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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. In Russia, the family received princely (Knyaz) status. In 1944, Prince Ștefan Cantacuzino settled in Sweden, where his descendants form part of the unintroduced nobility of the country.
The origin of the Byzantine Kantakouzenos family 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.
The Greek Kantakouzenos family had been active in Constantinople, Greece and 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. One of those new branches was the Romanian (Wallachian and Moldavian) Cantacuzino as well as the Russian branch (which is an offshoot of the Moldavian branch). As a consequence of the Russian Revolution and the Soviet occupation of Romania after World War II, the last two branches now mostly live in Western Europe and North America.[verification needed]
According to Jean-Michel Cantacuzène, the origin of the Cantacuzino family in Romania is traced to Andronikos Kantakouzenos (d 1601), Greek financier from Constantinople, son of the "Prince of the Greeks" Michael Kantakouzenos. Andronikos had among his several sons two who became boyars in what today is Romania and founded yet-surviving branches of Cantacuzino:
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