Derived from the Latin "Constans", this name was popular in Europe throughout the "Dark Ages", being originally borne by the first Christian ruler of Rome, Constantine the Great (280 - 337 A.D.). The name was also borne by Constantius, Bishop of Perugia, in the 2nd Century, an earlier boost to its popularity. The name does mean "steadfast", and every European language has its own version of the spelling, ranging from Costin (England) to Kosciuszko (Poland), these being patronymic forms. Walter de Constantiis (below) was not only Vice Chancellor of England, but also Bishop of Rouen (1189), and an official at the Coronation of Richard 1 of England (The Lionheart) in 1190. The name is first recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book, but not as a surname, early surname recordings being Geoffrey Constentin, of Warwickshire, in 1195, and Henry Constantin, of Suffolk, in 1272. Other recordings include: Darby Considine at St. Margaret's, Westminster, on November 26th 1652; Thomas Constantine, of St. Mary's, Somerset, on April 7th 1578; and Alexander Constatine, at St. John's Church, Hackney, on June 17th 1661. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter de Constantiis, which was dated 1173, Vice Chancellor of England, during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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