ROMANOV, the name of the Russian imperial dynasty, regnant in the male line from 1613 to 1730, and thenceforward in the female line. The Romanovs descended from Andrei, surnamed Kobyla, who is said to have come to Moscow from 1 Prussia about 1341 to enter the service of the grand-duke Semen (d. 1353). His son Feodor, surnamed Koschka, was the ancestor of the families of Suchovo-Kobylin, Kalytschev and Scheremetjev, as well as of the Romanovs. Feodor's grandson, Sakhariya Ivanovich, was a boyar of Vasilii V., grand-duke of Moscow at intervals between 1425 and 1462, and the family took its name from his grandson Roman, whose daughter Anastasia Romanovna married the tsar Ivan the Terrible. Her brother Nikita Romanovich married the princess Eudoxia Alexandrovna, a descendant of Andrei Jaroslavovich, grand-duke of Susdal- Vladimir (d. 1264), and in this way the Romanovs were linked up with the ancient royal house of Rurik. The Romanovs suffered heavily in the disorders following on the death of Ivan. Some were executed and others exiled. Nikita's son Feodor (the archimandrite Philaret) was banished, but was recalled by the false Demetrius. In 1610 he was imprisoned by the king of Poland, but his piety and virtues led to the election of his son, Mikhail Feodorovich Romanov, to the throne of the tsars in 1613. Philaret became patriarch of Moscow in 1619, and supported his son's government until his death in 1634. Mikhail was seventeen when he began his reign, and died in 1645. He was succeeded by his son Alexis, whose three sons, Feodor III., Ivan II. and Peter I. (the Great), inherited the throne. After the two years' reign of Peter's widow, Ekaterina Aleksievna Skavronska (Catherine I.), his grandson, Peter Aleksievich (Peter II.), succeeded. He died in 1730, and the succession devolved on the family of Ivan II., on his daughter Anna (1730-40) and his great- grandson Ivan III., and in 1741 on Elizabeth, daughter of Peter the Great. Peter's elder daughter, Anna, had married Charles Frederick of Holstein-Gottorp, and with the accession of her son, Peter III., in 1762 begins the present reigning dynasty of Holstein-Gottorp or Oldenburg-Romanov.
See R. Nisbet Bain, The First Romanovs (1905) ; P. V. Dolgorukov, Notice sur les principales families de la Russie (2nd ed., Berlin, 1858).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)