Martha the Nun (1560–1631)

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Martha the Nun (1560–1631)

Founder of the Romanovs . Name variations: Marta the Nun; Xenia Chestov or Shestov; Martha Romanov. Born in 1560; died on January 27, 1631; daughter of Ivan Shestov; married Fedor also known as Theodore the Metropolitan (1558–1663), also known as the Monk Philaret or Theodore Romanov; children: Mikhail also known as Michael III (1596–1645), tsar of Russia (r. 1613–1645). Martha could claim descent from Rurik, the 7th century founder of the Russian monarchy.

Martha the Nun married Theodore Romanov, son of Tsar Ivan IV's friend Nikita Romanov; Theodore was driven to cloisters under the name Monk Philaret by Boris Godunov. Martha and Theodore spent most of their adult years sheltered in monasteries. When Martha's son Michael (III) became a candidate for tsar of Russia, Martha extrapolated a promise from the notification committee that his reign would be supported by all Russia. A new dynasty was founded—the Romanovs.