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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: English, French

Where did the English Courter family come from? When did the Courter family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Courter family history?

Courter is a name of ancient Anglo-Saxon origin and comes from the family once having lived at the court, a phrase which may have indicated either a large mansion or a tribunal. The prefix A was often dropped by the 13th century, when many branches of the family became known as Court. Some historians have suggested that certain variations of the name may be nicknames derived from the Old French and Old English word curt, meaning short or truncated. However, time has confused the different derivations, and it is now extremely difficult to tell which is appropriate to a given family or situation.

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Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Courter family name include A'Court, Court, Courte, Couert, Covert, Courtie, Courts and many more.

First found in Norfolk, where they were Lords of the manor of Acourt in that county from very ancient times.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Courter research. Another 299 words(21 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Courter History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Courter Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Courter family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 110 words(8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, Canada, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Courter surname or a spelling variation of the name include:

Courter Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Louis Courter, who landed in Louisiana in 1719

Courter Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century


  • Mrs. Courter, who settled in America, in 1906
  • Albert C. Courter, who emigrated to the United States, in 1910
  • Emily Courter, aged 33, who landed in America from Litchfield, England, in 1911
  • Mrs. R.L. Courter, aged 19, who emigrated to the United States, in 1911
  • Ray L. Courter, aged 25, who settled in America, in 1912


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  • James Andrew "Jim" Courter (b. 1941), American Republican Party politician, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives for New Jersey
  • Major General Amy S. Courter CAP (b. 1961), American former National Commander of the Civil Air Patrol
  • Gay Courter (b. 1944), American Pulitzer Prize nominated film writer, author, and novelist


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  1. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  2. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  3. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  5. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  7. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  8. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  9. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  10. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  11. ...


This page was last modified on 21 June 2012 at 07:47.

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