- This name is closely associated with the order of society in feudal times. It refers to the residence of the lord of a manor, by extension came to refer to one either living or employed in or about the manor. The surname Court derives from the Old French and Middle English 'court(e), curt', court, and ultimately from the Latin 'cohors' or, in its genitive form 'cohortis', yard or enclosure. The Middle English 'curt' was sometimes used also as a nickname meaning small or short. Variant forms of the surname Court are found as Corte, Curt or A'court, and Courtman. French equivalents are in Cour, Lacour(t) and Del(a)court. A Richard atte Curt and a William de la Court are mentioned in the Sussex Subsidy Rolls of 1296, and John Courtman is recorded in those of 1327. The marriage of Daniell Courtman and Deborah Dobbe was recorded at St. Leonard Eastcheap, London, on January 29th 1661. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Reginald Corte, which was dated 1181, Pipe Rolls of Suffolk, during the reign of King Henry 11, 'The Builder of Churches', 1154 - 1189. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
Surnames reference. 2013.