This interesting surname, with variant spellings Cossentine, Consterdine, Considine etc., has two possible origins. Firstly, it could be derived from the medieval given name "Constantinus" meaning steadfast and faithful. In Roman times the masculine form was famous far and wide through Constantine the Great, who in 373 ordered the toleration of Christianity throughout the Roman Empire, while the feminine form, Constantia, was used in the Imperial families of Rome. The name Constantius was borne by a 2nd Century martyr, bishop of Perugia, and Constantis was the name of an 8th Century Irish martyr. Willelmus filius Constantini, Berkshire, is registered in the Domesday book of 1086. It could also be however, of Norman locational origin from Coutances in la Manche. It was given it's name in honour of the Roman emperor, Constantius Chlorus, who was responsible for fortifying the settlement in 305 - 106 A.d.. Geoffrey de Constenin, is noted in the Calendar of the Charter Rolls for Staffordshire (1153). One, Johanna Constantine, is recorded in the Hundred Rolls of Kent (1273). The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Willelmus Constantinus, which was dated 1150, in the "Cartulary of Rievalle Abbey", Yorkshire, during the reign of King Stephen, known as "Count of Blois", 1135 - 1154. 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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