This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century given name "Cuthbeorht", composed of the elements "cuth", famous, well known, with "beorht", bright. The personal name was borne by a 7th Century saint, bishop of Hexham and later of Lindisfarne, whose body, preserved in Durham Cathedral, was said to work many miracles. There are seventy-two church dedications to him, mostly in the North of England where the name has chiefly flourished. Austinus filius (son of) Cudberti, is noted in the Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire (1202). The surname is first recorded in the latter half of the 13th Century and can also be found as Cudbird and Cutbirth. John Cutberd is noted in the Subsidy Rolls of Cambridgeshire (1327) and William Cuthbert is listed in the Register of the Freemen of the City of York (1469). The surname is most widespread in the North of England and Scotland. James Cuthbert was a charter witness in Brechin (Scotland) in 1566. On September 8th 1678, Elizabeth, daughter of Alexander Cuthbert, was christened at the Parish of St. James, in the Barbados: these were among the earliest settlers of the name in the New World. A Coat of Arms granted to the family is a gold shield, with a red fesse, in chief a blue serpent, the Crest being a hand in a gauntlet holding a dart proper. The Motto "Nec minus fortiter" translates as "Not less bravely". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Cudbriht, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Cambridgeshire", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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