Kerth History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Norman Conquest of England of 1066 added many new elements to the already vibrant culture. Among these were thousands of new names. The Kerth name is derived 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 Kerth family

The surname Kerth 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 Kerth family

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

Kerth Spelling Variations

A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Curtis, Curtiss, Curtyss, Curtys, Curtess, Curtes, Cortes, Cortis and many more.

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

Ireland Migration of the Kerth family to Ireland

Some of the Kerth 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.


United States Kerth migration to the United States +

Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Kerth or a variant listed above:

Kerth Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Joseph Kerth, who arrived in Long Island in 1781 [7]
  • Carl Kerth, who landed in America in 1783 [7]

Contemporary Notables of the name Kerth (post 1700) +

  • Thomas Kerth (1829-1898), American politician, Member of Indiana State Senate, 1889-91 [8]
  • Fred L. Kerth, American politician, Mayor of Clayton, Missouri, 1915-22 [8]
  • Alfred H. Kerth, American Republican politician, Mayor of Clayton, Missouri, 1940-46; Delegate to Republican National Convention from Missouri, 1948 [8]


  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. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  8. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 7) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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