Curtay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The Curtay name has descended through the generations from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. Their name comes from having lived at the court, a phrase which may have indicated either a large mansion or a tribunal. The prefix A was often dropped by the 13th century, when many branches of the family became known as Court. Some historians have suggested that certain variations of the name may be nicknames derived from the Old French and Old English word curt, meaning short or truncated. However, time has confused the different derivations, and it is now extremely difficult to tell which is appropriate to a given family or situation.
Early Origins of the Curtay family
The surname Curtay was first found in "Covert or Couert, Normandy, [who] held by the service of 1 fee of the barony or Braiose [Briouze]."  William de Braose (Briouze), First Lord of Bramber (died c. 1096) was granted extensive lands in Sussex by William the Conqueror. Accordingly, the Curtay family held lands from him in Sussex. In 1107, William de Cuvert witnessed the foundation charter of Barnstaple and years later William Guvert (Cuvert) held a fee of ancient enfeoffment from William de Courcy in Somerset. 
Early History of the Curtay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Curtay research. Another 114 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1532, 1582, 1550, 1552, 1553 and 1556 are included under the topic Early Curtay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Curtay Spelling Variations
Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Curtay has undergone many spelling variations, including A'Court, Court, Courte, Couert, Covert, Courtie, Courts and many more.
Early Notables of the Curtay family (pre 1700)
Distinguished members of the family include Richard Curteys (1532?-1582), Bishop of Chichester, a native of Lincolnshire. "He received his academical education at St. John's College, Cambridge, where he was elected to a scholarship on the...
Another 34 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Curtay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Curtay family to Ireland
Some of the Curtay family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Curtay family
To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Curtay were among those contributors: Richard Court who settled in Virginia in 1637.
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The Curtay 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: Grandescunt aucta labore
Motto Translation: What is increased by Labour grows greater.
- ^ 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)