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

Origins Available: English, Scottish

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

The Atlantic Ocean to the north and west and the English Channel to the south borders Cornwall, the homeland to the Cornwall family name. Even though the usage of surnames was common during the Middle Ages, all English people were known only by a single name in early times. The manner in which hereditary surnames arose is interesting. Local surnames are derived from where the original bearer lived, was born, or held land. The Cornwall family originally lived in the county of Cornwall in southwest England.

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Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Cornwall, Cornelle, Cornell, Cornwell, Cornewall, Cornal, Cornale, Cornevale, Carnwell, Carnewell, Carnville, Carnevale, Cornhall, Cornehall, Cornhale, Cornwale, Curnow (from native Cornish word) and many more.

First found in Devon where they held a family seat from very ancient times, long before the Norman Conquest in 1066.


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Cornwall Early History



This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cornwall research. Another 389 words(28 lines of text) covering the years 1180, 1513, 1601, 1581, 1659, 1613, 1644, 1842, 1605, 1675, 1610, 1662, 1632, 1673, 1660, 1662, 1655, 1698, 1692, 1693, 1689, 1698, 1654, 1717, 1685, 1689 and 1797 are included under the topic Early Cornwall History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Cornwall Early Notables



Another 229 words(16 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cornwall Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Cornwall In Ireland



Some of the Cornwall family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 51 words(4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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The records on immigrants and ships' passengers show a number of people bearing the name Cornwall:

Cornwall Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Thomas Cornwall settled in Maryland in 1634
  • Pastrow Cornwall, who landed in Virginia in 1654
  • Ann Cornwall, who landed in Maryland in 1673
  • John Hogben Cornwall, who landed in Maryland in 1674
  • Martha Cornwall, who arrived in Maryland in 1679

Cornwall Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • William Cornwall settled in Maine in 1718
  • Thomas Cornwall settled in Georgia in 1733
  • Daniel Cornwall, who arrived in New York in 1795

Cornwall Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Thomas R Cornwall, aged 27, arrived in New York in 1812
  • Hannah Cornwall, who arrived in America in 1830
  • James Cornwall, who arrived in New York in 1835
  • J I Cornwall, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • N Cornwall, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850


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  • David John Moore Cornwall (b. 1931), birth name of John Le Carré, the English author of espionage novels
  • Ian Cornwall, Environmentalist
  • General Sir J Cornwall, Bishop of Winchester


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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: La Vie Durante
Motto Translation: During life.

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  1. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  2. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  3. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  4. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  5. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  6. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  7. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  8. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  9. 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).
  10. 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.
  11. ...

The Cornwall Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Cornwall 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 1 June 2014 at 08:42.

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