Anna Anderson, the Romanov Princess Anastasia... or Not?

Taken in 1906, this is the family of Anastasia.
Taken in 1906, this is the family of Anastasia. | Source

Anastasia Romanov was born June 5,1901. Her father was the Tsar Nicholas II of Russia. Her mother was Alexandra Fyordorvn, the granddaughter of Queen Victoria and her husband Albert, which makes Anastasia their great granddaughter. Her parents had four daughters, and one son, Anastasia was the youngest of the girls. Her older sisters names were Tatiana, Maria, and Olga, and her younger brother was Alexei Nikolaevich. On July 17, 1918, the Romanov family was ambushed by the Bloshevic secret police a year after Nicholas Romanov, Anastasia's father, was forced to abdicate his throne. They were brutally stabbed in the basement of their house.

Once the bodies were recovered, there were two that were missing: Anastasia's and her younger brother's. Although in 2007, some believe that the remains were found in Ektarinburg. They found two charred bodies, believed to be the two missing Romanov children. Although there are skeptics who believe that the Russian officials only claimed that they were the remains of these two children, because it would be beneficial to the Russian government if Anastasia Romanov truly died those many years ago.

Anastasia Nikolaevna

Taken wearing her gown, in 1910
Taken wearing her gown, in 1910 | Source

The Power of the Romanovs

The Romanovs were very powerful people. They controlled about ten percent of the world's land mass and their net worth was thirty billion dollars, in a time when thirty billion was worth more than it is today. In his time, Tsar Nicholas was the most powerful man on earth and his wealth trumped any of the European royalties. It was most likely this tremendous power that he had, which is what eventually led to his destruction, not only as Tsar or Russia, but also the destruction of his life and family.

Even without the power, his life seemed much like a fairy tale. The love affair between Anastasia's parents was beautiful. They often wrote back and forth. Once the letters were recovered, it is clear that they were madly in love and quite devoted to one another. Many of the letters were written when Nicholas was away doing his political duties. They were also wonderful parents. Nicholas, despite his desire to have a male heir, was sincerely excited for each of his daughter's birth and recorded all of the details in his journal.


Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna

Dressed up.
Dressed up. | Source

Anastasia's Personality

Anastasia was the most charming of her sisters and also the naughtiest. She loved pranking her tutors and servants, often tripping them among other stunts. She also loved climbing trees and when asked to come down she would often refuse. She was strong-willed with a mind of her own. Yet people were often drawn to her because of her captive personality. Although she never cared much for her looks, she was considered very beautiful. Unlike her sisters, she had blue eyes, and strawberry blond hair. She was also notoriously funny and enjoyed putting on plays for her parents. Many of these plays would cause her parents and siblings to "howl with laughter."

Anna Anderson

Profile photograph of Anna Anderson, who adopted the identity of Grand Duchess Anastasia of Russia in early 1922.
Profile photograph of Anna Anderson, who adopted the identity of Grand Duchess Anastasia of Russia in early 1922. | Source

The Claims Of Anna Anderson

So when she disappeared, and her remains were unknown, many people had claimed to be her. Anna Anderson is only one of the women who has claimed to be the heir of Tsar Nicholas II. Although, unlike many of the others, she is the most well known and recognized as being Anastasia. Anna first came out in 1920 and again in 1922 as the missing Anastasia.

Anna Anderson resided in Charlottesville until her death in 1984. She sincerely believed that she was the Grand Duchess Anastasia. Even shortly after her marriage, the couple was asked to grab one item from their living room that most exemplified the other person for a newspaper photo. Her husband Jack Manahan grabbed a photo of Anastasia's father.

There were reasons to believe her claims for she knew more about the Romanov family than any casual observer could possibly know. When she first made her claims, only a few knew about the attack from the Bolshovic police, since media was nothing like it is today. She was one of those who knew. Plus she had unusual scars that she believed were the result of a skirmish with the Bolshevik secret police. In fact, much of the details that we now know, are taken from Anna Anderson's testimony. Which demonstrates the complete faith many have of her being the true heir of Tsar Nicholas II.

Another reason Anna Anderson is viewed as the real Anastasia Romanov is because of Maria Rasputin's claim. Maria Rasputin was the daughter of the family's most trusted adviser Gregori Rasputin. Maria was only three years older and often played with Anastasia. When hearing of Anna Anderson's claim, she asked to meet her in private. After a meeting that lasted several hours, Maria proclaimed that Anna Anderson was in fact the real Anastasia. Maria said that Anna reminded her of things she had long forgotten.

Although years later, Maria took back her claim when Anna refused to dine in Los Angeles under the name of Anastasia Romanov. Anna felt that it was ridiculous to flaunt her name, this angered Maria, and she changed her claim of Anna's identity.

Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia

This was taken by the court photographer, when she was little.
This was taken by the court photographer, when she was little. | Source

Similarities Between Anna and Anastasia

There are many similarities between the two. The most obvious is that Anna looks like Anastasia. As you compare the two, both have similar petite features, same nose, hair color, and face shape. She had similar scarring on her abdomen and face, as well as the same measurements of Anastasia. Also Anna Anderson never once left character of being Anastasia the Romanov's youngest daughter. One of the more unique similarities was a deformity that Anastasia was born with. Anna Anderson had the exact same deformity on the left foot. Although she spoke German, her accent was Russian, which also was an indicator.

Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia

Posing for a pic.
Posing for a pic. | Source

DNA Disproof

The only way we will ever know is through a true legitimate DNA test. In fact, after Anna Anderson died, in 1994 (nearly ten years later), they finally did a tissue test. The results showed Anna Anderson was not Anastasia. Although due to Russia's desire to keep things hidden, it is believed that the tissue samples may have been purposely mixed up to show that she was not the true Anastasia Romanov. There is also speculation that the hair retrieval was not accurate, since it is unknown whether the hair follicle was in tact, which is the only way to have a true confirmation of paternity. Since Anna Anderson chose cremation, further DNA tests are not possible.

Another reason why they believe there may have been a falsification with the DNA is that there is no proof that the hair and tissue sample that were used was in fact Anna Anderson. For one, the test was several years after her cremation, and the hair sample was kept from Anna Anderson's husband. No one truly knew if the hair follicle was in fact Anna Anderson's.

Yet, in 2008, they had done some DNA testing on charred remains that were found the year prior. The DNA revealed that the two children found were related to the royal family and most likely Alexei and one of his four sisters. Was Anna Anderson really Anastasia Romanov? Truthfully, we'll probably never know.

© 2010 Angela Michelle

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Comments 71 comments

Royal Bloodline Descent 6 months ago

Was Anna Anderson the lost Anastasia the answer is No and proven by DNA testing, but did they share the rare visible genetic marker of Nicholas 11 and Alexis his son . the answer is Yes which showed up at birth on certain royals in three different related royal families then and now.

Proof of the genetic visible DNA matler can be found on on Royal Bloodline Descent on facebook. Any questions about such facts can be addressed to royal.bloodline.descent@gmail,,com


e.s. 7 months ago

IT LOOKS LIKE ANNA ANDERSON WAS MARIA NIKOLAEVNA ROMANOVA.

MAYBE AFTER ONE OF THE DAUGHTERS OF TSAR NICHOLAS II ESCAPED, THIS DAUGHTER DECIDED TO CALL HERSELF WITH NAME ANNA. AFTER THAT, SEEMS THAT SHE DECIDED TO CALL HERSELF AS ANASTASIA INSTEAD OF MARIA. THE FACT THAT ANNA ANDERSON SPOKE EASILY SOME FOREIGN LANGUAGES AND KNEW THE SECRETS OF THE ROMANOV ROYAL FAMILY, REVEAL THAT ANNA ANDERSON WAS ONE OF THE DAUGHTERS OF THE TSAR NICHOLAS II OF RUSSIA. THE IMAGE OF ANNA ANDERSON SEEMS LIKE THE IMAGE OF MARIA NIKOLAEVNA ROMANOVA. THE FACT THAT THE REMAINS OF ONE OF THE DAUGHTER OF TSAR NICHOLAS II WAS NOT FOUND TOGETHER WITH HER FAMILY, TELL THAT ANNA ANDERSON WAS REALY THE DAUGHTER OF TSAR NICHOLAS II. AND AGAIN, THE IMAGE OF ANNA ANDERSON SEEMS LIKE THE IMAGE OF MARIA NIKOLAEVNA ROMANOVA.


Ella 9 months ago

Anna Anderson was definitely Anasasia - they look exactly the same.


Mimi 10 months ago

I am doing a project called real life mysteries and my subject is Anastasia Romanov. This page really helped! I think that Anna Anderson was Anastasia Romanov because they look very, very similar and Anna knows so much about Anastasia's back story! It just has to be true.


No Name 13 months ago

Well my DNA has the Russians exhuming bodies...guess it's kind of hard to claim they are all dead when I exist...oops...oh and I study Law and I have been dealing with folks trying to kill me...vehicle mishaps so far...

May be those attempting such feats should realize my army is humanity! Yours is a small group of control freaks who cannot control themselves!

WE will see how this works out in Geneva won't we?


Angie hernandez 14 months ago

is the little brother one of the tow children's body is anastasia alive


angela_michelle profile image

angela_michelle 18 months ago from United States Author

Those are very good questions!


yooo 19 months ago

one question, if Anna Anderson wasn't Anastasia, then how did she know everything about the royal family? sense media back then is nothing like it is now? how did anna get away with it for so long?


angela_michelle profile image

angela_michelle 2 years ago from United States Author

I actually think I agree with you Sally... :)


sallyloun42 2 years ago

I do believe anna anderson was anastasia. I think that there was far too much money involved for Russia to be willing to recognize her. Falsifying DNA would not have been difficult if a vast fortune was at stake.John Manahan was a very respected man and he was completely convinced. She never pushed herself or sought the limelight in way.


cool 3 years ago

how many bones where there?


cool 3 years ago

how old are the bones


maryam 3 years ago

what happen to anastasia family all her family die and they found there budey and dident found her bodey were is anastaaia


angela_michelle profile image

angela_michelle 4 years ago from United States Author

Very good point. It's sickening isn't it.


liz 4 years ago

What I really want to know is y? And what purposes did they having of killing of 12 ppl. It interests me how any gov. Can get away with murder or conspiracys its amazing how little we know to even to protect our selfs and to prepare for the worst until last min


angela_michelle profile image

angela_michelle 4 years ago from United States Author

You know I don't know. I never looked into that. I imagine he was impersonated, but I doubt found.


Person 4 years ago

I have read 3 books about Anastasia and all of them

have different theorys two say yes on, No.

I was wondering if Alexei was found or impersonated?


angela_michelle profile image

angela_michelle 4 years ago from United States Author

I'm very curious about this as well. Please share.


High Schooler 4 years ago

Just thinking about the Russian government is hiding makes me think what the U.S. is hiding. And i did some research on it and it turns out that our government is based on something called Free Masonry. know im going to find out some more stuff on this wish me luck


angela_michelle profile image

angela_michelle 4 years ago from United States Author

You are very right. It's hard to know what the Russian government is hiding. I'm sure the US has some of their own secrets. Fortunately, we have more checks and balances to keep us... honest per se.


High Schooler 4 years ago

If you think Russia can keep this a secert i wonder what else there are hiding. and do u think there could still be a living Romanov family and do u think that think could have just burned other family members with the same mtDNA? if they did i guess we will never know will we. and when u write more stuff like this email me at peloquinjohn@ymail.com and I would love to talk to you more.


angela_michelle profile image

angela_michelle 4 years ago from United States Author

If I hear more, I'll have to add to this. I find this absolutely fascinating!


High Schooler 4 years ago

this was interisting but i think she is her. and i would love to hear more about this

High Schooler out


angela_michelle profile image

angela_michelle 4 years ago from United States Author

ditto!


liz 4 years ago

Wat really? Wats ur source? How do u know? Sorry I had no internet for a while


angela_michelle profile image

angela_michelle 4 years ago from United States Author

Do you have a source, or is it a gut feeling?


Anastasia 4 years ago

Anna Anderson is Anastasia Romanov! The DNA has been proven faulty! Misused!


angela_michelle profile image

angela_michelle 4 years ago from United States Author

Well, it might be awhile.. But I probably eventually will. Right now, my life has been crazy! But soon things will settle down.


liz 4 years ago

U should ant me know about it. I think it be more interesting if u did it


angela_michelle profile image

angela_michelle 4 years ago from United States Author

Your theory is intriguing. I think I smell a new hub. Do you want to write or should I?


liz 4 years ago

Hmm. I think there's way more than we know of this "secrete police" or if they were even a real cop they could've been hired killers for a high payroll. Because burning their bodies? Sounds to me like a set up to me you go threw all that trouble of all killing unless someone close to this family wanted to take power but something went wrong and a conspiracy came to play the lead roll.


angela_michelle profile image

angela_michelle 4 years ago from United States Author

Well, I don't think killing ever has solved anything, but I guess that's the pacifist in me.


angela_michelle profile image

angela_michelle 4 years ago from United States Author

Liz, no it did not help much. I don't understand the whole political dynamic in Russia, but your comments have gotten me curious as to if there was any other motivation the secret police had for doing what they did.


angela_michelle profile image

angela_michelle 4 years ago from United States Author

Liz, I have to say, I do in fact agree with you.


liz 4 years ago

Sorry for some errors my phone does it to me all the time I've read here and there about this family and her grandmas husben wasn't king I think he gave it up for her I think he is from king of speech. Well there was a such of man that stepped down from his thrown not just for one reason but others... anyway I just get so upset about the family's health and how wrong and stupid it was and I really like to know wat have they gained for the sake of their homeland? Was it reply the only way? By killing?


liz 4 years ago

Couldn't the "secret cops" banish them out of their county after stripping tittles? Y kill the children what good did this help their nation? It just give them a bad rep. It is sad for any family to dad injustice like! Couldn't they send the children to there grandma and prison parents for a while? I really get wat you get out of killing a family it didn't help much did it? I think not.


liz 4 years ago

Ok I just want to say this

There still was no point of killing the family because that county still poor low on food ect. The girls helped the poor gave food ect. These ppl are so greasy and still poor!! There was nothing gained killing them they stripped their tittles wat can they do?? There's no need to kill a family they could've asked for funds and help and charitys. They deserve to be a poor country for being so greedy and just evil. And this goes to any country... you may not like wat I say but it is true ones greed to destroy it all.


angela_michelle profile image

angela_michelle 4 years ago from United States Author

I would love to find out that you are right. Maybe some day we will know for sure.


angela_michelle profile image

angela_michelle 4 years ago from United States Author

Interesting, I'll have to look that up!


Anastasia Sushko 4 years ago

Folks Anna Anderson is Anastasia Romanov, and it will all be decoded very soon. The DNA evidence was merely contaiminted, if this women was Franiska then how come she never spoke polish but Russian and German? How did she know about the night of the Romanov slaughter, and how come she knew about the jewels sewn inot the Four Grand Duchesses clothes? Only Anastasia Romanov would know all of this!


Lucie Wesson 4 years ago

Anastasia was the grand-daughter of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. He was never King Consort of England. I think Anastasia was in fact Great Grand-daughter of Queen Victoria.


angela_michelle profile image

angela_michelle 5 years ago from United States Author

Vicky, I guess there is more that I need to learn. :)


Vicky 5 years ago

Well..what happened to the Romanowes was terrible but they saw it coming. The country was dying, no food, no money. Instead of "taking care" of his people, Nikolaj dwelled in his superstitions, esoterism, occultism with Rasputin....it's just a sad past.


angela_michelle profile image

angela_michelle 5 years ago from United States Author

Ain't that the truth.


maewallace22 profile image

maewallace22 5 years ago

I like the idea of it to. Perhaps one day the truth will come out. But will we believe it then? When dealing with government there are always questions.


angela_michelle profile image

angela_michelle 5 years ago from United States Author

Thanks so much!!


crystolite profile image

crystolite 5 years ago from Houston TX

Very good article that will make a good history story.I love it.


angela_michelle profile image

angela_michelle 5 years ago from United States Author

I think they have, but there were reasons for them to hide the true identity of Anna Anderson, if she truly was a Romanov. The likelihood is very slim, but I really like the idea of it.


CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 5 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

Interesting hub. I thought that they now had all of the Romanov family remains from the forest outside Ekaterinburg, but I suppose that we can never be 100% sure what the media tells us


angela_michelle profile image

angela_michelle 5 years ago from United States Author

I know isn't she so incredibly fascinating. I want to read a good book about the family.


kmcmichael profile image

kmcmichael 5 years ago from Athens, Georgia

Great hub. The Romanovs have fascinated me since I read a book about Anastasia as a child.


angela_michelle profile image

angela_michelle 5 years ago from United States Author

I think it would have been neat to hear these details directly from her.


Pollyannalana profile image

Pollyannalana 5 years ago from US

I have read about her before, very interesting story. Thank you. Polly


angela_michelle profile image

angela_michelle 5 years ago from United States Author

I really don't know I have actually not heard much about the Polish woman who went missing in the hand grenade factory. I am really curious about that. Do you have anything to reference, so i can do my own research. :)


??? 5 years ago

Who do you think Anna Anderson is the missing Poland woman or Princess Anastasia?


??? 5 years ago

Anna Anderson is not Anastasia, but I think that she was that Pollish woman who went missing from her job in the hand grenade factory (in Poland).

*I did alot of research*


angela_michelle profile image

angela_michelle 6 years ago from United States Author

Errol, I don't mind at all. That is my middle name, but I'm a big fan of it. So I use it when writing my name.

I am definitely going to do some exploring. My computer is currently really slow. I might have to search them tomorrow, when things are less busy.


Errol Kane 6 years ago

Hello Michelle,

Nice to meet you. I have a sister whose name is Michelle and I am guessing that is your middle name. I can remember Michelle. Hope you don't mind.

Now, let's see. This was a long time ago When I read this account in the newspaper about the woman supposing to be Anastasia. If I remember correctly, I think she was living in the Ridley Township area, I think that was the same area Bruce Davidson was from who played in the Movie 'Willard or Williard'. You know, about the rat that Michael Jackson sang the titled song to back in '71 or '73, called 'Ben'

You can do a check in the newspaper achieves 'Daily Times' in Pennsylvania. It used to be in my hometown of Chester , Pa and was originally called the 'Chester Times' but changed it's name I think back in the '70's before leaving Chester and moving to either, Folsom or hold it....ok...I was gone for two minutes on the internet. I found something interesting...http://www.newspaperarchive.com/

Also, my hometown newspaper link...http://www.delcotimes.com/news/

The Delaware County Daily Times. Hope you come up with something. Much success. Let me know if you do.


angela_michelle profile image

angela_michelle 6 years ago from United States Author

Thanks! Wow, so did you see her make the appearance, or did you just hear about it? That is actually really neat. I find this so utterly fascinating! I'll have to check out the Ingrid Berman version of the story. You have me intrigued!


Errol Kane 6 years ago

BTW, I voted awesome because it was. Thanks for the story that has always intrigued me.


Errol Kane 6 years ago

I always like the Ingrid Berman version of the story with Yul Bryner. The story has amways fascinated me. I remember in my hometown of Chester, Pa, just outside of Philly, Anna Anderson had made an appearance somewhere in the surrounding area where she was living and the discussion was about her being Annastasia. This may have been a couple of decades ago.


angela_michelle profile image

angela_michelle 6 years ago from United States Author

Agreed. :)


JohnBarret profile image

JohnBarret 6 years ago

Yes, it is really a mystery but sad too


angela_michelle profile image

angela_michelle 6 years ago from United States Author

Sadly, Loves to Read, I still think that is true today. It's horrible. And in some ways these things happen on a lesser level in our own countries.


angela_michelle profile image

angela_michelle 6 years ago from United States Author

I have always found it fascinating since I saw the movie Anastasia. The animated one. I loved the soundtrack, and I never realized the real story behind it until much later. There is so much mystery behind her and her family.


angela_michelle profile image

angela_michelle 6 years ago from United States Author

I agree with you patricia. It was a horrible slaughter, and it would be nice to have at least one happy ending to someone in the family. I'm sure they were not perfect, but they did appear to be a loving family. It's tragic.


Loves To Read profile image

Loves To Read 6 years ago

Great mystery Angela. It is so sad to see how brutally people treated others for greed and passion. Men women and children alike were slain on the whims of those with money and power. Thanks for sharing.

Love and Hugs


Rose West profile image

Rose West 6 years ago from Michigan

Thanks for the great hub! I've always been fascinated by Anastasia and her story, and I never grow tired of reading more.


2patricias profile image

2patricias 6 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

You have given a lot of interesting background information to the story of Anna/Anastasia.

I think that people want to believe that Anna was the 'real thing' because it was so horrific that the whole family were killed, and also because as you say it is a very romantic thought.

Whether or not she was an imposter is really immaterial. The background story is still part of the slaughter of innocents that goes on throughout history, and whether or not she was what she claimed to be makes no difference.


angela_michelle profile image

angela_michelle 6 years ago from United States Author

Your welcome. I love the mystery to it. :) I would like to believe that Anna Anderson is Anastasia, even if she's not. It's more romantic that way. And truly, it doesn't really matter either way.


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida

This is another one of those historical mysteries we will probably never solve. I recall seeing the film, "Anastasia," with Ingrid Bergman in the lead role. Thanks for your diligent research, a_m.

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