This name was originally derived from the Latin personal name ROMANUS, and was borne by several early saints including a 7th century Bishop of Rouen. The name was popular in Northern France in the early Middle Ages, and was introduced into Englnad by the Normans, but did not become common. The name in various forms is known throughout the world. It was also a name for someone from Rome or from Italy in general, or a nickname for someone who had some connection with Rome, as for example having been there on a pilgrimage. Surnames having a derivation from nicknames form the broadest and most miscellaneous class of surnames, encompassing many different types of origin. The most typical classes refer adjectivally to the general physical aspect of the person concerned, or to his character. Many nicknames refer to a man's size or height, while others make reference to a favoured article of clothing or style of dress. Many surnames derived from the names of animals and birds. In the Middle Ages ideas were held about the characters of other living creatures, based on observation, and these associations were reflected and reinforced by large bodies of folk tales featuring animals behaving as humans.
The Romanov dynasty began its rule of Russia in 1613 with Michael Romanov, who died in 1645, and ended with the execution of Nicholas II and his family at Yekaterinburg in July, 1918. The family was descended from a Muscovite boyar, Andrei Kobyla, who had emigrated in the 14th century from Prussia. They took the name from Roman Yurievich (died 1543) whose daughter, Anastasia Romanova was the first wife of Ivan the Terrible. Her brother Nikita was regent after Ivan's death, and after years of disorder Nikita's grandson Michael Romanove was elected tsar in 1613.
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