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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

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 "Covert or Couert, Normandy, [who] held by the service of 1 fee of the barony or Braiose [Briouze]." [1] William de Braose (Briouze), First Lord of Bramber (died c. 1096) was granted extensive lands in Sussex by William the Conqueror. Accordingly, the Courter family held lands from him in Sussex. In 1107, William de Cuvert witnessed the foundation charter of Barnstaple and years later William Guvert (Cuvert) held a fee of ancient enfeoffment from William de Courcy in Somerset. [1]


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Courter research. Another 227 words (16 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 35 words (2 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 United States in the 18th Century


  • Louis Courter, who landed in Louisiana in 1719

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


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  1. ^ 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)

Other References

  1. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  2. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  3. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  4. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  5. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  6. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  7. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  8. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  9. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  10. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  11. ...


This page was last modified on 16 September 2015 at 11:00.

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