Culbert surname

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Culbert Origins

Culbert is a name that seems to have originated in Europe.  Early records on origins have not been found.  Thus, future DNA research may be the only method for suggesting origins.

The oldest Culbert record I have found to date is for Mutton Culbert, who married Alice Legge on 27 Mar 1554 at St. Nicholas, Ipswich, Suffolk, England. [1]  In Scotland, the earliest records I have found for a Culbert date from 1715, and in Ireland, from 1749.

The surname Culbert may stem from Culbheart, which is said to be a Gaelic form of "crafty".  Crafty is related to "wisdom," and this suggests a connection with the surname Cuthbert, a name of Old English origin, which means "known-bright". [2] [3] [4] [5]  However, Culbert is not of Gaelic origin, and research to date suggests that Ireland is not an origin for Culbert, but a transitory place for families migrating from elsewhere.  In Ireland, MacLysaght [6] states that the surname Culbert is of Huguenot origin, and is found mainly in Ireland's northern province of Ulster.  As a researcher in the origins of the Culbert surname I have found no evidence of a Huguenot origin for Ireland's Culbert families.

In Scotland, Culbert is considered a variant of Colbert, derived from the Old English Ceolbeorht, and found in County Fife according to Black. [7]

It is also believed that Culbert is derived from Cutbert, and this earlier spelling is very similar to Cuthbert and Cuthbertson, one reason for the close relationship between these surnames.  The Culbert surname is also closely related to Culbertson and Culberson, which mean son of Culbert.

Culbert Variant Surnames

What follows is my list of surnames that may be related to Culbert, which have been encountered so far in my ongoing research.  They have been arranged under the parent surname from which they may be derived.  For only a few of these surnames is there documented evidence that they are actually related to or used interchangeably with Culbert.  None of them are researched in the Culbert One-Name Study except where documentation has been found that shows a connection.

COLBERT

Colburt Colebert Coulbert

COLBERTSON [8]

Colberson

CULBERT

Calbert Cubbert Cuhlburt Culbaird Culbard Culbart Culber Culberg Culberhouse Culberthouse Culberts Culbet Culbheart Culbort Culbrath Culbreath Culbreth Culburt Culbut Culby Cultbert Culver Culvert Kulbart Kulbartz McCulbert [9] McCulver

CULBERTSON

Corbetson Cubbertson [10] Cubbison [11] Culbason Culbersome Culberson Culberston Culberton Culbutson Culverson [12] O'Culbertson [13]

CUTHBERT

Cathbert Chutbert Codbard Cotbett Cotbitt Couthbarts Couthbartt Couthbert Couthberts Cudbard Cudbart Cudbartt Cudberd Cudbert Cudberth Cudbird Cudbort Cuddy [14] Curthbert Cusbert [15] Cutbard Cutbarde Cutbart Cutbarte Cutbarth Cutbath Cutbeard Cutbearde Cutbeart Cutbearth Cutberd Cutbert Cutberte Cutberth Cutbeth Cutbird Cutbirt Cutbirth Cutbith Cutboard Cutbord Cutburd Cutburt Cutchbart Cutchbert Cuthbard Cuthbarf Cuthbart Cuthbarte Cuthbarth Cuthbeart Cuthbent Cuthber Cuthberd Cuthberde Cuthberts Cuthbertt Cuthbest Cuthbird Cuthbirk Cuthbirt Cuthbit Cuthbord Cuthbort Cuthbret Cuthburett Cuthburt Cuthburth Cuthcart Cutheart Cuthers Cuthert Cuttbart Cuttberd Cuttbert Cuttebert MacCuithbert [16] MacCuthbert [17] MacSheorais [18]

CUTHBERTSON

Cudbertson [19] Cuhbertsone Cutberson [20] Cutbertson [21] Cuthatretson Cuthbeisne Cuthberson Cuthberthson Cuthberton Cuthbertsone [22] Cuthbertsoun [23] Cuthbertsoune Cuthbetson Cuthbirtson Cuthbortson

The Culbert Family Genealogy Project: Connecting a Migratory People

As a result of my research on the Culbert name, I have come to believe that those who bore the Culbert name in Ireland, and those other closely related names, came originally from Scotland.  Despite traditions indicating that these immigrants to Ireland were of Covenanter stock that came from Scotland in the late 1600s, it is more likely that the Cuthbertsons from Scotland settled in Ireland in a much earlier time, and they were the ancestors of many of the later Irish Culbertsons.  In Ireland, I have found that the Culbert, Culbertson and Cuthbertson surnames are sometimes used interchangeably.  During a time when literacy was not common, these changes can be expected. 

One researcher told me a story about Culbert origins in Ireland, which has been passed down in her family.  As the story goes, a Culbert (or more likely a Colbert) from France, possibly named Eugene, was on a French naval ship that was sunk in a battle with the British off the northwest coast of Ireland (in the region of County Donegal).  This seaman was able to swim to the coast in the fog, was held captive for awhile, and was later released.  He settled in Ireland and never returned to France. [24]

I also have two documented reasons for these surnames having been purposely changed in subsequent generations.  One is about Edward Cuthbert from Cumberland, England, who migrated to Oldpark, North Belfast, Ireland in the mid-1800s.  In Belfast he found that the surname Cuthbert was virtually unknown, but that there were plenty of Cuthbert families.  He eventually gave up trying to correct folks about his surname, and when he married a Belfast girl, he did so as Edward Culbert.  This family continued to use the Culbert surname in Ireland, but then switched it back to Cuthbert when members returned to England. [25]

The other story concerns Robert Culbert, born in County Armagh, Ireland, who served in the British Army and left with his family for Canada in 1847.  Robert died en route, and his children were taken in by French Canadian families in Quebec.  In an effort to better assimilate them into their community, their surnames were changed to Colbert and Cuthbert. [26]

All instances of name changes to and from Culbert in subsequent generations can be found by going to Reports in the menu on the Culbert One Name Study (ONS) The Next Generation (TNG) website home page at: Culbert Family Genealogy Project

Culbert People and Places

Information about famous people and places named Culbert can be found on the Culbert page on Wikipedia at: Culbert.

Details on other Culbert individuals and branches is provided here: Culbert People

Culbert DNA Study

A DNA Study exists for the Culbert surname, but it has not received much interest to date.  Males from three different Culbert branches have been tested.  One branch did not show a close match (two markers different) between two male descendants of the same immigrant ancestor (specifics on each test have been privatized).  Testing of two other males who were suspected to be related also did not show an exact match (one marker different).  A third branch has 2 related males matching exactly.  More information on the Culbert Project hosted by Family Tree DNA can be found here: Culbert Project.

Culbert Migration and Distribution

One of the notable characteristics of the Culberts is their abundant record of migration.  A separate section provides more details here: Culbert Migration and Distribution

References

  1. International Genealogical Index, Marriage of Mutton Culbert & Alice Legge (1554), Patron ordinance submission sheets, 1969-1991, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, FHL Film No. 0820453.
  2. http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=cuthbert&searchmode=none
  3. http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=bright
  4. http://www.thinkbabynames.com/meaning/1/Cuthbert
  5. http://www.behindthename.com/name/cuthbert
  6. Edward MacLysaght, 1999, The Surnames of Ireland, 6th Ed., Irish Academic Press, Dublin, Ireland and Portland, Oregon, USA
  7. Dr. George F. Black, 1946, Surnames of Scotland: Their Origin, Meaning and History, New York Public Library, 12th printing, 1999, p. 190, ISBN 0-87104-172-3
  8. Found as a variation of CULBERTSON in Ireland. Reference: Dale Leppard [Email: clonfada at hotmail.com] Last Contact: June 2002.
  9. Found in manuscripts of the CUTHBERTs of Castle Hill, Scotland. Reference: Dale Leppard [Email: clonfada at hotmail.com] Last Contact: June 2002.
  10. Found in Fintona, Ireland in the 1700s. Reference: Dale Leppard [Email: clonfada at hotmail.com] Last Contact: June 2002.
  11. May also stem from CUTHBERT. Reference: Dale Leppard [Email: clonfada at hotmail.com] Last Contact: June 2002.
  12. Found in County Down, Ireland as early as 1714. Reference: Dale Leppard [Email: clonfada at hotmail.com] Last Contact: June 2002.
  13. Referring to the head of the family in County Tyrone, Ireland, in 1690, as per newspaper article c. 1870. Reference: Dale Leppard [Email: clonfada at hotmail.com] Last Contact: June 2002.
  14. A short form of CUTHBERT in Scotland. Reference: Dale Leppard [Email: clonfada at hotmail.com] Last Contact: June 2002.
  15. Descendants of Joseph CUTHBERT in Australia.
  16. This surname means "son of the Arch Druid", signifying wisdom. Reference: Dale Leppard [Email: clonfada at hotmail.com] Last Contact: June 2002.
  17. Found in the West Indies in the 1740s. Reference: Dale Leppard [Email: clonfada at hotmail.com] Last Contact: June 2002.
  18. 13 The Gaelic patronymic for the CUTHBERTs of Castle Hill, Scotland. Reference: Dale Leppard [Email: clonfada at hotmail.com] Last Contact: June 2002.
  19. Found as early as 1630 in Raphoe Barony, County Donegal, Ireland. Reference: Dale Leppard [Email: clonfada at hotmail.com] Last Contact: June 2002.
  20. In County Donegal, Ireland, 1630s. Reference: Dale Leppard [Email: clonfada at hotmail.com] Last Contact: June 2002.
  21. Found in year 1630 records of County Derry, Ireland. Reference: Dale Leppard [Email: clonfada at hotmail.com] Last Contact: June 2002.
  22. Found in Scotland. Reference: Dale Leppard [Email: clonfada at hotmail.com] Last Contact: June 2002.
  23. Found in Scotland. Reference: Dale Leppard [Email: clonfada at hotmail.com] Last Contact: June 2002.
  24. Story provided by Debbie Camejo [Email: deb at camejo.com] in April 2001.
  25. Dennis Kennedy, 2006, Climbing Slemish: An Ulster Memorial, Trafford Publishing, Victoria, BC, Canada, ISBN 1-4120-9943-9.  See also: Edward Cuthbert
  26. Provided by Johanne Quesnel Colbert.  See also: Robert Culbert

External links