Show ContentsCosten History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Strathclyde clans of the Scottish/English Borderlands were the first people to use the name Costen. It is derived from the Gaelic Mac Austain meaning "son of Austin."

Early Origins of the Costen family

The surname Costen was first found in Scotland where "the Austins appear first on record as allies and supporters of the Keiths. The name was variously spelt, though in ancient records it was generally begun with Ou or Ow. Of curious interest as showing an early connection between the families is the occurrence in 1587 of the name of Alexander Ousteane, burgess of Edinburgh, as one of the cautioners for George Keith, Earl Marshall, in an action raised against him, by Margaret Erskine, Lady Pitcarie. In the same year Alexander Oisteane, no doubt the same person, was a parliamentary representative of the Burgh of Edinburgh. In 1589 Walter Oustene, a tenant in Lochquhan (a possession of the Keith family), was one of the subscribers to a Bond of Caution imposed on a number of the landed men in the shires of Aberdeen and Kincardine, binding them to keep the peace in the struggles with the Catholic party beaded by Huntly" (D. W. Stewart, Old and rare Scottish tartans). " 1

Early History of the Costen family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Costen research. Another 151 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1376, 1448, 1503, 1566, 1574, 1583, 1584, 1593, 1594, 1676, 1681, 1699, 1755, 1800, 1820 and 1890 are included under the topic Early Costen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Costen Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that rules have developed and the process of spelling according to sound has been abandoned. Scottish names from before that time tend to appear under many different spelling variations. Costen has been spelled Austin, Austins, Austen, Austeane, Ostian, Ousteane, Owstyne, Ostiane and many more.

Early Notables of the Costen family

Notable amongst the family at this time was John Austin (fl. 1820), a Scotch inventor and native of Craigton. He published at Glasgow, in or about 1800, a system of 'Stenography which may be learned in an hour,' on a single folio engraved sheet, price 2s. 6d. A note at the end announces the publication of a complete system by the same author, price...
Another 64 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Costen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Costen family to Ireland

Some of the Costen family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 57 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Costen migration to the United States +

Unwelcome in their beloved homeland, many Scots sailed for the colonies of North America. There, they found land and freedom, and even the opportunity to make a new nation in the American War of Independence. These Scottish settlers played essential roles in the founding of the United States, and the shaping of contemporary North America. Among them:

Costen Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Georg Costen, who landed in Virginia in 1635 2
  • Eliz Costen, who arrived in Virginia in 1653 2
  • Anne Costen, who landed in Virginia in 1654 2
  • Stephen Costen, who landed in Virginia in 1654 2

Australia Costen migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Costen Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • William Costen, who arrived in Glenelg Roads aboard the ship "Pestonjee Bomanjee" in 1838 3
  • Mr. Henry Costen, English convict who was convicted in Kent, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Augusta Jessie" on 10th August 1838, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) 4
  • William Costen, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Isabella Watson" in 1846 5

Contemporary Notables of the name Costen (post 1700) +

  • John Costen Shockley (b. 1942), former Major League Baseball first baseman
  • Costen Jordan Harrell (1885-1971), American bishop of The Methodist Church in the United States (1944)

The Costen Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Crux nostra corona
Motto Translation: The cross is our crown.

  1. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  2. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  3. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The PESTONJEE BOMANJEE 1838. Retrieved from
  4. Convict Records of Australia. Retrieved 23rd August 2020 from
  5. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) ISABELLA WATSON 1846. Retrieved from on Facebook