis_Charles on January 28, 2006, 12:46:42 AM
Dr. Willige treated Anna Andersen in 1931, and as you know from your reading, he was the last doctor who formally examined her for purposes of determining her mental health. She lived for over fifty years after that, so it is doubtful that his statements mattered much by the time she resided in Charlottesville, for example. He also distinguished between madness and psychopathic personality disturbance, of which there were signs even in 1931. (Kurth, 259-260). And while I think some weight must be given to the opinions of Willige, there have been enough advancements in the mental health field in terms of both diagnosis and treatment to make a 1931 estimation less than magisterial.

I post this here reluctantly, and will delete it and re-post on the new mental illness thread when everyone else does the same.

I have been unable to discover that any of the usual suspects --- Boodt, Goleniewski, Smith, etc. ---  recanted.
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Tsarina_Liz on January 28, 2006, 10:47:57 AM
Quote

You should read a little more, my dear. Dr. Hans Willige said that AA "lacked any symptoms of insanity". And he was a doctor. You and I are not.
Kind regards
Chat Noir

I am well read in the AA case, albeit not as much as some people here, and I am also familiar with the history of psychology.  In the 1920s and 1930s when AAs zenith was at its brightest psychology and psychiatry were still in their relative infancy as evidenced by the use of the word "insane" (which, by the by dear is an extremely outmoded and misleading term that today is relegated to the back room along with words such as "retarded").  AA mainly exhibited definite signs of a mood disorder (severe depression being the most probably) manifested in her suicide attempt.  Her inability to discuss her past life and
her acceptance of the personality and GD Anastasia also may be symptoms of a psychogenic fugue state.  She could not recover her past identity so she assumed a new one.  Personality wise, she was prone to unprovoked tantrums and more than once suffered from breakdowns (often resulting in her commission to a mental hospital because she was a danger to herself and others).  More than once, she escaped from the houses of her supporters and slept on park benches.  She was antisocial and uncooperative and just plain nasty most of the time.

Read Louis_Charles post and some of the others on this board, there are some already dealing with AAs mental state(s).      
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Tsarina_Liz on January 28, 2006, 12:18:23 PM

Anyways...  I know that the Romanov Memorial site has some comparisons of claimants but has anyone complied a more extensive list on which you can go straight across and look at all of their birthdays and then all of their places of origin?  I'm just wondering because it would be interesting to see if most if not all of these people have similiar stats.  
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Mander on January 28, 2006, 09:58:32 PM
Have there ever been any claiments who say they were Nicholas, Alexandra or any of the retainers? Being older and less prone to change, it would be a dumb thing to do imo but there are certainly crazy's out there who might try!
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Helen_Azar on January 29, 2006, 10:20:17 AM
Quote
Have there ever been any claiments who say they were Nicholas, Alexandra or any of the retainers?


I don't know about the retainers (I think the answer for that is "no", since who wants to go through all this trouble just to be a servant?  ;)), but I think that there was some clamaint family in Russia that included the "tsar".  I can't remember who they were, but I remember seeing pictures of the "former imperial family" (minus Alexandra) in the 1940's...  
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Forum Admin on January 29, 2006, 10:26:16 AM
Don't forget the "claimant" who came in here over a year ago, stating that Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich married Olga Nicholaievna and they had children together and that he was a "descendant"... :o ;D
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Helen_Azar on January 29, 2006, 10:30:08 AM
Quote
Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich married Olga Nicholaievna


You mean he married his niece?
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Forum Admin on January 29, 2006, 10:44:49 AM
YEP! That was what was "claimed"...they did it allegedly "to ensure the continuation of the Dynasty..."
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Robert_Hall on January 29, 2006, 11:02:54 AM
The were a couple of "Demidovas' and I think a kitchen boy- I fogert his name.  Also, there were supposed "sightings" of the whole family, on a ship, in the South of France and Poland, including N&A but no actual claimants that I can remember.
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: AGRBear on January 29, 2006, 01:45:13 PM
Quote
Have there ever been any claimants who say they were Nicholas, Alexandra or any of the retainers? Being older and less prone to change, it would be a dumb thing to do imo but there are certainly crazy's out there who might try!

FA - would you tell us who these "claimants" are?


Yes, some of the servants/re trainers have had claimants.

AGRBear
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Forum Admin on January 29, 2006, 02:40:22 PM
Sorry Bear. I can't because that claimant threatened repeatedly to sue us for libel whenever anyone said anything negative about their allegations. As a result, that is all the information we can permit in the forum.
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Margarita Markovna on January 29, 2006, 02:56:23 PM
Quote
Sorry Bear. I can't because that claimant threatened repeatedly to sue us for libel whenever anyone said anything negative about their allegations. As a result, that is all the information we can permit in the forum.

Have they got a website or are there links to info about them, just info?
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Forum Admin on January 29, 2006, 04:14:57 PM
As a result of the awful way we were treated by that claimant and the repeated threats, we refuse to divulge even the existence of any possible contact or other information. Sorry.
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Belochka on January 29, 2006, 08:25:40 PM
Quote
Have there ever been any claiments who say they were Nicholas, Alexandra or any of the retainers?


A few years ago I came across a Russian language book that discussed Nikolai's alleged survival. I left the book where I found it ... to gather dust on the shelf.

Why would anyone bother claiming to be one of the surviving retainers? There was no fortune to be had. ???
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Helen_Azar on January 29, 2006, 08:42:42 PM
Quote

Why would anyone bother claiming to be one of the surviving retainers? There was no fortune to be had.[/color] ???

IMO, most of these claimants did not do it for the money, since they were too mentally ill to even be that logical (although some certainly were), but most did it for "prestige" it brought them in their own minds. After all, when someone has delusions of grandeur, they would not imagine themselves to be some random retainer, but rather go all the way and become royalty. Regardless, as per Robert, it sounds like there still were some who claimed to be Demidova, etc... So there are no limits.

BTW, the last Imperial Family Romanovs were not the only ones who were plagued by claimants. Some centuries prior to this, there was the "False Dmitri", Fake Emperor Peter III (I think it was Emelyan Pugachev - if I remember correctly -and a couple of others), as well as a couple of "royal descendants" thrown in for good measure, such as Elizaveta Tarakanova, who claimed to be the secret daughter of Empress Elizabeth Petrovna... I think even the Emperor Paul, or two, came out of the woodwork at some point, as well Alexander I. There were many more, but I can't think of them right now. So none of this is new at all!
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Helen_Azar on January 29, 2006, 08:59:41 PM
I just found a small blurb about Elizaveta Tarakanova on a Russian website (http://www.rubricon.com/wbiog_ann/..%5Cann%5Cwbiog%5C20_t%5C20_t47639.asp). It says:

Tarakanova, Elizaveta (circa 1745-1775), a pretender claiming to be the daughter of the Empress Elizaveta Petrovna and Count A.G. Razumovsky. In 1772, in Paris, she proclaimed herself a pretender to the Russian throne. She was arrested in 1775 in Italy.

And if you want to read the rest, you have to pay the website  ;). I think that she was executed for treason, but I am not sure... There is a Russian movie called 'Tsarskaya Okhota (Imperial Hunt)", which deals with her life...



And there was something on "False Dmitri" also in Russian, (http://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%9B%D0%B6%D0%B5%D0%B4%D0%BC%D0%B8%D1%82%D1%80%D0%B8%D0%B9_I):

The "False Dmitri", officially proclaimed himself Tsesarevich (and later Tsar) Dmitri Ivanovich, and in his dealings with foreign governments - Emperor Dmitri (d. 17 May, 1606). He was the Tsar of Russia from 1 June, 1605, the pretender who passed himself off as the youngest son of Ivan VI the Terrible, who miraculously survived.


Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: imperial angel on January 30, 2006, 10:21:15 AM
There are always going to be imposters of the famous, wealthy, or royalty, because it is better to be that than whoever you really are. And in addition, some may suffer from mental illness, that is more than likely. All of Anna Anderson's behiaviour was not normal and points up the fact that she had issues that went beyond the normal in mental health. She may not have been insane, nor diagnosed formally as anything, but all the evidence points to this. Other imposters may have been as well, or may just have wanted to step up in life. Imposters go back to the middle ages, like the Princes in the Tower,etc, there were imposters of them, and I am sure there will be imposters to the end of time. ::)
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Helen_Azar on February 03, 2006, 09:16:22 AM
[size=18]Yemelyan Ivanovich Pugachev[/size], born in 1740 or 1742 and executed in 1775, was a pretender to the Russian throne who led a great Cossack insurrection during the reign of Catherine II. Alexander Pushkin wrote a remarkable history of the rebellion; and he recounted some of the events in his novel Captain's Daughter (1836).

(http://img449.imageshack.us/img449/4840/180pxpugachyov3yg.jpg)

Pugachev, the son of a small Don Cossack landowner, married a Cossack girl, Sofia Nedyuzheva, in 1758, and in the same year participated in Seven Years' War as part of the Cossack expedition to Prussia under the command of Count Zakhar Chernyshev. In the first Russo-Turkish War (1768–1774), Pugachev, now a Cossack khorunzhiy (corresponding to the regular army rank of podporuchik, or junior lieutenant), served under Count Peter Panin and participated in the siege of Bender (1770).

Invalided home, Pugachev led for the next few years a wandering life. More than once the authorities arrested and imprisoned him as a deserter. In 1773, after frequenting the monasteries of the Old Believers, who exercised considerable influence over him, he suddenly proclaimed himself tsar Peter III and organised the insurrection of the Yaik Cossacks which ignited the flames of a full blown insurrection in the lower Volga region.

Insurrection 1773–1774

The story of Pugachev's strong resemblance to the murdered tsar Peter III, whom his wife, the future empress Catherine II, had overthrown in 1762, comes from a later legend. Pugachev was a Don Cossack and deserter of Catherine's Imperial army. Pugachev told the story that he and his principal adherents had escaped from the clutches of Catherine, and had now resolved to redress the grievances of the people, give absolute liberty to the Cossacks, and put Catherine herself away in a monastery.

Under the guise of Peter III, Pugachev built up his own bureaucracy and army which copied that of Catherine's. Some of his top commanders took on the pseudonyms of dukes and courtiers. Zarubin Chaika, Pugachev's top commander, for example, took the guise of Zakhar Chernytsev. The army Pugachev established, at least at the very top levels of command, also mimicked that of Catherine's. The organizational structure Pugachev set up for his top command was extraordinary, considering Pugachev defected as an ensign from Catherine's army. He built up his own War College and a fairly sophisticated intelligence network of messengers and spies. Even though Pugachev was illiterate, he recruited the help of local priests, mullahs, and starshins to write and disseminate his "royal decrees" or ukazy in Russian and Tatar dialects. These Ukazy were copied, sent to villages and read to the masses by the priests and mullahs. In these documents, he begged the masses to serve him faithfully. He promised to grant to those who followed his service land, salt, grain, and lowered taxes, and threatened punishment and death to those who didn't. For example, an excerpt from an Ukaz written in late 1773:

"From me, such reward and investiture will be with money and bread compensation and with promotions: and you, as well as your next of kin will have a place in my government and will be designated to serve a glorious duty on my behalf. If there are those who forget their obligations to their natural ruler Peter III, and dare not carry out the command that my devoted troops are to receive weapons in their hands, then they will see for themselves my righteous anger, and will then be punished harshly." (Pugachevshchina vol. 1 document 7 author's translation from the Russian).
From the very beginning of the insurgency, Pugachev's generals carried out mass recruitment campaigns in Tatar and Bashkir settlements, with the instructions of recruiting one member from every or every other household and as many weapons as they could secure. He recruited not only Cossacks, but Russian peasants and factory workers, Tatars, Bashkirs, Chuvash. Famous Bashkir hero Salavat Yulayev joined him. Pugachev’s primary target for his campaign were not the people themselves, but their leaders. He recruited priests and mullahs to disseminate his decrees and read them to the masses as a way of lending them credence.

Priests in particular were instrumental figures in carrying out Pugachev’s propaganda campaigns. Pugachev was known to stage “heroic welcomes” whenever he entered a Russian village, in which he would be greeted by the masses as their sovereign. A few days before his arrival to a given city or village, messengers would be sent out to inform the priests and deacons in that town of his impending arrival. These messengers would request that the priests bring out salt and water and ring the church bells to signify his coming. The priests would also be instructed to read Pugachev’s manefestos during mass and sing prayers to health of the Great Emperor Peter III. Most priests, although not all complied with Pugachev’s requests. One secret report of Catherine’s War College, for example, tells of one such priest, Zubarev, who recruited for Pugachev in Church under such orders. “[Zubarev], believing in the slander-ridden decree of the villanous-imposter, brough by the villianous Ataman Loshkarev, He read it publicly before the people in church. And when that ataman brought his band, consisting of 100 men, to their Baikalov village, then that Zubarev met them with a cross an with icons and chanted prayers in the Church; and then at the time of service, as well as after, evoked the name of the Emperor Peter III for suffrage.” (Pugachevshchina Vol. 2, Document 86. Author's translation)

With his army and the coordination of his generals, Pugachev was able to overtake much of the region stretching between the Volga River and the Urals. Pugachev's greatest victory of the insurgency was the Taking of Kazan.

The popular interpretation of the insurgency was that Pugachev's men followed him out of the desire to free themselves from the oppression of Catherine's reign of law. However, there are documents from Pugachev's war college and eye witness accounts that contradict this theory. While there were many who believed Pugachev to be Peter III and that he would emancipate them from Catherine's harsh taxes and policies of serfdom, there were many groups, particularly of Bashkir and Tatar ethnicity, whose loyalties were not so certain. In January of 1774, for example, Bashkir and Tatar generals led an attack on the City of Kungur. Pugachev's troops suffered from a lack of food and gun powder. Many fighters deserted including one general who left the battle and took his entire unit with him. One general wrote in a report to his superior, V. I. Tornova, "For the sake of your eminence, we humbly request that our Naigabitskiaia Fortress is returned to us with or without a detachment, because there is not a single Tatar or Bashkir detachment, since they have all fled, and the starshins, who have dispersed to their homes, are presently departing for the Naigabanskaia fortress." (Dokumenty i Stavki E. I. Pugacheva, povstancheskikh vlastei i ucherezhdenii, 1773-1774. Moskva, Nauka, 1975. Document number 195. Author's translation)

The Russian government at first made light of the rising. At the beginning of October 1773 it simply regarded Pugachev as a nuisance, and offered a mere 500 roubles as a reward for the head of the troublesome Cossack. At the end of November it promised 28,000 roubles to whosoever should bring him in, alive or dead. Even then, however, Catherine, in her correspondence with Voltaire, affected to treat l'affaire du Marquis de Pugachev as a mere joke, but by the beginning of 1774 the joke had developed into a very serious danger. Reports were being received, saying that all the forts on the Volga and Ural had now come into the hands of the rebels. The governor of Moscow reported great restlessness among the population of central Russia. The governor of Kazan, Fon Brandt, also reported massive amounts of unrest and insurrection amongst those in the outlying provinces. Pugachev's forces captured Kazan early on in the insurgency. Pugachev's troops, mostly Bashkir and Tatar regiments reduced most of its churches, monasteries, and factories to ashes, and all who refused to join Pugachev's army were either maimed or publicly executed.

Defeat

General Peter Panin thereupon set out against the rebels with a large army, but difficulty of transport, lack of discipline, and the gross insubordination of his ill-paid soldiers paralysed all his efforts for months, while the innumerable and ubiquitous bands of Pugachev gained victories in nearly every engagement. Not until August 1774 did General Mikhelson inflict a crushing defeat upon the rebels near Tsaritsyn, when they lost ten thousand killed or taken prisoner. Panin's savage reprisals, after the capture of Penza, completed their discomfiture. On September 14, 1774 Pugachev's own Cossacks delivered him up when he attempted to flee to the Urals. Aleksandr Suvorov had him placed in a metal cage and sent to Moscow for a public execution, which took place on January 10, 1775.

Bibliography

N. Dubrovin, Pugachiev and his Associates (Rus.; Petersburg, 1884)
Catherine II., Political Correspondence (Rus. Fr. Ger.; Petersburg, 1885, &c.)
S. I. Gnyedich, Emilian Pugachev (Rus.; Petersburg, 1902).
"Dokumenty stavki EI Pugacheva, povstancheskikh vlastei i uchrezhdenii, 1773-1774 gg."
AN SSSR, In-t istorii SSSR, TSentr. gos. arkhiv drev. aktov (Rus. Moscow, 1975.)
Pugachevshchina. Moskva : Gosizdat, 1926-1931.


Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Belochka on February 03, 2006, 10:23:07 PM
Thanks Helen,

for generously providing your illuminating Pugachev synopsis.

Margarita  :D
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Robert_Hall on February 04, 2006, 12:51:31 PM
Were there not 2 or 3 false Dimitrys ?
Also, there was the [in]famous Hollywood restauranteur Nick Romanoff. He never really pretended to be a real member of the imperial family, but he did not deny it either. He used the "mystery" of his origins to plug his Hollywood "in spot".
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Belochka on February 04, 2006, 09:27:26 PM
Quote
Were there not 2 or 3 false Dimitrys ?
 Also, there was the [in]famous Hollywood restauranteur Nick Romanoff. He never really pretended to be a real member of the imperial family, but he did not deny it either. He used the "mystery" of his origins to plug his Hollywood "in spot".


The Romanov surname is not unique in Russia. There are many who can legitimately claim they are a Romanov! Even if a few may prefer to use the French style.
:D
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Robert_Hall on February 05, 2006, 12:26:23 AM
I know that, dear Belochka, but  alas dear Nick R. did not even have the the name Romanov  legiitimatley.  That he played with the "mystique" for all those glam Hollywood years  is more impressive than any imperial  connections.
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Helen_Azar on February 05, 2006, 08:05:55 AM
Quote
Were there not 2 or 3 false Dimitrys ?

I believe there were at least two False Dmitris... The one we have up here is False Dmitri#1, I think  ;)
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Helen_Azar on February 05, 2006, 08:09:09 AM
Quote
Also, there was the [in]famous Hollywood restauranteur Nick Romanoff. He never really pretended to be a real member of the imperial family, but he did not deny it either. He used the "mystery" of his origins to plug his Hollywood "in spot".


But you've got to give this guy credit: at least he was an enteprenaur who used his claim to earn a living for himself, unlike someone like Anna Anderson who just sponged off gullible and kind hearted emigres...
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: bell_the_cat on February 05, 2006, 08:19:53 AM
Quote
I believe there were at least two False Dmitris... The one we have up here is False Dmitri#1, I think  ;)



There were at least three False Dmitri's - or none at all if you believe the story! They all claimed to be the same person, who repeatedly and miraculously recovered from being murdered. So the third "Dmitri" had survived three successful assassinations.

Dmitri I and II were both married to the Polish noblewoman Marina Mnischek. After Dmitri I was murdered she recognised Dmitri II as being her missing husband, and married him again just to make sure!

They all came to sticky ends.
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Robert_Hall on February 05, 2006, 08:57:08 AM
And, of course, in St. Petersburg there are dozens of Peter  & Catherine the greats running around !
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Helen_Azar on February 05, 2006, 08:09:58 PM
Quote
.. in St. Petersburg there are dozens of Peter  & Catherine the greats running around !


It is so, and I have a picture to prove it!  

(http://img145.imageshack.us/img145/8500/petercatherine5fe.jpg)

Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Robert_Hall on February 05, 2006, 08:21:12 PM
I have been told that there are even a couple of Rasputins floating around during tourists season. I have not been there at that time, so no staretz spotting.
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Helen_Azar on February 07, 2006, 02:34:46 PM
Quote
I have been told that there are even a couple of Rasputins floating around during tourists season. I have not been there at that time, so no staretz spotting.


I did not spot any Rasputins, but I did see a Nicholas II or two...  :D

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v225/helenazar/nicki.jpg) (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v225/helenazar/nicks2.jpg)
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Tsarina_Liz on February 08, 2006, 11:46:23 AM
Quote

Must all be veddy surreal.....


Are these guys paid for their work (for example by the government or the board of tourism) or do they just do it for fun and attention?  

Any GDs out there?
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Helen_Azar on February 08, 2006, 10:19:20 PM
Quote

Are these guys paid for their work (for example by the government or the board of tourism) or do they just do it for fun and attention?  
 


in Russia, no one does anything for fun or attention - only for money!  ;)  

But seriously, I don't know who sponsors them, I just know they charge if you want to take a picture with them... I believe it's a about a dollar or two...


Quote
Any GDs out there?


No... I don't think anyone would even know who the heck they are supposed to be (except AP members of course ;)).
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Belochka on February 08, 2006, 10:52:01 PM
Quote

in Russia, no one does anything for fun or attention - only for money!  ;)  

But seriously, I don't know who sponsors them, I just know they charge if you want to take a picture with them... I believe it's a about a dollar or two...

Judging by their locations, perhaps they come with the museum exhibits inside. Although the Peter I that I witnessed first hand near Kanal Griboedova must have become distracted with all the tourists wandering around his city.  :D
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Tsarina_Liz on February 09, 2006, 10:16:35 AM
That's it, I'm going to Russia if only to gather up all the impersonators I can and take an extremely surreal group picture!

...

I was thinking on something Helen mentioned, about there not being any known GDs out roaming the streets because no one would recognize them.  Isn't that ironic?  They are among the most famous and studied figures in Russian history and most people wouldn't know who they were if they passed them on the street,
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Robert_Hall on February 19, 2006, 12:19:32 PM
Who knows ? I would not be surprised to see 4 young women and an equally young boy posing  somewhere in St.P. on my next visit ! Russians are incredibly inventive !
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: etonexile on February 20, 2006, 05:42:20 AM
Quote
Who knows ? I would not be surprised to see 4 young women and an equally young boy posing  somewhere in St.P. on my next visit ! Russians are incredibly inventive !


I could well imagine such a grouping...floating about and laughing in a row boat in one of the ponds....never speaking to the tourists....as if two time periods had magically crossed....
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Forum Admin on February 20, 2006, 09:10:55 AM
OK
What does this long chat have to do with "survivor statistics"? By all means start a thread on Russian Impersonators of the IF ,...
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Robert_Hall on February 20, 2006, 11:00:44 AM
Well, is there a difference between an impersonator and a survivor in the Romanov scenario ?
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Belochka on February 20, 2006, 06:51:10 PM
Quote
Well, is there a difference between an impersonator and a survivor in the Romanov scenario ?


At least these impersonators do not pretend to be anything else!

The pretenders seek their fortunes, while the impersonator has to earn their living on a daily basis.

;D
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Ivan Komarov on February 27, 2006, 02:43:52 PM
If we didn't distinguish between the two categories of self-styled IF members, we'd have some very skewed statistics, right?  So that's how it relates.

:)

However, there are unfortunately, yet somewhat amusingly, lots of people walking around St Petersburg and Moskva who either conciously pretend, unconciously pretend, or honestly think that they're members of the IF.
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: AGRBear on March 13, 2006, 04:28:54 PM
Quote
Welcome back, Alice!

I was recently reading the biography of Natalie Wood, and wouldn't you know it, Natalie's mother was a Romanov too!  :o  That family seems to have an endless supply of members... Anyone even remotely connected to Russia is a Romanov!  ::)  :P




How?  Maternal?  Paternal?  

AGRBear
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Helen_Azar on March 22, 2006, 08:53:41 PM
(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v225/helenazar/NatalieWood.jpg)
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Belochka on March 22, 2006, 09:22:55 PM
Hi Helen,

Can you please provide the reference to the above image you provided.

Thanks!  ;D
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Helen_Azar on March 31, 2006, 07:30:12 AM
Quote

Can you please provide the reference to the above image you provided.
 

It was from a book called Natasha: The Biography of Natalie Wood by Suzanne Finstad.  

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0609809571/qid=1143811715/sr=2-2/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_2/104-6131959-1997503?s=books&v=glance&n=283155
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: georgecl on April 06, 2006, 06:35:37 PM
Hi

I’d like to help clarify the ancestors of Natalie Wood.

Her mother was Maria S Zoudilov.
Her Father Stephan was married twice..

His First wife Anna Vistorgov had four Children with Stephan

His second Wife Maria had four more, The youngest was Maria S Zoudilov, Natalies
mother.

Stephans first Marriage as the family story goes.  Anna was a countess?
More that likely just a story.

So Maries Half sisters and brothers were related to this Countess if true at all, Their mother.

Maria Gurdin liked to put on a good show herself..
I cant vouch for her parenting skills but she was a nice and considerate person..

Thanks
George

Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: GrandDuchess_2011 on April 28, 2006, 03:32:27 PM
Quote
FS was declared legally insane in 1916.   FS was AA.


Anastasia was still alive in 1916, so FS couldn't be Anastasia, since she was clearly off in some other place, since nastya was never declared mentally insane.
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Lemur on April 28, 2006, 06:18:41 PM
Quote
Quote
FS was declared legally insane in 1916.   FS was AA.


Anastasia was still alive in 1916, so FS couldn't be Anastasia, since she was clearly off in some other place, since nastya was never declared mentally insane.

What they mean was, FS was not Anastasia but Anna Anderson. She didn't start pretending to be Anastasia until 1920. The real Anastasia died in 1918. Anna Anderson Manahan certainly did show signs of mental illness later in her life.
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: CorisCapnSkip on August 07, 2006, 03:20:15 AM
Last night I was watching a documentary on Charles Lindbergh, and wouldn't you know it, evidently there were several people who crawled out of the woodwork years later to claim that they were Charles Augustus Lindbergh Jr (Lindbergh's baby who was kidnapped and killed in the 1930's) - alive and well!

I once read the number of Lindbergh baby claimants was 14, which makes him a real piker compared to Alexei.  Some have individual websites, but I can't find a website listing all of them.  One was disproven, to his own satisfaction, a few years ago when a DNA test showed he was related to his aunt--his mother's sister--despite his mother insisting he was not her son.  As far as I know the others still persist (or persisted, until their demises) in thinking they were Charles, Jr.  Does anyone know the actual number?  There ought to be a book profiling all the cases.
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Helen_Azar on September 05, 2006, 05:30:41 PM
I want to add another interesting "survivor"/claimant to this list, although I am not sure if you can call him a claimant since he never really claimed anything, it was more others on his behalf.


According to all history books, Alexander I of Russia died in 1825 in Taganrog of natural causes. The hermit Feodor Kuzmich appeared 11 years later, in 1836. Much of the evidence that FK was Alexander I comes from his adherents in Siberia. They report that the starets was an unusually educated man who spoke at least one foreign language, seemed to have spent time in the court of Catherine the Great, and had insider knowledge of Napoleonic war. There are some dubious claims that a soldier recognized him as Alexander, that he was visited by his brorther Nicholas I in Siberia, that he had Alexander's marriage certificate among his papers. Historians suspect that many of these stories were invented or exaggerated. At the same time there is no evidence that anyone gained any monetary benefit from this claim.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v225/helenazar/alexander1.gif)(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v225/helenazar/FedorKuzmich002.jpg)

As far as physical evidence, there was a lot known about Alexander I. He was more than 6 feet tall, had blue eyes and blonde hair which went gray and receded in middle age. Alexander suffered from a limp from an injury to his thigh. There is not a lot of such records about the starets. He was at times described as being more than six feet tall, at other times as only 5 feet 9. There was no known mention that he had a limp or any scarring on his thigh. Some reported he had a full head of hair, while others insisted he was balding, like Alexander. Some historians made a big deal out of the fact that both men had callouses on their knees (from a lot of praying), but this was common in many people.

Last, but not least, supposedly when Alexander's tomb was opened, the coffin was empty. I am still not sure if this is a fact or an urban legend. And when FK's grave was exhumed, supposedly they only found half of his remains, and the conjecture was that the other half was taken to be buried in St Peter and Paul, in Alexander's empty casket...

There were such varied reports about this claimant that they almost cancelled each other out, which evokes shades of other infamous claimants, doesn't it? The DNA tests were never done in this case as they were in some other famous claimant cases...  Seems that many "survivors"/claimants share similar followers and very similar stories... 

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v225/helenazar/FedorKuzmich005.jpg)
On the left: tomb of Alexander I in St Peter and Paul Cathedral, on the right: the tomb of Feodor Kuzmich.

Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Annie on September 06, 2006, 01:38:09 PM
That was very informative,Helen,thanks! I had heard the story of his grave being empty and a monk turning up later, but not with these details.

If this is true, you can't blame the guy. Tsar is a lifetime job, and he was tired of it and wanted to 'quit.' He had no heirs, his two young daughters had both died. His brother on the other hand wanted the job, so it would work out well. Though as you say the legend has grown over the years and who knows what is really true, the possibility is fascinating, and IMO much more believable than AA.
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Nikl on December 04, 2006, 02:17:57 PM
You can add 1 more "survivor" statistic for Anastasia or Maria, because my grandmother came from Russia in 1919.
The Czech legionnaires carry back her from Yekaterinburg.
So far I do not have a proof for that, but I am working on it. My family has only the letter from Czech legionnaires. In letter is written by hand, that my grandmother was adopted by Russian family, bud she originates from Czar family.

Excuse my English, I am originally from Czech Republic. Now I am living in Canada.

Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Tsarfan on December 05, 2006, 09:40:53 AM
According to all history books, Alexander I of Russia died in 1825 in Taganrog of natural causes. The hermit Feodor Kuzmich appeared 11 years later, in 1836.

For people who crave a good mystery about a Russian royal who might not have died as reported, this is the one to follow -- not all the silliness about Ekaterinburg survivors.

A truly fascinating tale about the supposed faking by Alexander I of his own death is spun in the excellent book Imperial Legend:  The Mysterious Disappearance of Tsar Alexander I, by Alexis Troubetzkoy.

Whether you end up believing the story or not, this book contains a mesmerizing insight into the inner turmoil and the path toward despondency travelled by one of Russia's legendary monarchs.
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Annie on December 05, 2006, 05:16:14 PM
Nikl- I'd like to hear the story. I am always interested in claimant stories OTHER than AA all the time! Since there are descendants, you should have no problem finding out for sure if your Grandmother was AN. A daughter or granddaughter needs to get a DNA test and see if it matches Alexandra's (Queen Victoria's) line.

Tsarfan- I do find Alexander I's story fascinating. I don't think it's out of the question he may have faked his own death to get out of being Tsar. It was a hard lifetime job he no longer wanted. His only children, two daughters, had both died. His younger brother wanted the throne. Perfect scenario for him to duck out. It's not nearly so outrageous as AA's story! I know there are official records of his death, but he would have made sure of that, wouldn't he? ;)
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Nikl on December 06, 2006, 12:20:13 AM
Annie,  what I heard from my family is that my grandmother originates from Yekaterinburg.  In the year of 1918 came to the town Czech legionnaires. Local people asked them if they could take to Czechoslovakia a young women.  They told them, that the girl was adopted by a local family, but they died and nobody could take care of her. They have all necessary documents for them. After a few weeks the legionnaires left the town. They carried on their way to Vladivostok. From there they sailed for port Istanbul (in Europe).
In the year of 1919 they finally came back to Czechoslovakia. One of the legionnaire's got married and he and his wife adopted this young women (my grandmother). When my grandmother was 25 years old, she got married and had 10 children (5 boys and 5 girls). The oldest girl was my mother.  When my grandmother's adoptive parents were getting too old, they gave the youngest son the letter in which was the story explain.  In the letter was, that my grandmother originate from Russian aristocracy family.
My family could not do nothing with this letter in Communist era.  In the year of 1989, when the Communism regime collapsed in  Czechoslovakia  my mother brought the letter to Canada.  In my first 10 years of residing  in Canada I could not act upon anything because of my limited knowledge of the English Language.

In the future I would like go for DNA test. I searched where I can take a test, but it is so many laboratory, that I do not know which  one is the best.  I hear that they do not do the test in Canada, only in the USA.
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Tsarfan on December 06, 2006, 09:42:06 AM
Tsarfan- I do find Alexander I's story fascinating. I don't think it's out of the question he may have faked his own death to get out of being Tsar. It was a hard lifetime job he no longer wanted. His only children, two daughters, had both died. His younger brother wanted the throne. Perfect scenario for him to duck out. It's not nearly so outrageous as AA's story!

I approach conspiracy theories very, very skeptically, in part because they almost invariably seem to arise more from the psychological needs of their proponents than from anything we know about the motivations of the supposed victims or survivors.

For instance, why all this folderol about Elvis sightings?  If Elvis Presley wanted to escape the limelight, all he had to do was quit hauling himself up onto Las Vegas stages and go into retirement.  People bought all the tabloid fodder about his survival not because they really believed Elvis wanted to go into hiding, but because they could not accept that an icon of their youth -- and therefore their own actual youths -- was gone.

I find it noteworthy that no one is the least bit interested in arguing that any of the Romanov retainters survived Ekaterinburg -- even though they, if anyone, would have been more likely to warrant the sympathy of the executioners.  People would rather argue that the hemophiliac and horribly weakened tsesarevich -- and a prime target for a politically-motivated murder -- was able to survive than that the healthy Botkin, a man who was leaving two orphaned children behind, could have survived.  In short, Ekaterinburg survivor stories are not about the realities of that time, that place, and the players in that drama.  They are about the deep-seated needs of latter-day dreamers to believe that Russia's storied monarchy and their romantic visions of gilded lives could not possibly have ended, suddenly and irretrievably, in a bleak cellar in Siberia.

But the Alexander I story is something different.  He had become disillusioned with power and with his personal right to exercise it.  He was exploring mysticism and progressively detaching himself from everyday affairs, letting go of the personal attachments that had sustained him for years.  Everyone who saw him in his final months knew that something deep inside him was unravelling and losing its power to bind him.  He had no children for whom to preserve a legacy.  He had a brother who had already fashioned his own escape from the duty to rule.  Yet, still a physically vibrant 48 years old, Alexander faced years on a throne from which there was no living escape without undermining the core tenet of divinely-ordained personal autocracy.

There is an internal logic to the story of Alexander's orchestrating his own disappearance that is utterly lacking from all the Ekaterinburg survival nonsense.  Does that alone convince me that he succussefully escaped his duty to live out his life as a starets?  No.  But it does convince me that his story is worth taking some time to explore. 


Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Annie on December 06, 2006, 04:01:43 PM
I agree, it is a very different situation from AA and the other claimants. It's a very different story, and a very interesting one. I would like to find out more.
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Helen_Azar on March 31, 2007, 12:52:16 PM
Another story on another "imperial survivor":

A fake princess's part in history

She turned up in Gloucestershire in 1817, claiming to be Princess Caraboo from the island of Javasu - saying she had been kidnapped by pirates before escaping and making her way to England.

And the fact that Mary Willcocks' tale was completely invented arguably makes her story no less remarkable.

The young woman who said she was a princess from a faraway island was later proved to be a 26-year-old cobbler's daughter from Devon, whose exotic foreign dialect had been a fictitious language.

(http://img513.imageshack.us/img513/4016/carabooyy5.jpg)
Princess Caraboo's invented language fooled several experts

But her place in Bristol folklore has been recognised this week with the unveiling of a blue plaque in a street in Bedminster, the suburb where she spent the last 11 years of her life.

The supposed princess arrived in the Gloucestershire village of Almondsbury, near Bristol, on 3 April 1817, wearing a black turban and black dress, with her possessions wrapped up in a small bundle.

Publicity her downfall

She appeared exhausted and starving and was speaking a language nobody in the village could understand.

The villagers thought she was a foreign beggar and she was taken to the home of Samuel Worrall, the local county magistrate.

"Mary Willcocks should be an inspiration to anyone who feels held back by their position in society" 
~Brian Haughton, historian and Princess Caraboo expert

His wife was keen to find out more about her and, after taking her in to stay, managed to work out that her name was Caraboo and she had come to England by ship.

After various attempts to identify the language she was speaking, a Portuguese sailor said he understood the language and translated Caraboo's story.

He said she was a princess from an island called Javasu who had been abducted by pirates and taken on a long journey by sea which ended when she jumped overboard in the Bristol Channel.

Once the Worralls realised they had a foreign princess in their house, they began to exploit the fact, inviting guests round to be entertained by the exotic Caraboo and her strange language and behaviour.

Newspapers began to ran stories on her, but it was this publicity which would bring Miss Willcocks' spell as a princess to an end.

After two months, the owner of a Bristol lodging house saw a picture of her in a newspaper and realised "Princess Caraboo" was the same young woman who had stayed with her earlier in the year - and entertained her daughters with an invented language.

But rather than being the end of her time in the limelight, the truth extended it further, with Miss Willcocks now being hailed as a working class heroine who had deceived high society.

She was sent to America and spent seven years there, but found herself hailed a heroine in her Princess Caraboo role and made public appearances as her - just as she did when she returned to England in 1824.

She spent the last few years of her life back in Bristol, making a living selling leeches to the city's hospital, before dying at the age of 75 in 1864.

A film of Mary Willcocks' life was made by Disney in 1994 - titled Princess Caraboo and starring Kevin Kline and Jim Broadbent and with Phoebe Cates in the title role.

'Dared to escape'

Brian Haughton, a historian who has written about Princess Caraboo, agrees that she is worthy of recognition - and was as much a class-warrior inspiration as a cheeky hoaxer.


He said: "In an age when women were second class citizens, and working class women had practically no rights at all, Mary Willcocks managed to break out of her class and into high society and beat them at their own game.

" I'm proud to be from where Princess Caraboo lived and to walk on the streets she walked on"
~Christopher Orlik, Blue Plaque organiser

"Through a combination of her own unique talents and her appeal to the romanticism of the upper class, Mary was treated like the exotic princess she claimed to be.

"This Devon servant girl achieved this during a period of English history when people were being transported to Australia for stealing a petticoat.

"That Mary dared to escape her menial position and perpetrate such a complicated hoax is, I believe, nothing short of wondrous.

"Mary Willcocks should be an inspiration to anyone who feels held back by their position in society."

Christopher Orlik, a former member of Bristol City Council who is involved in organising the city's blue plaques, agrees the hoax princess deserves her recognition.

He said: "I think she's part of Bristol's history. In an age where there was no entertainment in the way of radio, television or cinema, she provided a lot of entertainment for people, and she didn't do any harm.

"We've got 47 blue plaques now and she may not be as famous as some of the other people but she's the only one who has had a full length film made about her.

"It creates pride in the city - I'm proud to be a Bristolian and I'm proud to be from where Princess Caraboo lived and to walk on the streets she walked on."

Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: dmitri on April 26, 2007, 01:03:03 AM
Hard to believe anybody could believe that Anna Anderson was Anastasia. I guess they must be insane themselves if they think this obvious fraud was the Grand Duchess. Just read "I, Anastasia" by Anderson and you will quickly work out she is not the Grand Duchess. The flaws are so enormous you could drive a semi-trailer through them.
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Bob_the_builder on May 18, 2007, 07:26:08 PM
Hard to believe anybody could believe that Anna Anderson was Anastasia. I guess they must be insane themselves if they think this obvious fraud was the Grand Duchess. Just read "I, Anastasia" by Anderson and you will quickly work out she is not the Grand Duchess. The flaws are so enormous you could drive a semi-trailer through them.
But Anderson didn't write "I, Anastasia". It wasn't really her autobiography, didn't you know that? I think the better evidence against her would be the DNA, not an "autobiography" that she didn't even write.
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: PrincessSophie on August 11, 2007, 04:15:23 AM
Quote
Just curious as to how many were found roaming around mental institutions....

They would ALL have to be classified as suitable candidates for institutional care.

Such mischief could only be considered as unsustainable acting out by those with low esteem and high pretensions assisted by their dysfunctional neurones. ::)

Me thinks a lot f people are thinking about mental illness with 21st century views.  At the time of the Romanovs, knowledge about mental illness was in its infancy.  Just because someone was in an institution at the time does not mean that they were mentally deranged in the sense we know it. 
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: dmitri on August 11, 2007, 05:46:59 AM
No, but it sure would have helped.
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: PrincessSophie on August 11, 2007, 06:07:36 AM
No, but it sure would have helped.


It would have been a good place to hide if you didn't want to be found is all I'm saying.
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: dmitri on August 11, 2007, 10:09:02 AM
Anna Anderson claimed to be Anastasia and yes she did claim she wrote her autobiography as well until it was disclosed others wrote it. She was a complete fraud from beginning to end and it is all so very obvious if a person bothers to do real research and read Russian history. I figured it out way before the DNA. It was so simple to do.
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Lemur on August 11, 2007, 10:27:53 AM
Anna Anderson claimed to be Anastasia and yes she did claim she wrote her autobiography as well until it was disclosed others wrote it. She was a complete fraud from beginning to end and it is all so very obvious if a person bothers to do real research and read Russian history. I figured it out way before the DNA. It was so simple to do.

I am currently rereading "The Romanovs: The Final Chapter" by Robert K. Massie. In his 'sources and acknowledgement' section, he states that Anderson never even saw the "I Anastasia" book until they presented her with the manuscript. It was totally written by others, as was much of her story and claim, IMO.
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Lemur on August 11, 2007, 10:29:55 AM


Having been declared insane would get you put into a concentration camp in Nazi Germany. FS had been declared legally insane in 1916. Could this be why her family refused to identify her? The trial began in Germany under Nazi rule. Just a thought.
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: PrincessSophie on August 11, 2007, 08:36:49 PM
Anna Anderson claimed to be Anastasia and yes she did claim she wrote her autobiography as well until it was disclosed others wrote it. She was a complete fraud from beginning to end and it is all so very obvious if a person bothers to do real research and read Russian history. I figured it out way before the DNA. It was so simple to do.

Not sure where this fits into the most recent thread but have to say that it is a littlle patronising and you sound very angry, Dmitri.  Why is this?  If your case is so rock solid then surely you can dismiss all alternative views with a chuckle rather than a snarl?  Just a thought.
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Helen_Azar on September 18, 2007, 06:48:24 PM
I would like to start a thread for the lesser known individuals of this strange breed.

Let me start with His Majesty King Anthony Hall (1898-1947). Mr Hall was a Shropshire policeman who in the course of the 1930's developed a notion that he was the legitimate male descendant of Henry VIII and therefore the rightful king of England... He protested his right to throne until his dying breath (much like some others we know and love...). His main mode of advertising his claim was the proverbial soap box and a brief pamphlet, but he left little in terms of biographical material to work with. Unfortunately he did not formulate any detailed explanations for the fact that he had not inherited the crown. His general story was that Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn had a son named John, who was a full brother to Elizabeth, but for some reason Elizabeth was the one who ended up inheriting the crown... John was created the Prince of Wales, married and had 23 (yes, 23!) children, and died in 1618 at the age of 90. Ninth in descent from John was Anthony himself...

Anthony also argued an interesting point. According to him, James VI of Scotland was not who he claimed to be, but a changeling. He was substituted for the true son of Mary of Scots, who died at birth. So of course this made Anthony the true king of England. King Anthony made several proclamations in his pamphlets, which survive to this day...

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v225/helenazar/KingAnthonyHall.jpg)
His Majesty King Anthony Hall
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Helen_Azar on September 18, 2007, 07:00:21 PM
Another interesting obscure pretender is HRH Prince Michael of Albany, who is supposedly the legitimate heir of Bonnie Prince Charlie. This "prince" came to Scotland from Belgium in 1976 at age 18, and claims to have been the victim of intrusive and hostile investigation by the British Secret service in recent years...

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v225/helenazar/Michael-albany.jpg)
Prince Michael of Albany
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: dmitri on September 18, 2007, 07:52:40 PM
These people are truly sad. I guess they provide some entertainment value of a bizarre kind.
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Robert_Hall on September 18, 2007, 08:21:50 PM
There is also a claimant to the throne of Mexico, although he has some validity, I think as he is a descendent of Iturbide.  And, I read about some obscure Wied  claimant for the throne of Albania. As there is no direct descendent of the only "reigning" Wied prince of Albania the claim is either through some adoption or just simply falacious. These people rarely merit enough attention to make a book worthwhile, but do, at times, make the postings at various royalty  forums.
 A real craker and most amusing is a  supposed claimant to the Hohenzollern thrones, styling himself as King Fredinand. Ands I did not mis-spell his name.
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: dmitri on September 19, 2007, 10:51:07 AM
another amusing and totally fake one is the one who claimed to be the illegitimate daughter of King Carolos I of Portugal. She is dead now and adopted an Italian as her son who since her death claims to be the heir to the defunct Portuguese monarchy. He even wears uniforms and awards fake decorations. He is really so silly. I guess all the fakes have this in common!
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Helen_Azar on September 19, 2007, 12:24:00 PM
Royal impostors were not uncommon in the ancient world either... There were at least two individuals who tried to pass themselves off as Emperor Nero: one in AD 80, and another in AD 88. The former even gained support from the King of Parthia, Rome's great eastern enemy.

More than 30 years earlier, and ex-slave pretended to be Drusus Caesar, Nero's uncle, who was actually in prison at the time..
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Helen_Azar on September 29, 2007, 02:28:46 PM
Antonio Clemente, supposedly an illegitimate son of Marquess Giuseppe De Curtis. He was adopted at the age of 35 by another purported nobleman, Francesco Gagliardi Focas. He then began a long battle for recognition as heir to the Gagliardi titles... In 1945 the court in Naples granted him the recognition as a count, and the following year as a prince entitled to the designation of Imperial Highness! He emerged as Prince Antonio Focas Angelo Ducas Comneno di Bisanzio De Curtis Gagliardi...

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v225/helenazar/pretenders001.jpg)

See, sometimes these things do pay off ;-)



Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: dmitri on September 30, 2007, 03:45:02 AM
How utterly absurd.
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: TampaBay on September 30, 2007, 11:24:21 AM
These people are truly sad. I guess they provide some entertainment value of a bizarre kind.


I think they are all a hoot!

TampaBay
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Robert_Hall on September 30, 2007, 01:06:29 PM
I am curious as to  just what kind of Italian court had the right to grant "Imperial" titles and status?
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: dmitri on October 01, 2007, 12:08:04 AM
Yes Robert it is all a touch ''amusant''.  I wonder whether this court in Naples brought down the ruling while Italy was still a kingdom under the House of Savoy in 1946 or after when the republic was proclaimed! Certainly titles are pretty well meaningless in Italy today. They maybe impress those who are unworldly. Who knows? Maybe some of them are recognised by the Vatican. When though has an illegitimate child ever inheirited a title only available for the legitimate offspring? It is all mind boggling!
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Ex-Princess Lisa on October 01, 2007, 03:38:43 AM
I thought the Tsars illegimate children inherited titles? If they did how different was it from legitimate children?

From the Romanov Family Association website it says - grandchildren of a Tsar are Grand Dukes and Grand Duchesses and great-grandchildren of a Tsar are Princes and Princesses.
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Robert_Hall on October 01, 2007, 04:15:24 AM
Only legitimate children inherit titles.  Sometimes, like the Yurievskys, illegitimate  children were given titles, but did  they did not inherit them.
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: dmitri on October 01, 2007, 06:07:17 AM
Quite correct Robert. Tsar Alexander II created his 2nd wife Princess Yurievsky. He never made her Empress. Their children took after their mother and were elevated to Prince and Princesses Yurievsky on her marriage. They were all born illiegitimate as he married their mother after their births. His sons and daughter by Tsarina Maria Alexandrovna were naturally legitimate and were therefore Grand Dukes and Grand Duchess by birth and not creation. 
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Helen_Azar on October 01, 2007, 04:00:53 PM
Peter Mills of Newport, aka His Imperial Majesty Petros I, Emperor and Autokrat of the Romans, was born in 1927, the son of Frank Mills and Robina Mills nee Colenutt. His maternal grandfather was Samuel Colenutt, a plumber of Niton in the Isle of Wight. The Colenutt ancestry can possibly be traced on the island as far back as the part of the 18th century, but no farther. For some unknown reason, it was through the Colenutts that "Prince Petros"derived his imperial blood... Through some strange process he linked his mother's unusual maiden name to the Emperors of Constantinople, using sources to which he alone was privy.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v225/helenazar/pretenders003.jpg)

At his early death in 1988, the obituary referred to him by his self-assumed titulature, in no less a journal than THE TIMES...
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Robert_Hall on October 01, 2007, 04:27:26 PM
Where are you getting these from, Helen?
  They are hysterical.
 There are no end to the Byzantine claimants. I know of one personally who claims to be the legitimate king of Macedonia.  Which is of itself quite a stretch, since the last one was Alexander thet Great.  There are also some Comnenii running around Europe,  but no one takes them seriously.
 BTW, The Times refers to anyone by what they wished to call themselves. It is only polite.
 
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Annie on October 01, 2007, 08:03:32 PM
Quite correct Robert. Tsar Alexander II created his 2nd wife Princess Yurievsky. He never made her Empress. Their children took after their mother and were elevated to Prince and Princesses Yurievsky on her marriage. They were all born illiegitimate as he married their mother after their births. His sons and daughter by Tsarina Maria Alexandrovna were naturally legitimate and were therefore Grand Dukes and Grand Duchess by birth and not creation. 

This was an obit in my local paper a couple years ago. I don't believe Alexander II had any kids by that Dr.!

Jeanette P. Yarborough

Grand Duchess Jeanette Prokofieff Romanov, daughter of Leona Victoria Ackerman and Grand Duke Vicktor Maxim Prokofieff Romanov, son of Tsar Alexander II of Russia and Dr. Marie Vereschagan Prokofieff, died Thursday, July 7, at her residence.
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Forum Admin on October 01, 2007, 08:50:54 PM
Quite correct Robert. Tsar Alexander II created his 2nd wife Princess Yurievsky. He never made her Empress. Their children took after their mother and were elevated to Prince and Princesses Yurievsky on her marriage. They were all born illiegitimate as he married their mother after their births. His sons and daughter by Tsarina Maria Alexandrovna were naturally legitimate and were therefore Grand Dukes and Grand Duchess by birth and not creation. 

This was an obit in my local paper a couple years ago. I don't believe Alexander II had any kids by that Dr.!

Jeanette P. Yarborough

Grand Duchess Jeanette Prokofieff Romanov, daughter of Leona Victoria Ackerman and Grand Duke Vicktor Maxim Prokofieff Romanov, son of Tsar Alexander II of Russia and Dr. Marie Vereschagan Prokofieff, died Thursday, July 7, at her residence.


Umm Annie,

"IF" this person was the daughter of Alexander II, there is another small "problem".  Well, Alexander II died in 1881...so, even assuming the daughter was conceived just before his death, and this obit was from say 2000,. well, the woman would have had to have been 118 at the youngest....
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: dmitri on October 01, 2007, 10:21:28 PM
Now why on earth would that be unlikely FA? .. huge smile!!!! The wonders of medical science never cease to amaze me!!! ... was she a Bionic Romanov? .. lol
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Annie on October 01, 2007, 11:08:12 PM
Quite correct Robert. Tsar Alexander II created his 2nd wife Princess Yurievsky. He never made her Empress. Their children took after their mother and were elevated to Prince and Princesses Yurievsky on her marriage. They were all born illiegitimate as he married their mother after their births. His sons and daughter by Tsarina Maria Alexandrovna were naturally legitimate and were therefore Grand Dukes and Grand Duchess by birth and not creation. 

This was an obit in my local paper a couple years ago. I don't believe Alexander II had any kids by that Dr.!

Jeanette P. Yarborough

Grand Duchess Jeanette Prokofieff Romanov, daughter of Leona Victoria Ackerman and Grand Duke Vicktor Maxim Prokofieff Romanov, son of Tsar Alexander II of Russia and Dr. Marie Vereschagan Prokofieff, died Thursday, July 7, at her residence.


Umm Annie,

"IF" this person was the daughter of Alexander II, there is another small "problem".  Well, Alexander II died in 1881...so, even assuming the daughter was conceived just before his death, and this obit was from say 2000,. well, the woman would have had to have been 118 at the youngest....

Oh but it says her father was the son of Alexander II, and he would have been old enough! She was daughter of Grand Duke Vicktor who was the son of Alexander II and Dr. Marie! So there's still a chance! :D ;)
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Annie on October 02, 2007, 01:15:14 PM
 Last night on the History channel, they had a story on Catherine the Great and it said a claimant/pretender for Peter III gathered enough supporters fora an attempted coup, but was caught and hanged. Without even a DNA test!
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Forum Admin on October 02, 2007, 01:21:00 PM
AHHHHH, the good old days....

Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Robert_Hall on October 02, 2007, 02:18:28 PM
That was the [in]famous Pugachev was it not?
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Helen_Azar on October 02, 2007, 03:25:13 PM
That was the [in]famous Pugachev was it not?

Yes. Emelian Ivanovich Pugachev ( c.1742–75) was a Russian peasant leader, head of the peasant rebellion of 1773–74. A Don Cossack, he exploited a widespread peasant belief that Peter III had not actually been murdered. Claiming to be Peter III, he soon found himself at the head of an army and of a revolutionary movement. His followers—Cossacks, peasants, runaway serfs, Tatar bands, and serfs from the mines and factories—all belonged to the lower classes, whose rights and liberties had been increasingly curtailed in the past two centuries. Pugachev announced the abolition of serfdom. His army overran the middle and lower Volga districts and the Ural region and took Kazan and several fortresses, committing barbarous excesses and threatening the throne of Catherine II, who was waging war on the Ottoman Empire. However, the rebels lacked experienced leadership and were ultimately defeated. Pugachev was betrayed, taken to Moscow, and beheaded. As a result of the rebellion Catherine introduced the administrative reform (1775) that increased the central government's control over outlying areas and more firmly entrenched the institution of serfdom.

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v225/helenazar/pugachev.jpg) (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v225/helenazar/russia-peter3.jpg)
Pugachev                                                                 Peter III
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Robert_Hall on October 02, 2007, 03:44:27 PM
Ex P-L, The Comnenii were a dynasty of Byzantine emperors that cesed ruling in 1185.
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Annie on October 02, 2007, 08:02:31 PM


(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v225/helenazar/pugachev.jpg) (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v225/helenazar/russia-peter3.jpg)
Pugachev                                                                 Peter III

Not even close!  :o Guess the people back then didn't have any pics to compare, or were just really gullible.
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Robert_Hall on October 02, 2007, 09:20:31 PM
Most people had never even seen Peter III to know what he looked like.  He did not have a long riegn, I am not sure if coins were even struck with his image.
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Olishka~ Pincess on October 03, 2007, 02:42:06 PM
I know those potraits of Peter do not even look close at all. I realy do not think any of these potraits have clues to show how he actually look liked. Yes that is right Robert, most people have not seen Peter III. He did not even rule for a long time. I doubt it if the coins would give us an idea of how he realy looked.
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Annie on October 03, 2007, 03:11:32 PM
This is such an interesting thread.   Here's another one, but according to this story, and the wikipedia article, DNA tests eventually proved by 95% accuracy he was indeed the missing heir of Baden and adoptive grandson of Napoleon:

http://www.mysteriouspeople.com/Hauser1.htm

Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Helen_Azar on October 03, 2007, 03:22:04 PM
Most people had never even seen Peter III to know what he looked like.  He did not have a long riegn, I am not sure if coins were even struck with his image.

I guess they did have his portraits, but most common people wouldn't have access to see them anyway. So that's true, 95% of the population probably had no clue what Peter III looked like. Besides, they liked what Emelian was saying to them -i.e. he will emancipate all serfs, etc. - and they wanted him as their Tsar! My guess is that they probably didn't care that much at that point if he was really Peter III...
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: dmitri on October 03, 2007, 06:07:37 PM
Yes you are right. He was just one to take advantage of at the time to try to get more of what certain people wanted.
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Helen_Azar on October 05, 2007, 03:33:10 PM
http://www.mysteriouspeople.com/Hauser1.htm

Yes, this guy is pretty interesting... Here is another portrait of Kaspar:

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v225/helenazar/hauser.jpg)

ANd here is the photo of his gravestone: (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v225/helenazar/grave.jpg)
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: stacey on October 31, 2007, 10:35:30 AM
I've always been fascinated by the story of the mysterious Kaspar Hauser!

I hadn't heard before of the more recent DNA tests, which do seem to indicate that he was of royal birth.

Very intriguing--thanks so much for the link!!!  :)
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: neselrode on August 07, 2008, 08:45:00 PM
More about Anna Anderson...

Many films have been made and many books have been written about AA. We all know the DNA evidence ultimately confirmed that Anastasia Nikolaievna perished with her family in Ekaterinburg. I think it would be a real challenge to make a film about Franziska Schanzkowska, “la fausse Anastasie,” as Gilliard called her. How and when did she conceive of perpetrating royal identity theft on such a grand scale? One could begin with her childhood in Poland, her early career as a factory worker and, later, her move to Berlin. Did some conspirators quickly see imposter potential in Franziska and begin her immersion in the minutiae of Court life and royal deportment? Were other candidates also considered, or was delusional FS favoured from the start? How did she convince people of her alleged identity such that they remained devoted to her until the day she died?  The film should convey the enormous tension between FS’s awareness that she was a fraud and the necessity of constantly have to convince people of her assumed identity. Merely romanticizing and dwelling on the possibility that AN survived is easy; this film would present a tale of ambition and delusion closer to the truth. It would take as great an actress as Franziska herself to convey how she so skillfully manipulated people’s gullibility and suggestibility. This film could be no worse than the many other films on this theme.     


Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: graynut on September 15, 2008, 09:21:22 AM
It needs clarifying that Peter Mills was nothing other than a deluded individual who attempted to perpetuate a myth started by his grandfather Samuel that the Colenutts were in some way related to royalty. The result of this man's obsession resulted in disappointment and heartbreak to several members of the family (three elderly cousins) who were endeavouring to establish a fully authenticated account of the family history on and about the Isle of Wight. Their involved and time-absorbing work was carried out over the time span 1958 - 1972.  Peter Mills caused the main damage by falsifying papers then inserting them into the official archives and claiming they were newly discovered evidence.
The Colenutt (formerly Colnet) family has a long history on the island and can be traced back through every generation to circa 1500. Evidence of earlier Colnets has come to light at Winchester in the mid 15th century.
I am descended from the Isle.of.Wight. Colenutts and live in Leeds but members of the family are world-wide. I am also in possession of the work carried out by three cousins as mentioned above.
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: annya on January 26, 2009, 06:34:15 PM
Has anyone given a thought to a person coming forward whose dna would match? Just take a moment to think about that one, it would certainly answer alot of questions.
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: LisaDavidson on February 04, 2009, 05:22:56 PM
Has anyone given a thought to a person coming forward whose dna would match? Just take a moment to think about that one, it would certainly answer alot of questions.

Not really! There are probably hundreds (if not thousands) of people with a mtDNA match. These would be people with the same maternal DNA as the Duke of Edinburgh, for one. Once thought rare, in fact there are likely more individuals with this mtDNA than those with the Schankowska mtDNA!

Since nuclear DNA is not a "match" situation, being unique to an individual, a person with "matching DNA" would only tell us there was a common maternal ancestor with Queen Victoria.
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: EPHMOC on October 23, 2009, 02:57:03 PM
More about Anna Anderson...

[about FS] (...) One could begin with her childhood in Poland, (...)


Why so many peple here keep repeating that FS was born and lived in Poland - she was not! Bytow/Buetow region was not a part of Poland since 17th century... It was under german rule till the end of WWII...

The funny thing is that AN was in Poland (Spala, 1912) but FS was not...
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Alexandra von Streer henderson on December 06, 2009, 05:06:16 PM
My grandmother was  Marina Obolensky Kropotkin .In the sixties she had the idea to invite some of the pretenders .A lot came She had multiple sets of Marias Anastasias and Alexei’s .But never believed any of them after scrutiny .She  met Anna Anderson once and said “ the girl could not speak Russian or French “ basically that was her way of saying she thought Anna to be a fraud .DNA tests showed later that she was right.
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: rosieposie on December 29, 2009, 09:26:16 AM
I read in one of those cheap British magazines, this one guy was claiming to be the illigimate son of Princess Margret.

The only evidence, a photograph of him as a toddler, in a car and the window reflection of a well dress woman who took his photo.

About three years ago, some woman claimed to be Azaria Chamberlian aka the baby that got eaten by dingos back in 1980s.    Of course DNA proved she wasn't.
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Carolath Habsburg on December 29, 2009, 09:33:21 AM
Can someone explain me this?

This guy he says he s the love child of Maria Gabriella Di savoia and Reza Pahlavi


http://www.lastoriaincredibile.org/inglese/home.php

Can it be true?
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: her daughter on January 30, 2015, 08:32:16 PM
Quite correct Robert. Tsar Alexander II created his 2nd wife Princess Yurievsky. He never made her Empress. Their children took after their mother and were elevated to Prince and Princesses Yurievsky on her marriage. They were all born illiegitimate as he married their mother after their births. His sons and daughter by Tsarina Maria Alexandrovna were naturally legitimate and were therefore Grand Dukes and Grand Duchess by birth and not creation. 

This was an obit in my local paper a couple years ago. I don't believe Alexander II had any kids by that Dr.!

Jeanette P. Yarborough

Grand Duchess Jeanette Prokofieff Romanov, daughter of Leona Victoria Ackerman and Grand Duke Vicktor Maxim Prokofieff Romanov, son of Tsar Alexander II of Russia and Dr. Marie Vereschagan Prokofieff, died Thursday, July 7, at her residence.


Jeannette was my mother. The funeral home made a typo when either taking the information from me or releasing it to the newspaper. It was supposed to have read Alexander III. (https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xap1/v/t1.0-9/1470213_10203769198126968_9015318468138398315_n.jpg?oh=4a64c680cdc079691c12f9d39cb5cf47&oe=5563FCEF&__gda__=1432493782_48c0c41e4aae58166bf144b27ebce1cd) (https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xfp1/v/t1.0-9/10615448_10203769202567079_656866711594840770_n.jpg?oh=025cdbb04e5e92d234668fca8c398689&oe=556D9DAE&__gda__=1432906238_3f2b4406b77a4f846235343686bd459e)
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: her daughter on January 30, 2015, 08:39:35 PM
The pages below were written by my grandfather, Victor, for my cousin Robert, who is the son of my mother's eldest sister Victoria.
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: her daughter on January 30, 2015, 09:07:13 PM
Photos of Victor, including a boyhood painting:
(https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xap1/v/t1.0-9/10940447_10203769264048616_6918431281846476961_n.jpg?oh=d0043a4085e342e7b5aafd09395c014e&oe=555F086F&__gda__=1432103482_8f52cc77d5e8f8dffa7662f672023a73) (https://scontent-a-atl.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpa1/v/t1.0-9/16745_10203769265128643_7073847237497826438_n.jpg?oh=841a210e18511870a7c4c610741753c5&oe=556B5EB7) (https://scontent-a-atl.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpa1/v/t1.0-9/10386364_10203769266528678_2776006105317498985_n.jpg?oh=1793c479dece7598137a5137477bd6d8&oe=55578BFD) (https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xpf1/v/t1.0-9/10801703_10203769271448801_6683832174249107074_n.jpg?oh=aebb793d1299f9cdade80d666e242e55&oe=55678D4D&__gda__=1433091890_352d5f4be770b45a7c73087c51ec5f5d) [imghttps://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xpf1/v/t1.0-9/10550911_10203769268928738_3791726454709257991_n.jpg?oh=3681fd8e10b3756904d9795cbb395408&oe=55598A17&__gda__=1431948648_b18c7f1f38c635404697f20d7bbd3ae6]http://[/img] (https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xpf1/v/t1.0-9/10550911_10203769268928738_3791726454709257991_n.jpg?oh=3681fd8e10b3756904d9795cbb395408&oe=55598A17&__gda__=1431948648_b18c7f1f38c635404697f20d7bbd3ae6) (https://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xap1/v/t1.0-9/10426126_10203769276688932_7314639680485705438_n.jpg?oh=fbfb9c45f39bd854e24d60aae85667fb&oe=556ED964&__gda__=1432103985_1063aae98a2e159c9e0249d51ff072e7) (https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xaf1/v/t1.0-9/1619171_10203769280889037_3806256594375800835_n.jpg?oh=32c510924b4e221c4f8c888e487f4c71&oe=55604A3A&__gda__=1433175949_e19b59ec042015bb47a9e9fdc4f1fca7) (https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xap1/v/t1.0-9/1901422_10203769282089067_7543833155749606819_n.jpg?oh=d0ca8c30551250d4b3b32b0a144db38e&oe=556DCF6C&__gda__=1433217621_b0c31367817deb5423bb15340cdcf0d0)
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Превед on January 31, 2015, 05:42:06 PM
Jeannette was my mother. The funeral home made a typo when either taking the information from me or releasing it to the newspaper. It was supposed to have read Alexander III. (https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xap1/v/t1.0-9/1470213_10203769198126968_9015318468138398315_n.jpg?oh=4a64c680cdc079691c12f9d39cb5cf47&oe=5563FCEF&__gda__=1432493782_48c0c41e4aae58166bf144b27ebce1cd) (https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xfp1/v/t1.0-9/10615448_10203769202567079_656866711594840770_n.jpg?oh=025cdbb04e5e92d234668fca8c398689&oe=556D9DAE&__gda__=1432906238_3f2b4406b77a4f846235343686bd459e)

According to the Russian Wikipedia, the painter Vasily Vasilyevich Vereshchagin can't have been the (legitimate) uncle of Maria Alexandrovna Prokofieff (née Vereshchagina?), as the painter's brother, Lieutenant-General Alexander Vasilyevich Vereshchagin, only had three children called Olga, Vladimir and Vasiliy. Olga Alexandrovna Vereshchagina married General Staff officer Anatoly Fyodorovich Barsov. See Википедия: Верещагин, Александр Васильевич (https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%92%D0%B5%D1%80%D0%B5%D1%89%D0%B0%D0%B3%D0%B8%D0%BD,_%D0%90%D0%BB%D0%B5%D0%BA%D1%81%D0%B0%D0%BD%D0%B4%D1%80_%D0%92%D0%B0%D1%81%D0%B8%D0%BB%D1%8C%D0%B5%D0%B2%D0%B8%D1%87)

Further, who are these Count and Countess Surette? There doesn't seem to have been any such title. The only claim to fame for the name Surette is the 18th-century Acadian resistance leader called Pierre II Surette.
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Превед on February 01, 2015, 12:04:01 PM
The pages below were written by my grandfather, Victor, for my cousin Robert, who is the son of my mother's eldest sister Victoria.

Further proof that this was not written by a member of the Russian upper-class born in 1890, who by default would know French well:

He writes of himself that he was "nee Romanoff". A Francophone Russian noble would know, unless he was dyslectic, that it's "née" for women and "né" for men.
A Francophone Russian would probably also write "Mulhouse", not use the German name Mühlhausen (and manage to misspell it as Mulhausen too!).

"Vereschagin" is also misspelled. The correct transliteration is "Vereshchagin. It also strikes me as a bit odd that somebody would include the patronyme (Alexandrovna), but not give the surname (especially the maiden name) in the female form: Vereshchagina.
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: TimM on February 20, 2015, 06:17:05 PM
I guess there will always be people saying that they are related to this or that royal personage.
Title: Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
Post by: Kitt on February 09, 2016, 01:32:22 PM
I am reading this almost a decade later.  This has go to be some of the funniest stuff discussed on this forum, especially the "winks and grins".  Not to say any of us is "nuts", but intellectual curiosity can be quite interesting when it goes in obscure directions.  All the best,