This is a surname of French origins, which was first recorded in England in the medieval period being an introduction by the Normans after the 1066 invasion of William The Conqueror. Rather unusually for nickname surnames it actually seems to mean what it says, it describes "a stout fellow," somebody who displays fortitude in difficult circumstances. However there are those doubters who believe that all medieval nicknames were to some extent satirical, and given the robust humour of the period, it is possible that the name literally described a stout person!Logic however remains with the original findings as the medieval word for a stout person was "stubb". What is certain is that in the late medieval period a Coat of Arms was granted, this has the blazon of a gold field charged with a red fretty, suggesting strength (red) and loyalty (the fretty), again a confirmation of the original meaning. The early English recordings of the surname are regular but rare, but from the late 17th century there is a definite second coming through the Huguenot refugees, also from France, an example being Jean Courege and his wife Jeanne, who were registered at the French church in London known as Le Savoye, in Spring Gardens, on February 7th 1714. Early recordings include William Curage of Essex in 1260 and Augustin de Courig of Somerset in 1272. A further recording was that of John de Currage of Bedford in 1309, this last two recordings suggesting land ownership, but this is not proven. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter Curage, which was dated 1254, in the Court Fee rolls of Essex, during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman" 1216 - 1272. 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.
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