Show ContentsCourt History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Court is of Anglo-Saxon origin and came from 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 Court family

The surname Court 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 Court 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 Court family

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

Court Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Court are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. The variations of the name Court include: A'Court, Court, Courte, Couert, Covert, Courtie, Courts and many more.

Early Notables of the Court 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 Court Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Court Ranking

In the United States, the name Court is the 15,551st most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [2] However, in France, the name Court is ranked the 2,076th most popular surname with an estimated 3,030 people with that name. [3]

Ireland Migration of the Court family to Ireland

Some of the Court 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 Court migration to the United States +

Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Court or a variant listed above:

Court Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Court, who landed in Maryland in 1635 [4]
  • Richard Court, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [4]
  • Richard Court who settled in Virginia in 1637
  • Govert Court, who arrived in America in 1647 [4]
  • William Court, who landed in Virginia in 1650 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Court Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Francois Court, aged 30, who landed in Louisiana in 1719 [4]
Court Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Henry C Court, who arrived in New York in 1841 [4]

Canada Court migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Court Settlers in Canada in the 17th Century
  • Jean Court, who arrived in Quebec in 1665
Court Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • James Court was an accountant in Montreal in 1851

Australia Court migration to Australia +

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

Court Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Court, (b. 1805), aged 23, English groom who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years for burglary, transported aboard the "Countess of Harcourt" on 29th April 1828, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he died in 1890 [5]
  • George Court, English convict from Warwick, who was transported aboard the "Argyle" on March 5th, 1831, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [6]
  • Mr. John Court, (b. 1804), aged 29, English convict who was convicted in Somerset, England for life for stealing, transported aboard the "Atlas" on 27th April 1833, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [7]
  • Mr. Thomas Court, British Convict who was convicted in London, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Asia" on 20th July 1837, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [8]
  • Alfred Court, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Anglia" in 1851 [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Court migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Court Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Samuel Court, aged 25, who arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Accrington" in 1863 [10]
  • Sarah Ann Court, aged 20, who arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Accrington" in 1863 [10]
  • W. P. Court, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Sir George Grey" in 1864
  • Alexander Court, aged 38, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "City of Auckland" in 1872
  • Henry Court, aged 22, a labourer, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Dunedin" in 1875 [11]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Court migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [12]
Court Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Elizabeth Court, who settled in Barbados in 1660

Contemporary Notables of the name Court (post 1700) +

  • Professor Seymour Court, English Director of Child Studies in England
  • David John Court (b. 1944), English former footballer, now turned coach
  • Yoann Court (b. 1990), French footballer
  • Tom Court (b. 1980), Australian rugby union footballer
  • Richard Fairfax Court AC (b. 1947), Western Australian politician, 26th Premier of Western Australia (1993-2001)
  • Sir Charles Walter Michael Court AK, KCMG, OBE (1911-2007), English-born, Australian politician, Premier of Western Australia (1974-1982)
  • Margaret Smith Court AO, MBE (b. 1942), Australian retired World No. 1 professional tennis player
  • Brigadier Walter Court Hyde (b. 1892), Brigadier General Staff Pacific Command (1944-1945) [13]
  • William Court Gully (1835-1909), 1st Viscount Selby, Speaker of the British House of Commons
  • Court Coursey (b. 1972), American Managing Partner of TomorrowVentures

Empress of Ireland
  • Miss Emily Florence Court (1881-1914), English Second Class Passenger from Liverpool, England, United Kingdom who survived the sinking on the Empress of Ireland [14]
Hillcrest Coal Mine
HMS Hood
  • Mr. William R Court (b. 1918), English Able Seaman serving for the Royal Navy from Manchester, Lancashire, England, who sailed into battle and died in the HMS Hood sinking [16]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Horace L Court, British Painter 3rd Class from Wales, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales (1941) and survived the sinking [17]
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Stanely A Court, British Able Bodied Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse (1941) and survived the sinking [18]

The Court 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.?".,
  4. 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)
  5. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 19th April 2021). Retrieved from
  6. State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2015, January 8) Argyle voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1831 with 251 passengers. Retrieved from
  7. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th July 2020). Retrieved from
  8. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 7th February 2020). Retrieved from
  9. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) ANGLIA 1851. Retrieved
  10. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from
  11. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 9th November 2011). Retrieved from
  13. Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2011, September 15) Walter Hyde. Retrieved from
  14. Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 16) . Retrieved from
  15. List Of Miners - Hillcrest Mine Disaster Data. (Retrieved 2014, June 24) . Retrieved from
  16. H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from
  17. HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from
  18. HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from on Facebook