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The Cantacuzino or Cantacuzène family is a princely family of Wallachia, Moldavia and Russia, a branch of the Greek Kantakouzenos family, descended from the Byzantine Emperor John VI Cantacuzenus. The genealogical links between the Byzantine Greek and Romanian Cantacuzinos have been extensively documented.[better source needed] In Russia, the family received princely (Knyaz, as opposed to Velikij Knyaz) status. In 1944, Prince Ștefan Cantacuzino settled in Sweden, where his descendants form part of the unintroduced nobility of the country.
Origin of the family 
The genealogical links between the Byzantine Greek and Romanian Cantacuzinos have been extensively researched particularly by distant, inventive descendants of the family, and several alternative hypotheses have been presented in research literature and in PR of the family. However no reliable descent has been proven. The presented hypotheses are in contradiction against one another, and not even among them can any of them be found a more plausible than a few others - none of which is necessarily the truth about the descent.
The origin of the Byzantine Kantakouzenos family itself can be traced back to Smyrna. The name allegedly originates in a corruption of the Greek language phrase identifying their estates on a mountain just outside of Smyrna.
Origin of the Romanian branch 
The Greek Kantakouzenos family had been active in Constantinople and Greece during "the Greek war of independence", however several branches of the original Greek family were created via the migrations and establishment of Kantakouzenos family members to different parts of Europe. Two of those new branches were the Romanian (Wallachian and Moldavian) Cantacuzino branch as well as the Russian branch (which is an offshoot of the Romanian-Moldavian one). As a consequence of the Russian Revolution and the Soviet occupation of Romania after World War II, (between 1944 and 1947) the last two branches now mostly live in Western Europe and North America.[verification needed]
According to Jean-Michel Cantacuzène and Mihail Sturdza, the origin of the Cantacuzino family in Romania is traced to Andronikos Kantakouzenos (died 1601), a Greek financier from Constantinople, son of the "Prince of the Greeks" Michael "Şeytanoğlu" Kantakouzenos. Andronikos had among his several sons two who became "boyars" in what today is Romania and founded the yet-surviving new branches of Cantacuzino:
- "boyar" Georgios 'Iordaki' Kantakouzenos became forefather of the Moldavian branch, which soon branched to Cantacuzino-Deleanu and Cantacuzino-Pasceanu.
- "boyar" Konstantinos 'Kostaki' Kantakouzenos married an heiress (daughter) of the late reigning prince Radu Șerban, onetime ruler of Wallachia, and they founded the Wallachian branches which soon clashed against the Ghica family over power.
Notable members 
- Constantin Cantacuzino, World War II flying ace
- Gheorghe Grigore Cantacuzino, Prime Minister of Romania
- Ioan Cantacuzino, physician and scientist
- Pârvu Cantacuzino, Ban of Oltenia, the leader of an anti-Ottoman rebellion in 1769
- Şerban Cantacuzino, Voivode of Wallachia
- Ştefan Cantacuzino, Voivode of Wallachia
- Prince Mikhail Cantacuzène, Count Spiransky: Russian Representative to the U.S. 1892-1895; Russian representative to Rome 1895-1899; aide-de-camp to Nicholas II, last Tsar of Russia 1900-1917
- Julia Dent Cantacuzène Spiransky-Grant granddaughter of US President Ulysses S. Grant, author, wife of Prince Mikhail Cantacuzène
See also 
- Jean-Michel Cantacuzène, Mille ans dans les Balkans Éditions Christian Paris (1992) ISBN 2-86496-054-0.
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