Friday, 26 June 2009

Cantacuzino family - Moldavian branch

***This branch descends from High Steward Gheorghe ( Iordache ), brother of Grand Chamberlain Constantin. From his two sons, Toderascu and Iordache, stem the two Moldavian branches, Deleanu and Pascanu.

***The Deleanu branch is characterised by its relationship with Russia. Its members have sometimes used the surname Canta. Toderascu's grandsons, Tudor and Iordache, gave birth to two sub-branches;
******- in the first sub-branch ( also known as Serbesti ) we may note:
*********- Constantin, whose daughter Sevastia gave birth to the female-line Fyodosiev-Cantacuzino branch; Sevastia's granddaughter married Eugen Ghika-Budesti jr.;
*********- Alexandru, his brother, married to Elena Mavros, daughter of General Nicolae Mavros from his first marriage, with Pulcheria ( Profira ) Ghica;
*********- Maria, their sister, was married first to Grand Chancellor Lupu Bals ( of Bozieni ) and then to Grand Palatine Manolache Bogdan ( second of the name and title );
*********- Elisabeta, their other sister, married Alexandru Cantacuzino-Pascanu and was mother to Ioan ( 'Zizine'; see below );
******- in the second sub-branch, the two brothers Alexandru and Gheorghe ( 'Egor', one of Alexandros Ypsilantis' lieutenants in Moldavia in 1821 ) gave birth to the 'Bavarian branch' and to the Russian branch from Bessarabia respectively ( a third brother Grigore was a general in the Russian army and died at Borodino in 1812 ). The 'Bavarian branch' also had Romanian members: e.g. the sub-branch that gave Leon Cantacuzino ( he married Ana, daughter of General Theodor Vacarescu, Marshal of the Palace under King Carol I and had two daughters who were socialites in London at one time, Marie-Blanche or Balasa and Elena ); Alexandru A. Cantacuzino was Minister of Religious Faiths of Moldavia ( 1861-1862 ), Foreign Minister ( 1862 ) and Finance Minister ( 1862-1863 ) of Romania. This branch's biggest genealogical 'achievement' was marrying a Count von Schoenborn. The Bessarabian branch usually married Russian. In fact Prince Gheorghe ( Egor ) himself married Princess Yelena Mikhailovna Gorchakova, elder sister of the famous Alexandr Gorchakov, Russian chancellor ( 1856 - 1882 ). Among their children, Princess Aspasia married Wilhelm von Kotzebue, diplomat, writer, playwright, one of the many sons of the famous August von Kotzebue, while Olga married Nikolai de Giers, Russian chancellor between 1882 and 1895; they met when he was consul in Bucharest in 1858. Their son Mikhail de Giers was Russian Ambassador to Romania ( 1902 - 1912 ) and was behind the idea of the Russian Church in Bucharest. Their daughter Olga on the other hand married Gheorghe Rosetti-Solescu, nephew of Lady Elena Cuza, Ambassador to Serbia ( 1889 - 1895 ) and Russia ( 1895 - 1911 ); in other words, he was Ambassador to Russia while his brother-in-law was Russian Ambassador to Romania. Among Gheorghe's male-line descendants one could note a marriage with a prince Naryshkin.

***The Pascanu branch, a classical Moldavian aristocratic family ( i.e. ridiculously wealthy ).
******- Ioan A. Cantacuzino-Pascanu, nicknamed 'Zizine': intellectual, he translated from Schopenhauer's works and was sometime General Manager of Romania's Theatres. He was one of the three members of the Council of Regency of Moldavia in 1858 - 1859 ( replacing Stefan Catargiu of the anti-Unionist faction, forced to resign ) and later head of the Diplomatic Mission in Serbia ( 1866-1867; 1870-1871 ) and Russia ( 1876-1877 ) and Finance minister ( 1870 ). Son of Elisabeta Cantacuzino-Deleanu ( see above ). He married Princess Zoe Sturdza, daughter of Prince ( 'Beizadea' ) Nicolae Sturdza and of the famous Maria Ghika-Comanesti and thus granddaughter of Ioan Alexandru ( 'Ionita Sandu' ) Sturdza, Lord of Moldavia ( 1822-1828 ); no children.
******- his sister Ecaterina married Ioan N. Cantacuzino, of the Magureanu-Deleanu branch ( see link );
******- his uncle Dimitrie married Profira Beldiman, daughter of Grand Palatine Alexandru ( Alecu ) Beldiman, author of The Tragedy or Moldavia's pitiful happening; they founded the Holy Trinity Hospital in Jassy and their house in Jassy is now the Children's Palace. She is famous for having raised her late husband's son by a Gipsy slave like her own and refusing to free him when he fell in love with a free woman ( he shot himself as a consequence and a big scandal erupted in the context of the slavery debate of the 1850's );
******- one group of Zizine's first cousins included Ecaterina, married to the famous poet Iancu Vacarescu and Ruxandra, married to Panait Bals ( of Ivesti and Torcesti ), sometime Finance Minister; the two brothers-in-law administered their father-in-law's domain at Ceplenita ( the manor is now ruined ). The same father-in-law, Mihail, owned the Cantacuzino-Pascanu House in Jassy, which served as Princely ( 1859-1862 ) and Royal ( 1916-1918 ) residence and which today houses the Union Museum; this house was inherited by his widow and her children from another marriage. Panait Bals tried unsuccessfully to gain the Moldavian throne in 1849 and made big debts in Istanbul as a result; his wife Ruxandra had to pay it off. She had brought him as dowry the estates Torcesti and Ivesti ( in a renowned wine-area of Moldavia ) and they built the church in Ivesti where they are buried.
******- another group of Zizine's first cousins comprised Zoe, married to Alexandru ( Alecu ) Ghica 'Big Hat' ( last scion of Grigore II Ghica's branch of the Ghica family ), and Lady Elisabeta, married to Barbu Stirbei, Lord of Wallachia ( 1849-1856 ). Their mother was Elena Brancoveanu, sister of the famous Great Ban Grigore Brancoveanu, the last 'true' Brancovan.
******- yet another group of first cousins included Nicolae, Eufrosina, Caterina, Lascar and Casandra. Their father, Grand Palatine Constantin, had been one of the four members of the commission which put together the working draft of Moldavia's Organic Regulation ( in 1830 ). Eufrosina was married to Prince Alexandros Kallimachis ( Alexandru Callimachi ), Prince of Samos ( 1850-1854 ), son of Scarlat Callimachi, Lord of Moldavia. Caterina was married to Prince Nicolae Sutzu, statesman during the Organic Regulation-period, son of Alexandru Sutzu, Lord of Wallachia and Moldavia. Casandra was married to the Grand Chancellor Alecu Bals ( of Brosteni ), the famous anti-unionist, and was mother of Constantin Bals, killed in duel at Jassy in 1855. Nicolae and Lascar were close to Regent Nicolae Vogoride, infamous Regent of Moldavia ( 1857-1858 ), Nicolae even Justice and Interior Minister under him. He was father to Pulcheria, married first to Scarlat Sturdza ( related to Vasile Sturdza, his great-nephew I think ) and then to Prince Emil zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg, who was herself mother to Hereditary Princess Lucia von Schoenburg-Waldenburg and thus grandmother to Princess Sophie zu Wied, Queen of Albania ( who lived most of her life in Romania, on the estate of Hemeius/Fantanele, inherited via her grandmother and mother; there he had a red-brick manor built ). Lascar inherited from his father another large house in Jassy. From his two wives 1) Haricleea Vogoride ( daughter of Stefan Vogoride, Regent of Wallachia and Moldavia 1821-1822, sister of Nicolae Vogoride and of Alexandru Vogoride, Governor-General of Eastern Rumelia 1879-1884 ) and 2) Lucia de Gand, he had several children:
*********- 1) Adela, Haricleea's only child, was married to Nicolae Rosetti-Roznovanu, the famous Nunuta who was briefly hailed Lord of Moldavia in 1866, during the separatist movement in Jassy; they divorced; Constantin Argetoianu recounts that Nunuta was so short of memory as to come to a function together with his second wife and leave with the first one ( the two women were also first cousins ); Adela married again Grigore Kogalniceanu, Conservative politician and nephew of the famous statesman and journalist Mihail Kogalniceanu; passioned about poker and fine jewellery, she died strangled in her own house in Jassy in 1920;
*********- 2) Lucia was married to Prince Alexandru Mavrocordat, author, and was mother to Princess Olga Sturdza, renowned sculptor;
*********- 2) Constantin Cantacuzino-Pascanu was a Conservative politician, President of the Chamber of Deputies ( 1907; 1912-1914 ); he left most of his estate to the city of Roman;
*********- 2) Alexandru was Vice-President of the Senate and from his marriage to Princess Ralu Callimachi ( sister of Princes Alexandru and Jean Callimachi ) he had Lucia Baleanu, married to General Gheorghe Baleanu, who fought in WWII; when the Communists took power she and her daughter Eliza ( future Mrs. Ilie-Vlad Sturdza ) left for Francoist Spain and were part of the far-right Romanian community there. Lucia's half-brother General Alexandru was an aviator and head of the Civilian Air Force in the 1930s and his daughter Anca married Mircea Berindei, grandson of Johnny Berindei and first cousin of historian Dan Berindei.


  1. Dear Radu Razvan,
    I have Ioan Kantakuzen buried here in Florence's 'English' Cemetery and would appreciate further information concerning him.
    Julia Bolton Holloway
    holloway.julia( )

  2. 'I have Ioan Kantakuzen buried here in Florence's 'English' Cemetery and would appreciate further information concerning him.
    Thank you, that's very interesting. So would I !

  3. Thanks for the information on Ralu Callimachi. I am very curious: do you know when she got divorced from her husband? I am interested in finding out more details, as I plan to write a biographic sketch about her. Does anyone know where she died, for instance?

  4. @vaisamar

    I have no information about a divorce. Are you sure they had time for a divorce ? Apparently they were married in 1895 and she died in 1900. If you have interesting information on her please share, it would be much appreciated.

  5. Dear Radu,
    My grandfather's father (paternal grandfather) was named Anghel Pascanu (1860-1934), was married to Elena (1860-1909), lived in Ivesti and have founded a Church there. I would be interested if there could be a family relationship with Ruxandra Cantacuzino, married to Panait Bals to Ivesti. Who was the Ruxandra's father ?
    Your Study is very interesting.
    Nicu Pascanu