Afterwards, a number of people came forward claiming to have survived the execution. All were
impostors, as the skeletal remains of the Imperial family have since been recovered and identified through
DNA testing. To this day, a number of people still falsely claim to be members of the Romanov family, often using
false titles of nobility or royalty.
In 1991, nine sets of human remains were found in the forest outside Yekaterinburg. They have been identified through DNA testing as belonging to the Tsar and Tsarina, three of their daughters, the Tsarina's ladies' maid, and the family's doctor, cook and footman. In 1998, the Romanovs and their servants were buried in
St. Petersburg and have been declared
passion bearers by the
Russian Orthodox Church. However, two sets of remains were missing from the mass grave. Scientists identified the missing family members as
Tsarevich Alexei Nikolaevich of Russia, who was a few weeks short of his fourteenth birthday at the time of the killing, and either
Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia or
Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna of Russia, who were seventeen and nineteen respectively at the time of the killings. The report of two missing bodies continued until the late 2000s to fuel speculation that one or more members of the family could have survived.
On August 23, 2007, a Russian archaeologist announced the discovery of two burned, partial skeletons at a bonfire site near Yekaterinburg that appeared to match the site described in
Yurovsky's memoirs. The archaeologists said the bones are from a boy who was roughly between the ages of ten and thirteen years at the time of his death and of a young woman who was roughly between the ages of eighteen and twenty-three years old. Along with the remains of the two bodies, archaeologists found "shards of a container of
sulfuric acid, nails, metal strips from a wooden box, and bullets of various caliber." The bones were found using
metal detectors and metal rods as probes.
On January 22, 2008, Russian forensic scientists announced that preliminary testing indicated a "high degree of probability" that the remains belong to the Tsarevich Alexei and to one of his sisters. The Yekaterinburg region's chief forensic expert Nikolai Nevolin indicated the results would be compared against those obtained by foreign experts and a final report could be issued by April or May 2008. On April 30, 2008, Russian forensic scientists announced that DNA testing proved that the remains belong to the Tsarevich Alexei and to one of his sisters. With this result, all of the Tsar's family are accounted for, proving that none of them survived the execution. As of 2018[update] the Russian Orthodox Church has not yet recognized these remains as belonging to the imperial family; the House of Romanov has expressed openness to the possibility of having the remains exhumed for further analysis and confirmation of their identity.
Anastasia's survival stories have always been the most famous, inspiring dozens of books and films.
Anna Anderson, real name Franziska Schanzkowska, was, by far, the most famous impostor. She appeared in 1920 in
Berlin, Germany, and died in
Charlottesville, Virginia, United States in 1984;
Eugenia Smith, aka Eugenia Drabek Smetisko, appeared in
Chicago, United States in 1963, had a book published titled Autobiography of HIH Anastasia Nicholaevna of Russia that year, and died in Rhode Island in 1997.
Author, Michael Gray, (an alias adopted by a Northern Irish teacher) claimed in his book Blood Relative that the Tsarevich escaped with the
Dowager Empress aboard the warship
HMS Marlborough in 1919 and later assumed the name Nikolai Chebotarev. In the book, Gray claims he is the son of the Tsarevich and
Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent, and they had secretly married in the late 1940s.
Michael Romanoff, actually a
Lithuanian-born eccentric named Harry F. Gerguson, claimed for decades before his death in 1971 that he was the nephew of the last Tsar. Though his story and assumed name were discredited quickly, he continued to be a minor celebrity in
Hollywood, where he operated the highly popular Romanoff's Restaurant.
Caty Petersen is a
Filipino woman who claims that her grandmother was Grand Duchess Anastasia. Her grandmother was named Tasia and claimed to have arrived in
Manila in 1919, and to have had siblings named Maria and Alexei. She also said that they had to hide from
Soviet Russia or else they would be "kill[ed]".