Courte History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

In ancient Anglo-Saxon England, the ancestors of the Courte surname 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 Courte family

The surname Courte 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 Courte 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 Courte family

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

Courte 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 Courte 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. The variations of the name Courte include: A'Court, Court, Courte, Couert, Covert, Courtie, Courts and many more.

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

Ireland Migration of the Courte family to Ireland

Some of the Courte 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 Courte 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 Courte or a variant listed above:

Courte Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Courte, who arrived in Maryland in 1635 [2]
  • Sir John Courte, who arrived in Maryland in 1637-1638 [2]
  • William Courte, who landed in Virginia in 1665 [2]


The Courte 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. ^ 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)


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