Show ContentsCort History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Cort is part of the ancient legacy of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It is a product of when the family 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.

Early Origins of the Cort family

The surname Cort was 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 Cort 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]

Early History of the Cort family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cort research. Another 114 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1532, 1582, 1550, 1552, 1553 and 1556 are included under the topic Early Cort History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cort Spelling Variations

The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. Cort has been spelled many different ways, including A'Court, Court, Courte, Couert, Covert, Courtie, Courts and many more.

Early Notables of the Cort family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Richard Curteys (1532?-1582), Bishop of Chichester, a native of Lincolnshire. "He received his academical education at St. John's College, Cambridge, where he was elected to a scholarship on the...
Another 34 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cort Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cort Ranking

In the United States, the name Cort is the 15,883rd most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [2]

Ireland Migration of the Cort family to Ireland

Some of the Cort family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Cort migration to the United States +

Thousands of English families in this era began to emigrate the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. Although the passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe, those who made the voyage safely were rewarded with opportunities unavailable to them in their homeland. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Corts to arrive in North America:

Cort Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Joseph Cort, who landed in Virginia in 1662 [3]
  • Thomas Cort, who landed in Virginia in 1665-1666 [3]
  • Arthur Cort, who arrived in Virginia in 1665 [3]
Cort Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Antonio Cort, who landed in Puerto Rico in 1858 [3]
  • Vicente Cort, who arrived in Puerto Rico in 1858 [3]
Cort Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Joseph Della Cort, who arrived in Arkansas in 1904 [3]

Australia Cort migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Cort Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Cort, (b. 1802), aged 26, English brick layer who was convicted in Leicester, Leicestershire, England for 14 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Eliza" on 25th June 1828, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he died in 1833 [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Cort (post 1700) +

  • Brigadier-General Hugh Cort (1897-1974), American Chief of Staff 24th Division (1944) [5]
  • Bud Cort (b. 1948), born Walter Edward Cox, an American film and stage actor, writer, and director
  • Henry Cort (1740-1800), English ironmaster, born at Lancaster in 1740, where his father carried on the trade of a mason and brickmaker [6]
  • Leon Terrance Anthony Cort (b. 1979), English professional footballer
  • Barry Lee Cort (b. 1956), retired Canadian Major League Baseball pitcher for the Milwaukee Brewers
  • Alfred Cort Haddon Sc.D., FRS, FRGS (1855-1940), British anthropologist, one of the first people to record animal sounds in Australia and in Borneo
  • Cort Sivertsen (1622-1675), Norwegian naval commander

HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Herbert Roy Cort, British Plumber 4th Class, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales (1941) and survived the sinking [7]

The Cort Motto +

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: Grandescunt aucta labore
Motto Translation: What is increased by Labour grows greater.

  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)
  2. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  3. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  4. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 17th February 2022). Retrieved from
  5. Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2012, January 10) Hugh Cort. Retrieved from
  6. Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 30 June 2020
  7. HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from on Facebook