This unusual and interesting surname has two distinct possible sources, each with its own history and derivation. In the first instance, Cuss may have originated as a diminutive form of the medieval female given name Constance, from the Latin word "constantia", meaning "constancy" or "perseverance". In Roman times, the masculine form of the name was famous far and wide through Constantine the Great, who in 313 ordered the toleration of Christianity throughout the Roman Empire, while the feminine form, Constantia, was used in the Imperial families of Rome.The name was introduced into England after the Norman Conquest of 1066, and during the Middle Ages, its most popular form was "Custnance", from which the diminutive "Cus(s)" directly derives. One Cus nepta Johannis Frost, and a Cuss Balla were noted in the 1273 Hundred Rolls of Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire, respectively. Cuss may also have originated as a metonymic occupational name for a maker of leg armour, normally of leather, from the Anglo-Norman French "kisse", thigh (piece), ultimately from the Old French "cuisse". One Amice Kisse was noted in the 1327 Subsidy Rolls of Leicestershire, and on January 30th 1647, the marriage of Katherine Cuss to Thomas Cozens took place at St. Bartholomew the Less, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Cusse, which was dated 1545, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Wiltshire", during the reign of King Henry V111, known as "Bluff King Hal", 1509 - 1547. 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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