Recorded as Kesten, Kestian, Kestin, Keston, Kistin, Kyston and others, this is an English surname. It would seem to be locational from Keston, a village in the county of Kent, or possibly Keston, a village in Pembrokeshire, West Wales. The Kent village is ancient, being one of the earliest ever recorded when it appears as "Cystaninga mearc" in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles of the year 862 a.d., at the very begining of surviving written records. This would seem to translate as the marsh or meadow of a person called Cyssi, however a century later in 973 it is again recorded, but as "Cysse stanes gemaero" which the Oxford Dictionary of English Place Names gives as meaning Cyssi's stones.Clearly Cyssi appears to have owned a variety of lands from (possibly) marker or stepping stones, to a marsh or meadow or perhaps logically stepping stones across a marsh? The surname originating from this place, is much later by probably six centuries. Few if any surnames as we know them today, being earlier than the 12th century. This would seem to be a typical locational surname, being one given to somebody who had left his or perhaps her, original village. As such it is hardly recorded at all in its home county of Kent, but is quite well recorded in the city of London at least since early Stuart times, from about the year 1600. These London recordings include Richard Kestian who married Hanna Finch at All Saints Wandsworth, on September 28th 1620, John Kestin, a christening witness at St Botolphs without Aldgate, on October 26th 1651, and Thomas and Mary Keston. They were christening witnesses at St Augustines, Watling Street, on September 8th 1689.
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