Corneille History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The name Corneille is derived from the Old French word "corme", which referred to the fruit of the "sorb" or "service" tree. The surname most likely evolved from a nickname originally used for someone who lived near such a tree, or who sold its fruit at the market. 
Early Origins of the Corneille family
The surname Corneille was first found in Brittany in de Chambray, where they held a family seat.
In the 15th and 16th centuries, the family elected to follow the course of Protestantism against the established religion and were classified as Huguenots and followed the exodus from France from about the year 1681 through to 1701 to England and Southern Ireland. The name is listed amongst the Huguenots entering Southern Ireland in the Cork area.
From about 1850, the Cormiers migrated to North America and became one of the many Acadians who settled in the Magdalen Islands and later at St.Georges or Stephenville Crossing in Newfoundland. Under the adapted spelling of Cormey, they settled in the Codroy Valley District in Newfoundland, and an alternate spelling included Cormie. Meanwhile, many junior branches of the family flourished in England, Ireland, Newfoundland, and the Maritimes, in Canada, with various spellings.
Early History of the Corneille family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Corneille research. Another 68 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1079, 1480, 1584, 1609, 1606, 1684, 1601, 1664, 1642, 1708, 1646 and 1695 are included under the topic Early Corneille History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Corneille Spelling Variations
Changes of spelling have occurred in most surnames. The earliest explanation is that during the early development of the French language, names were not yet fixed in spelling. Usually a person gave his version of his name, phonetically, to a scribe, a priest, or a recorder. This depended on accent, and local accents frequently changed the spelling of a name. Some variables were adopted by different branches of the family name. Hence, there are some spelling variations of the name Corneille, including Cormier, Cormiere, Cormie, Cormey, De Cormie, De Cormey, De Cormier and many more.
Early Notables of the Corneille family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst this name at this time was Pierre Corneille (1606-1684), a French tragedian, often called “the founder of French tragedy"; Michel Corneille the Elder (c. 1601-1664)...
Another 27 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Corneille Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Corneille family
In 1643, 109 years after the first landings by Cartier, there were only about 300 people in Quebec. Migration was slow. The fur trade attracted migrants, both noble and commoner. By 1675, there were 7000 French in Quebec. By the same year the French Acadian presence in the Maritimes had reached 500. The French founded Lower Canada, thus becoming one of the two great founding nations of Canada. The family name Corneille has made many distinguished contributions in France and New France to the world of science, culture, religion, and education. Amongst the settlers in North America with this distinguished name Corneille were Robert Cormier (1602–1712), a ship’s carpenter born in Poitou, who settled in Acadia in 1650; John Cormie who settled in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1790.
Contemporary Notables of the name Corneille (post 1700) +
- Thomas Corneille (1625-1709), French playwright
- Pierre Corneille (1606-1684), French dramatist
- Guillaume Corneille (b. 1922), Belgian painter
- Captain Corneille Nicholas Morphey, French commander of the French East India Company frigate Le Cerf in the mid 1700s
- Corneille Henri Theunissen (1863-1918), French sculptor
- Corneille Rodolphe Théodore Krayenhoff, French Brigadier General during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars from 1789 to 1815 
- Corneille Jean François Heymans (1892-1968), Flemish physiologist
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