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

Where did the English Colbert family come from? What is the English Colbert family crest and coat of arms? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Colbert family history?

Colbert is an ancient Norman name that arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name Colbert comes from the Norman first name Colbert or Culbert, which arrived in England in the 11th century.


Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Culbert, Colbert, Culbertson, Colbertson, Culberts, Colberts, Coulbert, Culbart, Culbirt and many more.

First found in Cheshire and Lancashire where they were granted lands by William the Conqueror for their assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Colbert research. Another 266 words(19 lines of text) covering the years 1066, 1086, 1205, and 1500 are included under the topic Early Colbert History in all our PDF Extended History products.


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


Some of the Colbert family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 128 words(9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Colbert name or one of its variants:

Colbert Settlers in the 18th Century

  • Philip Colbert, who arrived in Virginia in 1701-1702

Colbert Settlers in the 19th Century

  • Robert Colbert, aged 54, landed in New York in 1812
  • Patrick Colbert, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1838
  • William Colbert, who arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1843
  • Benjamin Colbert arrived in Adelaide aboard the ship "Britannia" in 1846
  • Thomas Colbert arrived in Adelaide aboard the ship "Canton" in 1846


  • Claudette Colbert (1903-1996), stage and film actress
  • John Patrick Colbert, Economist
  • Jean Baptiste Colbert (1619-1683), French statesman
  • Stephen Tyrone Colbert (b. 1964), American five-time Primetime Emmy Award winning political satirist, writer, comedian, television host, and actor, best known as the host of Comedy Central's The Colbert Report
  • Edwin Harris Colbert (1905-2001), distinguished American vertebrate paleontologist
  • Nathan Colbert Jr. (b. 1946), American first baseman
  • Gregory Colbert (b. 1960), Canadian film-maker and photographer
  • James Joseph Colbert (b. 1941), American professional golfer
  • Robert Colbert (b. 1931), American actor
  • Patrick Keary Jerel Colbert (b. 1982), professional American football player



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  1. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  2. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  3. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  4. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  5. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  6. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  7. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  8. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  9. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  10. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  11. ...

The Colbert Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Colbert Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 4 February 2012 at 18:28.

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