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The first time we see this surname recorded is in 1579 when a Domenica Cortis was born in Vittoriosa.

Most likely from the Italian (mostly Sardinian) surname Cortese, which in itself could mean either "courteous, gracious" or "courtier". It may have evolved from the Latin cors, or cortis meaning "enclosure", or from curtensis (also Latin), meaning "refined, well-bred person".

Hearts in heraldry refer to charity and goodness whilst both the party per chevron and the tincture vert (green) indicate shelter and protection.

An image linked to a dedicated page about the Maltese surname Cortis.
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