The surname of COURTE was of French origin, a locational name 'the dweller at the court' a large mansion, from residence or employment therein. Occupational surnames originally denoted the actual occupation followed by the individual. At what period they became hereditary is a difficult problem. Many of the occupation names were descriptive and could be varied. In the Middle Ages, at least among the Christian population, people did not usually pursue specialized occupations exclusively to the extent that we do today, and they would, in fact, turn their hand to any form of work that needed to be done, particularly in a large house or mansion, or on farms and smallholdings. In early documents, surnames often refer to the actual holder of an office, whether the church or state. The name was brought into England from France during the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066. The name is also spelt as A'Court and A'Courte. Early records of the name mention Reginald Corte, recorded in the year 1181. Richard le Cort was recorded in 1199, County Devon. John la Court, 1273 County Essex. William de la Cort, was documented in 1296, County Somerset. William A'Court was recorded during the reign of Edward II (1307-1327) in London.
Later instances of the name mention William Court who married Mary Court at St. Dionis Backchurch, London in the year 1653. Anne, daughter of Thomas Court was baptised at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London, 1678. Thomas Courtman and Sarah Lloyd were married at St. Dionis Backchurch, London in the year 1701. Between the 11th and 15th centuries it became customary for surnames to be assumed in Europe, but were not commonplace in England or Scotland before the Norman Conquest of 1066. They are to be found in the Domesday Book of 1086. Those of gentler blood assumed surnames at this time, but it was not until the reign of Edward II (1307-1327) that second names became general practice for all people. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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