Courtwright History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Anglo-Saxon name Courtwright comes from when its first bearer worked as a maker of carts, and wheels. The name has its origins in the Old English word craet, which means cart, and the Old English word wyrtha, which means wright or maker, thereby denoting one who was the maker of carts or wagons. [1]

The name could also have been "from Cauterêts; a location name in Normandy Cateray in Roll of Battell Abbey. De Ceterith, a tenant in chief in the Domesday Book. " [2]

Another source notes the family is "armorially identified with Cateryke, or Catherick (Robson). Catherick was part of the demesne of the Earls of Richmond, and the surname therefore probably arose from tenure of the office of Seneschal by a branch of a neighbouring family. The arms (a fesse) are those of the adjoining family of De Smythton or Eschalers, with three cinquefoils for difference, which were afterwards corrupted into ‘roses', 'Catherine wheels', and ‘fire-balls with rays.’ Of this family Ilbert de Catherege, or Catherage (a form of Catheric), occurs in Normandy, 1180-98 (Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae); which shows the Norman origin of the family. A branch long remained at Stanwick, in Richmondshire, close to Catterick. Another branch was seated in Notts, and one in Cambridge; and the name there changed from Cateryke to Cartwright." [3]

Early Origins of the Courtwright family

The surname Courtwright was first found in Yorkshire where early rolls listed the name as a profession and a surname. The Poll Tax of Howdenshire (East Riding of Yorkshire) listed Robert le Cartwright. B. Johannes Toppe, cartwryght. In the same year the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls listed: Magota Cartwryght; Henriciis Wryght, catrwryght (sic); Johannes Warde, cartwright; Johannes Percivale, cartwryght and Geoffrey Cartewirght. [4]

Early History of the Courtwright family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Courtwright research. Another 119 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1755, 1535, 1603, 1602, 1658, 1634, 1676, 1659, 1634, 1689, 1686, 1661, 1661, 1611, 1643, 1611, 1686, 1635 and 1703 are included under the topic Early Courtwright History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Courtwright Spelling Variations

Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Courtwright include Cartwright, Cartright, Cartwrite, Carthright, Kartwright, Kartright, Cartrite, Kartwrite, Chartwright, Cartrite, Catherick, Cartrait, Cartray, Ceterith, Cateray, Cautheret, Carterwright, Carterright, Carterrite, Chartright, Chartwright, Cardwright and many more.

Early Notables of the Courtwright family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include Thomas Cartwright (1535-1603), described by Strype (Annals, ii. i. c. 1) as 'the head and most learned of that sect of dissenters then called Puritans,' was a native of Hertfordshire, but his place of birth is not recorded." [5] Christopher Cartwright (1602-1658), was an English divine, born in the parish of St. Michael-le-Belfry, York. He was a Hebraist and used targums in Biblical exegesis, following the lead of Henry Ainsworth with John Weemes. [5] William Cartwright (1634-1676), was an English politician who sat in the House of Commons in 1659; Thomas Cartwright (1634-1689), was an...
Another 140 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Courtwright Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Courtwright family

Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Courtwright or a variant listed above: Bethia Cartwright who settled in Salem Massachusetts in 1630; John Cartwright settled in Virginia in 1624; Matthew Cartwright settled in Maryland in 1700.


Contemporary Notables of the name Courtwright (post 1700) +

  • Lucas Courtwright, American sound engineer, known for Walter Frisk Lets Go (2017)
  • Shayne Courtwright, American actor, known for Cirque du Soleil: Quidam (1999)
  • Marisi Courtwright, American actress, known for The Executioner, Part II (1984)


  1. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. ^ Barber, Henry, British Family Names London: Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row, 1894. 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. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print


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