Let's investigate:


Anastasia Romanov was the youngest daughter of Tsar Nicholas of Russia and his wife Tsarina Alexandra. Anastasia had three older sisters, Olga, Maria and Tatiana, and a younger brother Alexei. In 1917, the Bolsheveks led by Vladimir Lenin overthrew the Romanovs. Anastasia and her family were imprisoned in Siberia and, in July of 1918, they were murdered by the Bolshevik soldiers. In order to prevent those remaining loyal to the Tsar from finding his remains, the bodies were buried in a secret location.


In the 1920’s an unknown woman in a mental hospital in Germany claimed to be Anastasia Romanov. While in the hospital she adopted the name Anna Anderson. Since the 1918 massacre of the Romanov family rumors have persisted that some members of the imperial family may have survived. Could this unknown woman be Anastasia Romanov the youngest daughter of Tsar Nicholas? Anna Anderson had the same hair color, eye color, height and distinctive body markings including a deformed foot, that the Romanov princess had. Could Anastasia have escaped the brutality of the Bolshevik soldiers? Anna Anderson claimed to be Anastasia until her death in 1984.


In 1991 the remains of the royal Romanov family were exhumed in Yekaterinburg, Siberia. Portions of nine skeletons were found. Scientists used various techniques to identify the skeletal remains. They were able to identify the bodies of the Tsar and Tsarina as well as three of their children. Two skeletons were missing- Anastasia and the youngest son Alexei.


What happened to Anastasia Romanov? For most of the 20th century, this question persisted without a conclusive answer. Could she have survived the massacre that took the lives of her entire family? Or did she escape and live out her life without ever being recognized for whom she truly was? In 1994, scientists were able to used modern DNA technology to analyze the evidence and determine whether Anna Anderson was really Anastasia. 




The Royal families of Europe were limited to marry others that were of noble birth.  There were few royal families available for marrigaes, resulting in a concentration of some serious genetic disorders. One such disorder is Hemophillia - a blood disease genetic disorder in which the “clotting factors” in one’s blood are ineffective. There are two types of hemophilia; Hemophilia A and Hemophilia B.


                                                                                                    Hemophilia A: the absence of blood clotting factor VIII,

                                                                                                    Hemophilia B: the absence of blood clotting factor IX. 












The Russian Imperial Romanov family (Tsar Nicholas II, his wife Tsarina

Alexandra and their five children Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia,

and Alexei) and all those who chose to accompany them into exile were

shot in Yekaterinburg on 17 July 1918. The Tsar and his family were

executed by Bolsheviks led by Yakov Yurovskyunder the orders of the

Ural Regional Soviet.


Some historians attribute the order to the government in Moscow,

specifically Yakov Sverdlov and Vladimir Lenin, who wished to prevent

the rescue of the Imperial Family by the approaching Czechoslovak

Legion (fighting with the White Army against Bolsheviks) during the ongoing Russian Civil War. This is supported by a passage in Leon Trotsky's diary.

Romanov Genetics

Why are we interested?

The story of the Russian Imperial family, and their deaths at the hands of the communist revolutionaries, is an intersting historical story, and has fascinated many people during the past hundred years.  Much research has been done on this royal family, but we are not interested in the historical aspect of their lives and deaths, but on their geneology.  The Russian Imperial family had an interesting genetic disorder that can be studied to observe how recessive sex-linked disorders are passed from generation to generation.

Russian Imperial Family Tree

What we know:

People with the disorder may bleed for a longer time after an injury than you would if your blood clotted normally.


Small cuts usually aren't much of a problem. The greater health concern is deep bleeding inside your body, especially in your knees, ankles and elbows. That internal bleeding can damage your organs and tissues, and may be life-threatening.


Hemophilia is an inherited (genetic) disorder. There's no cure yet. But with proper treatment and self-care, most people with hemophilia can maintain an active, productive lifestyle.


Signs and symptoms of hemophilia vary, depending on your level of clotting factors. If your clotting-factor level is mildly reduced, you may bleed only after surgery or trauma. If your deficiency is severe, you may experience spontaneous bleeding.



Signs & symptoms of spontaneous bleeding include:

  • Unexplained and excessive bleeding from cuts or injuries, or after surgery or dental work

  • Many large or deep bruises

  • Unusual bleeding after vaccinations

  • Pain, swelling or tightness in your joints

  • Blood in your urine or stool

  • Nosebleeds without a known cause

  • In infants, unexplained irritability

Emergency signs & symptoms of hemophilia include:

  • Sudden pain, swelling and warmth in large joints, such as knees, elbows, hips and shoulders, and in arm and leg muscles

  • Bleeding from an injury, especially if a severe form of hemophilia

  • Painful, prolonged headache

  • Repeated vomiting

  • Extreme fatigue

  • Neck pain

  • Double vision

Complications of hemophilia may include:

  • Deep internal bleeding. Bleeding that occurs in deep muscle can cause
    limbs to swell. The swelling may press on nerves and lead to numbness or pain.

  • Damage to joints. Internal bleeding may also put pressure on your joints,
    causing severe pain. Left untreated, frequent internal bleeding may cause arthritis
    or destruction of the joint.

  • Infection. People with hemophilia are likelier to have blood transfusions,
    increasing their risk of receiving contaminated blood products. Blood products
    became safer after the mid-1980s due to screening of donated blood for hepatitis
    and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The risk of infection through
    blood products also has decreased substantially since the introduction of
    genetically engineered clotting products (recombinant factor concentrates).

  • Adverse reaction to clotting factor treatment. In some people with hemophilia,
    the immune system has a negative reaction to the clotting factors used to treat
    bleeding. When this happens, the immune system develops proteins
    (known as inhibitors) that inactivate the clotting factors, making treatment less effective

Visit the National Hemophilia Foundation for information about this devistating genetic disorder

Tsar Nicholas II, his wife Alexandra with their children Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia & Alexi

Not all bleeding is external - internal bleeding is another concern for people with Hemophilia

A comparison of Hemophilia A with Normal clotting factor

Deep internal bleeding os a major concern for people suffering with Hemophilia


Part 1: Pedigree of the Russian Imperial Family

  1. Start by printing or writing down these instructions

  2. Navigating to the website link to the right.

  3. Navigate to "Applications > Recovering the Romanovs"

  4. Navigate to the "The Romanov Family" tab

  5. View the 10 pages of Animations, and complete the activities

  6. Answer Part 1 questions on the work sheet.




Part 2: The Mystery of Anna Anderson

  1. Start by printing or writing down these instructions

  2. Navigating to the website link to the right.

  3. Navigate to "Applications > Recovering the Romanovs"

  4. Navigate to the "Mystery of Anna Anderson" tab

  5. View the 6 pages of Animations, and complete the activities 

  6. Answer Part 2 questions on the work sheet.




Part 3: Science Solves a Mystery

  1. Start by printing or writing down these instructions

  2. Navigating to the website link to the right.

  3. Navigate to "Applications > Recovering the Romanovs"

  4. Navigate to the "Science Solves a Mystery" tab

  5. View the 23 pages of Animations, and complete the activities 

  6. Answer Part 3 questions on the work sheet.



Homework: Draw a pedigree of your own family.

  1. Start your pedigree with yourself and your brothers and sisters

  2. Work backwards to include your mothers sisters and brothers (maternal aunts and uncles)

  3. Include your fathers sisters and brothers (paternal aunts and uncles)

  4. Try to add your aunts and uncles children (your cousins)

  5. Add you mothers parents (maternal grandparents)

  6. Add your fathers parents (paternal grandparents)

  7. If possible, add mother & fathers aunts and uncles (your great-aunts and uncles)

  8. Can you continue and add your great-grandparents, and their brothers and sisters?

  9. Can you go even further back?