Greece Nobility

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During the Byzantine years, the noble class formed a small percent of Greece’s population. The kings rewarded persons who performed heroic deeds or notable achievements, or who held prominent positions in government, by granting them a noble title.

During the Ottoman rule in Greece, Turkish titles were given. Those who lived in foreign countries of Europe may also have been given titles. In modern Greece titles of nobility are not recognized. Still, the noble class has been anxious to preserve their identity. This has led to the publication of many noble lines, and references to nobility may be found in published or manuscript genealogies of noble families.

If your surname is one of those noble lines, you need to prove relationship. Often those who were in the service of a noble man were called by the nobleman’s surname. Later generations might assume they were part of the nobleman’s family when in reality they are related to servants of that family. See also the “Heraldry” and “Genealogy” sections.

The Family History Library has collected some published books on noble families. An example of a published genealogy on a noble family is the following:

Nicol, Donald M. The Byzantine Family of Kantakouzenos (Cantacuzenus) ca. 1100–1460: a Genealogical and Prosopographical Study. Washington, DC, USA: Dumbarton Oaks Center for Byzantine Studies, 1968. (FHL book 949.5 D3n)

Another published book at the Family History Library lists noble families of Kerkyra from the 1470s onward. Other published genealogies of prominent noble families can be found in the FamilySearch Catalog under: