Corbet family

English family of Anglo-Norman extraction / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Corbet family is an English family of Anglo-Norman extraction that became one of the most powerful and richest of the landed gentry in Shropshire. They trace their ancestry to two barons found in the 1086 Domesday Book and probably derive from the Brioton and Essay region, near Sées in Normandy.[2] The name Corbet derives from the Anglo-Norman word corb, meaning "crow",[3] matching the modern French corbeau. Variants of the name include: Corbet, Corbett, Corbitt, Corbit, Corbetts, Corbete, Corben and possibly the variant of Corbin. It has cognates in other languages: the Spanish name Cuervo, for example, which generally means a raven or rook.[4] The underlying derivation is from the Latin word corvus, crow. Generally it is thought to be a jocular reference to a person who was thought to resemble a crow: in hair colour, tone of voice or shape of nose. However, the Scandinavians believed that a raven on the battlefield was a beneficial omen and ensured victory.

Arms of Peter Corbet (died 1322), 8th feudal baron of Caus[1] and 2nd Baron by writ, as shown on his seal attached to the Barons' Letter, 1301: Or, two ravens sable. Legend on seal: Sigillum Petri Corbet ("Seal of Peter Corbet")

Furthermore in Italy there are two families called Corvo (or Corbo) and Corvino (or Corbino), in English they mean Crow and Little Crow respectively. These families descend from the Roman gens Valeria, the first descendants of Valeri Massimi while the second descendants from Valeri Poplicola. The surname is really due to an event described by Tito Livius in book 7, chapter 26 of "Ab Urbe Condita". A battle is described where the Roman military tribune Marcus Valerius was helped by a crow during a duel and for this he took the nickname Corvus. In fact it could be a family that has Roman origins, which is why it is found throughout Europe with the same translated surnames and shields of similar or equal blazons: the Romans, in order to colonize the conquered territories, had the custom of installing some members of the 14 families founders of Rome, like the gens Valeria.

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