Recorded in the spellings of August and Augustine, and the more popular Austin and Austen, this is a medieval surname of biblical and Roman origins. Introduced into Europe in the 12th century by the returning Crusaders from the Holy Land, the derivation is from the pre-Christian "Augustus," meaning venerable or sacred. The name was particularly popular on the continent where it was and still is, associated with St. Augustine and the monasteries that he founded in the 7th century, but less so in Britain where after the Reformation and the antics of King Henry VIII, it was no longer politic to hold a name associated with the old religion. Nevertheless, in its various forms this is one of the oldest of all recorded surnames, and early examples taken from surviving charters, registers, and rolls of the medieval period include Mariota Augustin of Huntingdon in the year 1273, and Nicholas Augustin in the Subsidy Rolls of Worcester in 1275. This first known recording of the surname in any spelling is believed to be that of John Augustyn, of Cambridgeshire.

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Tags: Family History, Genealogy

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