Show ContentsCornelay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient Anglo-Saxon surname Cornelay came 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. [1]

Early Origins of the Cornelay family

The surname Cornelay was first found in Essex, where they held a family seat from the Middle Ages.

Early History of the Cornelay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cornelay research. Another 54 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1354, 1568, 1575, 1664, 1557 and 1594 are included under the topic Early Cornelay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cornelay Spelling Variations

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Cornelay family name include Cornelius, Cornelis, Cornellis, Cornelys and others.

Early Notables of the Cornelay family (pre 1700)

Another 43 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cornelay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Cornelay family

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, the Canadas, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Cornelay surname or a spelling variation of the name include: Bernard Cornelius who sailed to Barbados in 1678 and Elizabeth Cornelius to Philadelphia in 1733.

  1. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6) on Facebook