Curtis / Family History
The family history of the ancient name Curtis was found in the irishsurnames.com archives. Meaning 'courteous' the surname Curtis was formed of a nickname and borne by William the Conqueror's son. Variants include Curteis, Curtice, Curties, Curtiss, Curtius and Cortis. This name is of Anglo-Norman descent spreading to Ireland, Scotland and Wales in early times and is found in many mediaeval manuscripts in these countries. Examples of such are a William le Curteis, Cambridge, a Walter Curteys, Oxford, and a Osbert le Curteys, Essex, who were recorded in the 'Hundred Rolls', England, in the year 1273. An Adam Curtase was recorded in the 'Poll Tax' of the West Riding of Yorkshire in the year 1379. In Ireland the name is found in small numbers having been introduced by settlers who arrived from England and Scotland centuries ago. Curtis has also been Gaelicized as 'de Curteis' since the thirteenth century. This variant is originally of Norman origin from 'le Curteis', meaning 'well educated'.The Curtis family crest (or coat of arms) came into existence many centuries ago. The process of creating these coats of arms began as early as the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this, including Ireland. The new more formalized art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own family crest, coat of arms, including Curtis descendants.