Author Topic: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...  (Read 78770 times)

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Offline Louis_Charles

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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?
« Last Edit: May 31, 2009, 10:13:17 AM by Alixz »
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Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2006, 02:39:43 PM »
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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.

Offline Georgiy

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Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
« Reply #2 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.

Offline Belochka

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Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2006, 12:24:57 AM »
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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!
:-/
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Belochka »


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jeremygaleaz

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Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
« Reply #4 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....
« Last Edit: May 25, 2009, 04:48:10 PM by Alixz »

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Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2006, 08:32:59 PM »
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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.
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Offline elena_maria_vidal

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Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2006, 08:26:16 AM »
I don't believe she was ever declared legally insane.

Offline Annie

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Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2006, 08:39:28 AM »

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

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Annie »

Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
« Reply #8 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):

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by helenazar »

ChatNoir

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Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2006, 09:07:26 AM »
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FS was declared legally insane in 1916.   FS was AA.



So how come AA was NOT insane?
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Offline Louis_Charles

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Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
« Reply #10 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.

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Louis_Charles »
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Offline Annie

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Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
« Reply #11 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?

Offline Louis_Charles

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Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
« Reply #12 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.
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Offline Annie

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Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
« Reply #13 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.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Annie »

Offline Helen_Azar

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Re: Non Romanov and more obscure royal pretenders/impostors/claimants...
« Reply #14 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.