The Court Family Name

The Court surname is almost certainly from the Latin cohors, an enclosed space. It was modified in the early French language to court and is used in many place names like Azincourt /Agincourt.

The word appears in names like William the Conqueror's son 'Robert Curthose' and also curtnaze (snub or short nose). These two examples may have changed to form the family names of Courtois and Courtenay. Reading through early family trees shows that each generation chose to use Court or a derivative like Courtenay as they saw fit. It looks like an indication of the next generation taking over. There is an indication that given names changed as in Elaenor being the daughter of Eaenor.

Various prefixes and suffixes, or patronymics, have produced variations to the Court name to produce Fitzcourt, McCourt, MacCourt, Courts, Courtes, Cortez, atte Court and A' Court. From Italy, Spain and Portugal we have similar names like Corti, Cort & Cortez. The name Cortez means the son of Cort. From France, Scotland, Ireland and Wales we have cour, cuairt, cor and cwr. Variations have also occurred because of the way local accents affected spelling. In one document the writer says that the informant pronounces his name as coowart but spells it Court. I have no doubt that there are many more variations to discover. The only name that I have not been able to identify as a variation is Harcourt, most of the derivation definitions are around hawking (haforcere) or from a place name.

One name may have suffered from the latin U which is usually written as V. There are a few indications that Courts pronounced their name Couert which may have translated, in time, to Covert.

The indications are that as the Court name moved eastwards it changed into Kort or Kurt but this is largely an hypothesis. However it is provable that many of the Germanic and Scandinavian names that sounded like Court (Kurt, Kurtz, Kort, etc.) changed into Court or Courts when they emigrated to the USA.

In France there are still a number of Courts but it is mainly prefixed by de and de la. This, in turn, has been anglicised into Delacourt.

I have found only one blazon for the Court name. Most of the Coats of Arms or Blazons are not for the Court name but for the Courtneys and A’ Courts. The spread eagle with chevroned wings is an A’ Court blazon not a Court blazon. In France there are two blazons for Court-Courcy and many blazons for the de la Courts. The Fitzcourts and the Courcys both appear on the Magna Carter as Barons loyal to the king.

The strongholds for the Court surname are Somerset, Warwickshire and Kent with a strong showing in Sussex. Many of the Sussex Court families can be traced as they moved northwards into Surrey.

Although there are many Courts in academia few have become international names beyond their subject.

Antoine Court (1696-1760) was a French Huguenot

Alfred Court
Alfred Court: Early Biography in French

The town of Court, Switzerland

Sir Charles Court - Premier of Western Australia