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CORTES Family HistoryThis surname is recorded in most European countries in the spellings of Cortes, Courtois, Courtes, Cortez, Curtis, etc. However spelt, and from whatever country, the derivation is from the Old French "Corteis" or "Curteis" meaning "refined" or "accomplished" and was originally given as a nickname to a man of good education. One Curteis de Capella appears in the 1130 Pipe Rolls of Warwickshire, England, whilst Fernando Cortez of Spain, conquered Mexico and much else in 1519 - 1521. The surname is first recorded in England in the 12th Century (see below), and early recordings have included William le Curetis of Devonshire, England, in 1168, whilst in Spain Benito de Cortez was born in Ciudad on May 1st 1515, and Antonia Cortes, at Asuncion, Mexico, on February 6th 1662.
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