Courtoy History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The vast movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest of England in 1066 brought the Courtoy family name to the British Isles. Courtoy comes from refined or "denoting a man of good education." [1]. The name is derived from the Old French word curteis, which means refined or accomplished. [2]

"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." [3]

Early Origins of the Courtoy family

The surname Courtoy 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. [1]

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. [4] Over one hundred years later, the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 lists Adam Curtase and Johannes Cartas. [4]

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. " [5]

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." [6]

Early History of the Courtoy family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Courtoy 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 Courtoy History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Courtoy Spelling Variations

Endless 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 Curtis, Curtiss, Curtyss, Curtys, Curtess, Curtes, Cortes, Cortis and many more.

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

Ireland Migration of the Courtoy family to Ireland

Some of the Courtoy 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.


Australia Courtoy migration to Australia +

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

Courtoy Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • George Courtoy, aged under 35, a shipwright, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "South Australian" in 1837 [7]
  • Eliza Sewell Courtoy, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "South Australian" in 1837 [7]
  • Charles Courtoy, aged 14, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "South Australian" in 1837 [7]
  • Louisa Courtoy, aged under 5, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "South Australian" in 1837 [7]
  • Agnes Mary Ann Courtoy, aged 1, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "South Australian" in 1837 [7]


  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ 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)
  4. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  6. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  7. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The SOUTH AUSTRALIAN 1837-1838. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1837SouthAustralian.htm


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