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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Origins Available: English, Scottish

Where did the Scottish Colbert family come from? What is the Scottish Colbert family crest and coat of arms? When did the Colbert family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Colbert family history?

The ancient name Colbert was first used by the Strathclyde people of the Scottish/English Borderlands. The name is derived from an Old English personal name meaning bright champion.

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Surnames that evolved in Scotland in the Middle Ages often appear under many spelling variations. These are due to the practice of spelling according to sound in the era before dictionaries had standardized the English language. Colbert has appeared as Cuthbert, Cudbert, Cuthberd, Cudberd, Cuthburst, Cuthburt, Cudburt and many more.

First found in Kirkcudbrightshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Chille Chuithbheirt), part of the present day Council Area of Dumfries and Galloway, former county in Southwestern Scotland, where they held a family seat from very ancient times. They were descended from Saint Cuthbert of Landisfarne in Northumberland. The name Kirkcudbright literally means "Cuthbert's Church.".


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Colbert research. Another 220 words(16 lines of text) covering the years 1466, 1640, and 1778 are included under the topic Early Colbert History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Some of the Colbert family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 286 words(20 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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The North American colonies beckoned, with their ample land and opportunity as their freedom from the persecution suffered by so many Clan families back home. Many Scots even fought against England in the American War of Independence to gain this freedom. Recently, clan societies have allowed the ancestors of these brave Scottish settlers to rediscover their familial roots. Among them:

Colbert Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


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

Colbert Settlers in United States 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
  • Mary Colbert settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1849
  • David Colbert settled in New York State in 1849
  • Michl Colbert, aged 40, arrived in New York in 1854


Colbert Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • William Colbert, who arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1843

Colbert Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Benjamin Colbert arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Britannia" in 1846
  • Thomas Colbert arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Canton" in 1846
  • Michael Colbert arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Canton" in 1846
  • Edmund Colbert, aged 36, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Isle of Thanet"
  • Catherine Colbert, aged 23, a domestic servant, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Isle of Thanet"


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  • Claudette Colbert (1903-1996), stage and film actress
  • John Patrick Colbert, Economist
  • 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
  • James Joseph Colbert (b. 1941), American professional golfer
  • Robert Colbert (b. 1931), American actor
  • Patrick Keary Jerel Colbert (b. 1982), professional American football player
  • Craig Charles Colbert (b. 1965), former American Major League Baseball catcher
  • Richard Gary Colbert (1915-1973), American four-star admiral in the United States Navy

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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Nec minus fortiter
Motto Translation: Not less bravely.

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  1. Black, George F. The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3).
  2. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  3. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  4. 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).
  5. Bloxham, Ben. Key to Parochial Registers of Scotland From Earliest Times Through 1854 2nd edition. Provo, UT: Stevenson's Genealogical Center, 1979. Print.
  6. Scots Kith and Kin And Illustrated Map Revised 2nd Edition. Edinburgh: Clan House/Albyn. Print.
  7. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Socts Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Modern Application of the Art of Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
  9. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  10. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. 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 12 February 2015 at 11:23.

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