England in the great wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Courtnay family 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 Courtnay family
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." 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." 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." CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
Early History of the Courtnay family
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 Courtnay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Courtnay Spelling Variations
spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Courtenay, Courtney, Courtnay, Courteney, Courtny and many more.
Early Notables of the Courtnay family (pre 1700)
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 Courtnay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Courtnay family to Ireland
Some of the Courtnay 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 Courtnay family to the New World and Oceana
To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Courtnay or a variant listed above:
Courtnay Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Courtnay Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
Courtnay Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
The Courtnay 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.
Courtnay Family Crest Products