Christian Family History
Christian Name Meaning
German and French: from the personal name Christian from Latin Christianus ‘follower of Christ’ (see Christ ) literally ‘the Christian’. The usual French form is however Chrétien (see Chretien ). For the cognate English name see 3 below. Manx: from Mac Kristinn ‘son of Kristinn’ a borrowing of the Old Norse form of Latin Christianus ‘the Christian’. Christian is a learned Anglicized form. English (of Norman origin): from the interchangeable Middle English personal names Cristian and Cristin used for both men and women. Cristian is from Latin Christianus (see 1 above) and its female equivalent Christiana. Cristin is from Latin Christinus and Christina male and female diminutives of Christus ‘Christ’. They were introduced to England and Scotland by the Normans in their Old French forms male Crestien (or the learned form Cristian) and Cristin female Cristiane and Cristine. Cristin(e) was naturally associated with the Middle English word cristen cristin or criston ‘Christian’ (Old English crīsten) reinforcing the tendency to use Cristin and Cristian as alternative name forms. The male name was never common in medieval England but the female name became increasingly popular in the 14th and 15th centuries. Scottish and Manx: either from one or other of the Old French personal names in 1 above or from the Old Norse male personal name Kristinn. Compare Christie and Christison . Alternatively the surname in southwest Scotland may have been brought there by Manxmen (see 2 above).
Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press