What is the origin of the last name Colbert?

The last name COLBERT has French origins, derived from the Old French personal name "Col" or "Cole" combined with the word "bert" meaning "bright" or "famous." This combination points to the surname's meaning as "brilliant" or "renowned," suggesting that it might have been bestowed upon an individual known for their intelligence or notable achievements. The name's popularity spread beyond France, particularly due to its association with the influential political dynasty of the Colbert family in the 17th century.

Countries of origin for the last name Colbert

The last name Colbert has a rich history, with origins that can be traced back several centuries. By examining various sources available on the internet, it is possible to uncover a number of interesting facts about this surname.

One of the most significant facts about the last name Colbert is its French origin. The name is derived from the Old French personal name “Col,” meaning “coal,” and the Germanic element “bert,” which translates to “bright” or “famous.” This combination of elements creates a surname that can be interpreted as “bright coal” or “famous coal.” It is worth noting that variations of the name can be found in different regions, sometimes spelled as Colbird or Colverd.

The Colbert surname can be found predominantly in France, particularly in the region of Berry. It was in this area that the name first appeared in the 12th century. Over time, individuals bearing the Colbert surname migrated to other regions, including Ireland, England, and the United States.

In Ireland, the surname Colbert can be traced back to the arrival of the Anglo-Normans in the 12th century. The name became anglicized as Colvert or Culbert, and individuals with this surname were predominantly found in County Wexford. The family later spread to other parts of Ireland, including Dublin and Waterford.

In England, the Colbert surname gained prominence with the arrival of French Huguenot refugees in the 17th century. Many of these refugees were skilled craftsmen and professionals who sought refuge in England to escape religious persecution. As a result, the surname Colbert can be found in various English counties, such as London, Norfolk, and Kent.

The most notable individual bearing the Colbert surname is Jean-Baptiste Colbert, who lived from 1619 to 1683. He was a prominent French politician and economist who served as the Minister of Finances under King Louis XIV. Jean-Baptiste Colbert played a significant role in shaping French economic policy and is often regarded as one of the key figures in the development of mercantilism.

While the aforementioned facts shed light on the historical origins and distribution of the Colbert surname, there are still many unanswered questions and possibilities surrounding this name. More in-depth research may uncover additional insights into the meaning and significance of this surname, as well as its possible variations in different regions and periods of history.

Intriguingly, the Colbert surname may hold secrets and stories yet to be discovered. Delving further into historical records, linguistic analysis, and genealogical connections could offer even greater understanding of this name and its significance to those who bear it.

Interesting facts about the last name Colbert

  • The surname Colbert is of Irish and French origin.
  • It is derived from the Old French personal name “Colbert” or “Coulbert,” which itself is derived from the Old Germanic name “Colubert,” meaning “bright pledge.”
  • The name Colbert became prominent in France during the 17th century due to the influence of the Colbert family, notably Jean-Baptiste Colbert, who served as the Minister of Finances under the reign of Louis XIV.
  • Colbert is a relatively rare surname, ranking as the 4,562nd most common surname in the United States.
  • The surname has spread to various parts of the world, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and South Africa.
  • Notable individuals with the surname Colbert include Stephen Colbert, an American comedian, writer, and television host, and Jean-Baptiste Colbert, the aforementioned French politician.
  • The Colbert coat of arms features a shield divided into four sections, displaying symbols such as lions, fleur-de-lis, and stars.
  • In Irish history, the surname Colbert is associated with the O’Colbert clan, who were landowners in County Clare.
  • The name has various alternative spellings, including Colbért, Colbart, and Coulbert.
  • Colbert is a popular surname in the field of genealogy and has been the subject of extensive research and documentation.

Name Rank


There are around 22940 people with the last name Colbert in the US

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