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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: Dutch, English

Where did the English Cornelius family come from? What is the English Cornelius family crest and coat of arms? When did the Cornelius family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Cornelius family history?

The Cornelius surname finds its earliest origins with the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. Their name is derived from Cornelius, a given name that came to England in the 15th or 16th century from Holland or Belgium. The names Cornelius and Cornelia were popular in the Low Countries because the relics of St. Cornelius, a Pope from the third century, were kept at the Chapter of Rosnay, in Flanders.


It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Cornelius are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Cornelius include: Cornelius, Cornelis, Cornellis, Cornelys and others.

First found in Essex, where they held a family seat from the Middle Ages.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cornelius research. Another 107 words(8 lines of text) covering the years 1354, 1568, 1575, and 1664 are included under the topic Early Cornelius History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Cornelius Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Cornelius or a variant listed above:

Cornelius Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Aaron Cornelius, who landed in New York in 1645
  • Eleanor Cornelius, who landed in Maryland in 1651
  • Robert Cornelius, who arrived in Virginia in 1657
  • Margaret Cornelius, who landed in Maryland in 1658
  • Alicia Cornelius, who arrived in Maryland in 1658

Cornelius Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Christian Cornelius, who landed in New Jersey in 1730
  • Elizabeth Cornelius to Philadelphia in 1733
  • Elizabeth Cornelius, aged 20, arrived in Pennsylvania in 1733
  • Peter Cornelius, who landed in America in 1733
  • Vronicke Cornelius, aged 8, landed in Pennsylvania in 1733

Cornelius Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Francis Cornelius, who arrived in New York in 1836
  • William Cornelius, aged 27, arrived in Missouri in 1848
  • Sam Cornelius, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • T Cornelius, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • F Cornelius, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851


  • Marty Cornelius, American artist
  • Samuel Cornelius, American music producer, who founded Sun Records in 1952
  • Thomas R. Cornelius (1827-1899), American politician and soldier, eponym of Cornelius, Oregon
  • Donald Cortez "Don" Cornelius (1936-2012), American television show host and producer who created and was the host of Soul Train (1971 to 1993)
  • Peter Cornelius (1824-1874), German composer
  • Alvin Robert Cornelius (1903-1991), Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan from 1960 to 1968
  • Carl August Peter Cornelius (1824-1874), German composer, writer about music, poet and translator


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  1. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  2. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  3. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  4. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  5. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  6. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  7. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  8. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  9. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  10. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  11. ...

The Cornelius Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Cornelius Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 10 June 2014 at 21:25.

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