Corliss History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Corliss is a name of Anglo-Saxon origin. It was a name given to a person who was believed to be free from care or unconcerned. The nickname is derived from the Old English word carleas, which referred to a "cheerful, merry" person. [1]

One source claims that the name is a derivation of "Carlos, or its original, Carolus," [2] and we shall see later, Carlos was indeed still used by some people as late as the 17th century.

Early Origins of the Corliss family

The surname Corliss was first found in Gloucestershire, but some of the family were found in Lancashire at Welsh Whittle in early times. "In that of Edward III., Sir William Careles held the manor, so called, of Walshwittell. " [3]

Later some of the family were found in Worcestershire, where "Careless is at present an Evesham name, and Carless is still a Worcester name. " [4] There was only one entry for the family in Yorkshire at the time of the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379: Willelmus Careles. [5]

Early History of the Corliss family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Corliss research. Another 104 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1200, 1260, 1379, 1570, 1700, 1722, 1769, 1610, 1689, 1619, 1665, 1670 and 1651 are included under the topic Early Corliss History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Corliss Spelling Variations

Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Corliss were recorded, including Carlesse, Carelesse, Careless, Carless, Karelees, Kareles, Careles, Corless, Curless, Korelees and many more.

Early Notables of the Corliss family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include Willelmus Careles, a prominent 14th century landholder in Yorkshire Colonel William Careless, Carles or Carlos (c. 1610-1689), was an English Royalist officer of the English Civil War, companion of King Charles II when the fugitive monarch hid in the Royal Oak following his defeat at the Battle of Worcester. "A family of the name of Carlosia described as of Stratford-on-Avon in the 'Visitation of Warwickshire' in 1619." The source goes on to note that he is thought to have been "the son of Anthony Careless, of the Clothiers' Company in Worcester in 1665, who...
Another 204 words (15 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Corliss Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Corliss migration to the United States +

To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Corliss family emigrate to North America:

Corliss Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • George Corliss, who settled in Newbury, Massachusetts in 1639
  • George Corliss, who arrived in Newbury, Massachusetts in 1639 [6]
Corliss Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William H Corliss, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1872 [6]
  • William H. Corliss, who was naturalized in Allegheny Co. Pennsylvania in 1872

New Zealand Corliss migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Corliss Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Patrick Corliss, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Asterope" in 1867
  • Hannah Corliss, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Asterope" in 1867

Contemporary Notables of the name Corliss (post 1700) +

  • Stephen P. Corliss (1842-1904), American soldier who earned a Medal of Honor
  • William Roger Corliss (1926-2011), American physicist and writer
  • John Blaisdell Corliss (1851-1929), American politician
  • Jeb Corliss (b. 1976), American professional BASE jumper, skydiver, and wingsuit flyer
  • John Blaisdell Corliss (1851-1929), U.S. Representative from Michigan
  • John B. Corliss, American scientist who has worked in the fields of geology, oceanography, and the origins of life
  • Richard Nelson Corliss (b. 1944), American writer for Time magazine who focuses on movies
  • Henry George Corliss (1817-1888), American engineer, inventor of the Corliss Valve which improved the steam engine and founder of the Corliss Engine Company in 1856
  • Edward Corliss Kilbourne (1856-1959), American founder of the Seattle public electricity system
  • Corliss P. Stone (1838-1906), American politician, Mayor of Seattle, Washington, 1872-73 [7]


  1. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. ^ Charnock, Richard, Stephen, Ludus Patronymicus of The Etymology of Curious Surnames. London: Trubner & Co., 60 Paternoster Row, 1868. Print.
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  5. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  6. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  7. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 2) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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