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AUSTEN Family Crest / AUSTEN Coat of Arms

AUSTEN Family Crest / AUSTEN Coat of Arms

The surname of AUSTEN was a baptismal name 'the son of Augustine', the name means 'majestic'. Following the crusades in Europe in the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries, a need was felt for a family name to replace the one given at birth, or in addition to it. This was recognized by those of noble birth, and particularly by those who went on the Crusades, as it added prestige and practical advantage to their status. Early records of the name mention Astin de Bennington of the County of Lincoln in 1273. Edith Austines was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. John Austen, or Austyn registered at Oxford University in 1538. The name was made common by the Austin Friars, or Black Canons, as they were called from their black cloaks, who were established during the 12th Century in England. Before the 1066 Conquest names were rare in England, the few examples found were mainly adopted by those of the clergy or one who had taken holy orders. In 1086 the conquering Duke William of Normandy commanded the Domesday Book. He wanted to know what he had and who held it, and the Book describes Old English society under its new management in minute detail. It was then that surnames began to be taken for the purposes of tax-assessment. The nobles and the upper classes were first to realise the prestige of a second name, but it was not until the 15th century that most people had acquired a second name. Jane Austen (1775-1817) one of the most famous of the name was the English novelist born in Steventon, Hampshire, where her father was rector. She spent the first 25 years of her life there, and later went to live in Bath, Southampton and Winchester. She was the fifth of a family of seven, and began writing for amusement as a child. Of her six great novels, four were published anonymously during her lifetime and two under her signature posthumously. 'Sense and Sensibility' was published in 1811, 'Pride and Prejudice' appeared in 1813, 'Mansfield Park' in 1814 and 'Emma' in 1815. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.

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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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