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  #101  
Old 02-11-2008, 03:26 PM
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Surely the Orthodox Grand Duchess wouldn't have wanted cremation?
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  #102  
Old 02-11-2008, 03:40 PM
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Well the original test results should be available to the public.

It should be a simple matter to determine whether or not Anna Anderson's mtDNA matched Mauer's mtDNA and if it did match it 100% then I would say that is a showstopper for Anna's identity with Anastasia.

I can't fathom how she could be Anastasia if her mtDNA matched Mauer's 100% regardless of what the tests on the Victorian line of descent show.
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  #103  
Old 02-11-2008, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by ysbel View Post
Well the original test results should be available to the public.

It should be a simple matter to determine whether or not Anna Anderson's mtDNA matched Mauer's mtDNA and if it did match it 100% then I would say that is a showstopper for Anna's identity with Anastasia.

I can't fathom how she could be Anastasia if her mtDNA matched Mauer's 100% regardless of what the tests on the Victorian line of descent show.
While the DNA results for the Imperial Family are public informatio and easy to find, I have never seen the actual test results for Anna Manahan. I have always assumed this was because her test were conducted privately by Marina Botkin Schweitzer & her husband. The sample used for the test was a tissue sample held by the Martha Jefferson Hosptial from a surgery Anna had there. There has been much written about this case. What I have not seen is the actual DNA sequencing reports, which are readily available for the test done on the Imperial Family. That doesn't mean they don't exist, just that I can't find them. It also doesn't mean that I doubt the results. Here is what Peter Gil had to say about the AA DNA tests.

"If one accepts that this sample is from Anna Anderson, then it is almost impossible that she could have been Anastasia."He further stated, "the sample said to have come from Anna Anderson could not be associated with a maternal relative of the empress or Prince Philip. That is definite.

Dr. Gill stated about the Anderson tissue and Karl Maucher, "a one hundred per cent match, an absolute identity. This suggests that Karl Maucher may be a relative of Anna Anderson."

Still, there is controversy. I have no opinion on the matter either way. But I do love a good mystery.

Here is an old article I found.
DNA TEST WILL RESOLVE WOMAN'S CLAIM TO BE DUCHESS ANASTASIA TISSUE TAKEN FROM THE CLAIMANT IN A 1979 SURGERY WILL YIELD GENETIC CLUES.
Lexi
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  #104  
Old 02-11-2008, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by BeatrixFan View Post
Surely the Orthodox Grand Duchess wouldn't have wanted cremation?
She told author Peter Kurth (If he's wandering around here he will verify) that she didn't want to be a freak show after she passed with them digging her up and reburying, etc. Those are my words, I'm sure she said it differently but it's implied.
And there, Lex, is the rub, "If one ACCEPTS" this tissue as Anna Andersons. . . .
And I do want to accept it, but after reading all manner of things that bring question after question to my mind, I can't be positive she was or wasn't. Too many unanswered questions.
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  #105  
Old 02-11-2008, 08:19 PM
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Well I can understand that but I would have thought any daugher of such a pious woman as Alexandra would have felt it worth undergoing the exhumations when the alternative was to destroy her body and face a lifetime in hell.
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  #106  
Old 02-11-2008, 08:23 PM
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Well I can understand that but I would have thought any daugher of such a pious woman as Alexandra would have felt it worth undergoing the exhumations when the alternative was to destroy her body and face a lifetime in hell.
Bea, remember, IF (big emphasis here) this was Anastasia, she's already been through hell. . .
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  #107  
Old 02-11-2008, 08:46 PM
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Well yes. But you see, the Orthodox strongly condemn cremation as come the day of judgement there's nothing to resurrect. So IF she was Anastasia, that feeling surely wouldn't have left her. Unless she became an athiest which for someone with designs on the Russian throne wouldn't be wise.
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  #108  
Old 02-11-2008, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by BeatrixFan View Post
Well yes. But you see, the Orthodox strongly condemn cremation as come the day of judgement there's nothing to resurrect. So IF she was Anastasia, that feeling surely wouldn't have left her. Unless she became an athiest which for someone with designs on the Russian throne wouldn't be wise.
I couldn't answer you on this one. I didn't know her, Peter did. And hopefully, if he's around, he can answer that one.
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  #109  
Old 02-11-2008, 09:02 PM
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I believe that even at the time of her death the cremation caused some eyebrows to rise as it is really very uncommon with Russian Orthodox people. And I believe that it was done very quickly too, only a few hours after she died. Some believe that this path was chosen so no tests could be done on the body of Ms. Anderson.
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  #110  
Old 02-11-2008, 11:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Russophile View Post
She told author Peter Kurth (If he's wandering around here he will verify) that she didn't want to be a freak show after she passed with them digging her up and reburying, etc. Those are my words, I'm sure she said it differently but it's implied.
And there, Lex, is the rub, "If one ACCEPTS" this tissue as Anna Andersons. . . .
And I do want to accept it, but after reading all manner of things that bring question after question to my mind, I can't be positive she was or wasn't. Too many unanswered questions.
I always wondered why he phrased it that way too. It implies doubt. He quotes about the remains of the Imperial Family are far more certain.
Lexi
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  #111  
Old 02-12-2008, 09:24 AM
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So, what are the chances that a random piece of tissue taken from the Martha Jefferson hospital would have a 100% match with Karl Maucher though?

That's why I think the positive identification with Maucher's mtDNA is much more of a showstopper than a negative identification with Prince Michael's mtDNA.

For example, if you take the mtDNA from a random member of the general population, the chances would be very high that their mtDNA would not match Prince Michael's. There are 6 billion people in the world and the chances that a random person can match Prince Michael's mtDNA is pretty rare. So if someone's tissue was switched with Anna Anderson's tissue at the hospital a negative mtDNA match wouldn't say very much. Just that the majority of people in the world are not related to Prince Michael.

On the other hand, Prince Michael's mtDNA is no more special or rare than Maucher's mtDNA. It's equally unlikely that a random sample of anyone's mtDNA is going to match Maucher's mtDNA either. Yet the doctor said this tissue sample did match Maucher's mtDNA.

What are the chances that some random sample mismatch from another patient at the Martha Jefferson hospital in the United States would completely match Maucher's mtDNA when Maucher was presumably in Germany and just happened to be the grandnephew of Franziska Schanzkowska, the factory worker that the German newspapers had identified in the 20s as being the true identity of Anna Anderson? One would expect a random tissue sample from the hospital to no more match Maucher's mtDNA than it would match Prince Michael's. However, the doctor did say the tissue matched Maucher's mtDNA.

So what if you asked the question the other way around? If a sample from the Martha Jefferson hospital matched Karl Maucher, what would be the probability it would be Anna Anderson's? Of all the patients that ever were admitted in the Martha Jefferson hospital and had operations, Anna Anderson has two claims to her identity, the first that she is Anastasia, the second that she was the factory worker Franziska Schanzkowska whose grandnephew is Karl Maucher. What are the chances that another random patient has a closer relation to Karl Maucher than Fraziska Schanzkowska? Equally unlikely.

Therefore by process of elimination, the positive identification with Maucher's mtDNA should identify the mtDNA as Anna Anderson's and together with the original German investigations in the 20s conclude that Anna Anderson was most probably Franziska Schanzkowska but definitely not Anastasia.
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  #112  
Old 02-12-2008, 02:21 PM
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Indeed, you would have to do so much work to get that to gell, its almost unheard of. But! (There's that "But" again!) All those things that made Anna/Anastasia, she spoke languages, this Franziska didn't, Anastasia remembered things that weren't talked about outside the family. The DNA was done at a time where it was more fallible. And on and on and on and on
I swear I'm going to be committed over this thing!!
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  #113  
Old 02-12-2008, 04:16 PM
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You are correct Ysebl. But, to play devil's advocate, when the sample was first requested from Martha Jefferson Hospital, the hospital said they didn't have the tissue. It was found later. (I like espinoage and mysteries ) That part has always been curious to me. I have to say that I am writing this from memory and can't tell you much in the way of dates and sources. But if it is important to the discussion, I'll see if I can find that stuff.
Lexi
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  #114  
Old 02-12-2008, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by ysbel View Post

That's why I think the positive identification with Maucher's mtDNA is much more of a showstopper than a negative identification with Prince Michael's mtDNA.
Why do you keep talking about Prince Michaels mtDNA? I presume you mean Prince Michael of Kent.

Prince Michaels mtDNA has nothing to do with the mtDNA of the Imperial Family. His mtDNA was not compared against the Tsars mtDNA, because his is a completely different family line.
I have stated before and I will state it again NICHOLAS II MTDNA WAS COMPARED TO HIS BROTHER GEORGE, TIHON (SON OF OLGA) AND JAMES CARNEGIE 3RD DUKE OF FIFE.

The Tsars mtDNA was not compared to Prince Michael of Kent.

In what way do you think Prince Michaels mtDNA was used for identification of the Imperial family?

His mtDNA cannot have been used for comparison with Alixs mtDNA either, because yet again it seems they have a completely different family line.
Prince Michael of Kents mother was Princess Marina of Kent, her mothers mothers mother was Augusta of Reuss-Kostritz.
Thats the way mtDNA works, it is passed down from mother to daughter.
Alixs mothers mother was Queen Victoria.
As far as I know Queen Victoria and Augusta of Reuss-Kostritz were a completely different female line, so testing their descendents for mtDNA matches is pointless.

I do know how mtDNA testing works, I've had my mtDNA tested.
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  #115  
Old 02-12-2008, 08:01 PM
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Why do you keep talking about Prince Michaels mtDNA? I presume you mean Prince Michael of Kent.
Yes, that was my understanding. However, it does make more sense to test with a tissue from George, Nicholas' deceased brother because he is a closer relation. I do remember reading that Prince Michael's DNA was used for testing with the Romanovs. Do we know exactly whose DNA Anderson's DNA was matched with to test to determine her identity with Anastasia and what kind of test it was? mtDNA or other?

However, our member Franziska mentioned that Maucher's mtDNA matched Anna Anderson's, that DNA match, if accurate, seems more signficant than the mismatch with the Victorian line of descent.

Thanks for the clarification.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Russophile
All those things that made Anna/Anastasia, she spoke languages, this Franziska didn't, Anastasia remembered things that weren't talked about outside the family. The DNA was done at a time where it was more fallible. And on and on and on and on
Well I don't know exactly when the DNA test was done but I remember reading about it and I seem to remember that it was done after the U.S. criminal courts started to allow DNA as evidence to convict or exonerate a suspect of a serious crime. So if it was done at a time when the U.S. courts were allowing DNA as evidence then the state of DNA testing at that time then I would say the DNA results were reliable enough to prove or disprove identity. In general, even accounting for the infant state of DNA testing at that time, I would generally place more weight on the DNA results than the number of languages she spoke because people can pick up and learn new languages in their adulthood (I learned 2 languages after I was 21 in the space of a year).

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You are correct Ysebl. But, to play devil's advocate, when the sample was first requested from Martha Jefferson Hospital, the hospital said they didn't have the tissue. It was found later. (I like espinoage and mysteries ) That part has always been curious to me. I have to say that I am writing this from memory and can't tell you much in the way of dates and sources. But if it is important to the discussion, I'll see if I can find that stuff.
Lexi
Lexi, if you could find that information it would be great. The source of the DNA tissue is very important when discussing the reliability of the tests.
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  #116  
Old 02-12-2008, 08:53 PM
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Well, that can all be very suspicious and the familymembers might have actually believed that Anna Anderson was Anastasia but didn't confess this out of selfinterest. But in the end does it matter? The DNA results have been clear enough, no? Of course there is a microscopic chance that these results are wrong etc. but still... it usually is best to follow the most logical option, which in this case is that Anna Anderson could not have been Grand Duchess Anastasia. And that doesn't say anything about her human qualities, she could have been a saint or a devil, but that would have no effect on DNA.
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  #117  
Old 02-12-2008, 09:12 PM
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Although this is probably the most famous unknown identity of the 20th century, it is by no means the only one. I live in New York only a couple of blocks from a major hospital where doctors have to decipher the identities of a lot of unidentified bodies and anonymous homeless persons who are so far out on drugs, they can give no clue to their identities. And a lot of times the families that the evidence points to, don't want to admit that the homeless person is from their families so they are very unhelpful to the authorities.

Yet unknown persons get their identities back all the time and this case should not be any different than any other, no matter how famous it is. I think scientists were even able to identify one of the unknown soldiers in a tomb of the unknown soldier from WWI who died at about the same time as the Romanovs.

So if modern scientists are able to identify an unknown soldier from a tomb from 80 years ago, the mystery of Anna Anderson really shouldn't be a mystery at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by marengo
And that doesn't say anything about her human qualities, she could have been a saint or a devil, but that would have no effect on DNA.
I have to agree with this. I don't know enough about DNA technology but I'm willing to learn. However, I would say all other things being equal, DNA should carry more weight than the languages a person speaks or whether the Imperial family said one thing in public and one thing in private.

Precisely because the evidence is impersonal, it doesn't have a motive to make us believe one thing or another.
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  #118  
Old 02-12-2008, 09:24 PM
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Except that you accept it telling us one thing or the other ... so ... now what? pk
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  #119  
Old 02-12-2008, 09:32 PM
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Well yes. But you see, the Orthodox strongly condemn cremation as come the day of judgement there's nothing to resurrect. So IF she was Anastasia, that feeling surely wouldn't have left her. Unless she became an athiest which for someone with designs on the Russian throne wouldn't be wise.

AA ceased to be Orthodox in the late 1920s, when the Orthodox Church declared her a fraud. Make of this what you will, but her attitude to the Church was the same as her (ultimate) attitude toward the Romanov survivors. She rejected them all (should she not have had the right to do that? -- as a human being, I mean). I doubt that you, or I, or almost anyone would behave differently. pk
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  #120  
Old 02-12-2008, 09:35 PM
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Except that you accept it telling us one thing or the other ... so ... now what? pk
I didn't say Amen so I think you misquoted me. I don't understand your question.
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