Recorded as A' Court which was formerly atte Court, De la Court, Delacourt, Corte, Curt, Court, and others, this is an English surname. It is closely associated with the order of society in feudal times, and refers to the residence of a noble or the lord of the manor, and by extension to one either living or employed at such a place. It derives from the Old French word "courte, from the Latin "cohortis", meaning literally a walled enclosure, but by extension a fortified place. French equivalents spelling include Cour, Lacour, Lacourt and Delacourt. Early examples of recordings taken from surviving rolls and charters are those of Adam Courtman, in the Hundred Rolls of Cambridge in 1275 and Richard atte Court and William de la Curt in the Sussex Subsidy Tax Rolls of the year 1296, whilst in the later church registers Alexander Court married Elizabeth Ashpoole on August 14th 1592 at St. Margaret's, Westminster, in Greater London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Reginald Corte. This was dated 1181, in the Pipe Rolls of the county of Suffolk, during the reign of King Henry 11nd, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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