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Courteney History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms



The vast movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest of England of 1066 brought the Courteney family name to the British Isles. They lived in Devon. The name, however, is a reference one of two areas bearing the name Courtenay in Normandy. The names of both of these areas derive from the Gallo-Roman landlord, Curtenus.

Early Origins of the Courteney family


The surname Courteney was first found in the Gâtinais province of France, where they held the castle of Courtenay since the 10th century. They claim descent from the Counts of Sens and from Pharamond, reputed founder of the French monarchy in 420. However, historians have only been able to prove the line back to about the year 1020, in the Isles of France where they were descended from the great Emperor Charlemagne. The name was established by this trace only to the year 790. Regardless of the earliest origin, in the mid-12th century, a branch of the family settled in England, where they obtained the barony of Okehampton and inherited the title of Earls of Devon in 1293. "This illustrious house is descended from Reginald de Courtney, who came over to England with Henry II AD 1151." [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
Another source notes that Whitchurch in Devon was home to the family. "Walreddon House, here, the property of William Courtenay, Esq., a descendant of the Courtenays, earls of Devon, is an ancient mansion of the time of Edward VI., whose arms in the hall are still in good preservation." [2]CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
Wooton-Courtney in Somerset was another ancient family seat. "This parish takes the adjunct to its name from the Courtney family, who formerly held the manor." [2]CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Early History of the Courteney family


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Courteney research.
Another 181 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1125, 1194, 1303, 1377, 1346, 1405, 1377, 1399, 1367, 1378, 1355, 1406, 1556, 1527, 1556, 1415, 1377, 1413, 1413, 1411, 1415, 1415 and are included under the topic Early Courteney History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Courteney Spelling Variations


Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Courtenay, Courtney, Courtnay, Courteney, Courtny and many more.

Early Notables of the Courteney family (pre 1700)


Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Renaud de Courtenay (1125-1194), English nobleman from Sutton, Berkshire, progenitor of the Devon line; Sir Hugh de Courtenay (1303-1377), the 2nd Earl of Devon; and Sir Peter Courtenay (1346-1405), soldier, knight of the shire, Chamberlain to King Richard II (1377-1399), famous jouster, received...
Another 290 words (21 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Courteney Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Courteney family to Ireland


Some of the Courteney family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 103 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Courteney family to the New World and Oceana


For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Courteney or a variant listed above were: Hercules and Francis Courtenay settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1769 and 1771 respectively; John Courtenay settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1819.

Contemporary Notables of the name Courteney (post 1700)


  • Thomas Courteney (b. 1937), English actor
  • Courteney Cox (b. 1964), American television and film actress

The Courteney 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: Quod verum tutum
Motto Translation: What is true is safe.


Courteney Family Crest Products



See Also



Citations


  1. ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

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