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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. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  2. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  3. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  4. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  5. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  6. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  7. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  8. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  9. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  10. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. 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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