Last name origins & meanings:
- English, French, and German: from the personal name
Austin, a vernacular form of Latin Augustinus, a
derivative of Augustus. This was an extremely common personal
name in every part of Western Europe during the Middle Ages, owing its
popularity chiefly to St. Augustine of Hippo (354–430), whose
influence on Christianity is generally considered to be second only to
that of St. Paul. Various religious orders came to be formed following
rules named in his honor, including the ‘Austin canons’, established
in the 11th century, and the ‘Austin friars’, a mendicant order dating
from the 13th century. The popularity of the personal name in England
was further increased by the fact that it was borne by St. Augustine
of Canterbury (died c. 605), an Italian Benedictine monk known
as ‘the Apostle of the English’, who brought Christianity to England
in 597 and founded the see of Canterbury.
- German: from a reduced form of the personal name Augustin.
- This was the name of a merchant family that became well established
in eastern MA in the 17th century, notably in Charlestown. Richard
Austin came from England and landed at Boston in 1638, and his son
Anthony was clerk of Suffield, CT, in 1674. The surname is very common
in England as well as America; this Richard Austin was only one of a
number of bearers who brought it to North America.
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