Courtess History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name Courtess was carried to England in the enormous movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest of 1066. It comes from refined or "denoting a man of good education." . The name is derived from the Old French word curteis, which means refined or accomplished. 
"William de Curtis was of Normandy, 1180; Robert Curteis gave lands to Gloucester Abbey, temp. Rufus. William le Curteis, temp. Henry II., was a benefactor to West Dereham Abbey, Norfolk." 
Early Origins of the Courtess family
The surname Courtess was first found in Warwickshire where the name first appeared as a forename as in Curteis de Capella who was listed in the Pipe Rolls for 1130. By 1200, the Curia Regis Rolls listed Curteis de Catebr in Cambridgeshire and in Bedfordshire, Richard Curteis was found in the Pipe Rolls for 1166. The name was scattered throughout Britain since early times as Robert le Curteis was found in the Pipe Rolls for Devon in 1168 and Ralph le Curtoys was listed in the Pipe Rolls for Lincolnshire in 1230. Up in Yorkshire, John le Korteys was listed at Kirkstall in 1238 and in Sussex, John Corties was found in the Subsidy Rolls of 1327. 
The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 lists: William le Curteis in Cambridgeshire; Walter Curteys in Oxfordshire; Osbert le Curteys in Essex; Henry Corteys in Devon; and Richard le Corteys in Oxfordshire.  Over one hundred years later, the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 lists Adam Curtase and Johannes Cartas. 
We found this interesting entry for one the family in the town of Lostwithiel, Cornwall: "The church contains a memorial for Tristram Curtys, Esq. who died in the year 1423. This family, which is now extinct, occasionally represented this borough from the reign of Edward I. to that of Henry V. Tristram Curtys was member for Lostwithiel in the 9th of Henry V. Leland speaks of his descendant as having 100 marks of land, between Blowgham and Penknek, by Lostwithiel. " 
The name is "best represented in Buckinghamshire, and afterwards in Nottinghamshire. This is an ancient English name, occurring, as it does now, in Buckinghamshire, Essex, and Lincolnshire in the reign of Edward I.; it was also at that time numerous in Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire. Characteristic of the south, and east of England south of the Humber." 
Early History of the Courtess family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Courtess research. Another 161 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1066, 1130, 1168, 1531, 1534, 1532, 1582, 1550, 1552, 1553, 1553, 1556, 1559, 1566, 1566, 1582, 1746, 1816, 1662, 1663, 1762, 1769, 1771, 1775, 1746, 1799, 1746, 1740, 1832, 1740, 1778, 1819 and 1818 are included under the topic Early Courtess History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Courtess 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 Curtis, Curtiss, Curtyss, Curtys, Curtess, Curtes, Cortes, Cortis and many more.
Early Notables of the Courtess family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Robert Cottis, Scottish Prior of Restenneth (1531-1534.)
Richard Curteys (1532?-1582), bishop of Chichester, was a native of Lincolnshire. He received his academical education at St. John's College, Cambridge, where he was elected to a scholarship on the Lady Margaret's foundation on 6 Nov. 1550. He proceeded B.A. in 1552-1553, was elected a fellow of his college on the Lady Margaret's foundation on 25 March 1553, and commenced M.A. in 1556. During the reign of Queen Mary he remained unmolested at the university. He was appointed senior fellow of his college on 22 July 1559...
Another 356 words (25 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Courtess Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Courtess family to Ireland
Some of the Courtess family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 93 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 Courtess family
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 Courtess or a variant listed above were: Deodate Curtis who settled in Braintree in the state of Maine in 1643. Henry Curtis settled in Windsor in 1645; and another Henry Curtis settled in Sudbury in 1636. No fewer than 12 notable settlers settled in the New Colonies within the period from 1630 to 1680.
Related Stories +
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- ^ 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)
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
- ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.