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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
The surname Cornish is a Welsh name that was first held when the Cornish family lived in the English county of Cornwall. As a general rule, the greater the distance between individuals and their homelands, the larger the territory they were named after. For example, people who only moved to another parish would be known by the name of their original village, while people who migrated to a different country were often known by the name of a region or country from which they came. Consequently, the name Cornish was not originally applied to a lifelong resident of Cornwall, but rather to someone who emigrated from Cornwall to another region.
The surname Cornish was first found in Devon, where they held a family seat from very ancient times.
Compared to other ancient cultures found in the British Isles, the number of Welsh surnames are relatively few, but there are an inordinately large number of spelling variations. These spelling variations began almost as soon as surname usage became common. The most obvious reason was the challenge of translating from Welsh into English. As a result, people could not specify how to spell their own names leaving the specific recording up to the individual scribe or priest. Those recorders would then spell the names as they heard them, causing many different variations. Later, many Welsh names were recorded in English. This transliteration process was extremely imprecise since the Brythonic Celtic language of the Welsh used many sounds the English language was not accustomed to. Finally, some variations occurred by the individual's design: a branch loyalty within a family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations were indicated by spelling variations of one's name. The Cornish name over the years has been spelled Cornish, Cornishe, Corniss, Cornise, Carnish, Cornich, Corniche, Cornick and many more.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cornish research. Another 231 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1375, 1450, 1465, 1523, 1685, 1677 and 1689 are included under the topic Early Cornish History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Prominent amongst the family during the late Middle Ages was William Cornysh the Younger (also spelled Cornyshe or Cornish) (1465-1523), an English composer, dramatist, actor, and poet. His only surviving poem, was written in Fleet Prison. Henry Cornish (died 1685), was a London Alderman of the ward...
Another 47 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cornish Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Many people from Wales joined the general migration to North America in the 19th and 20th centuries, searching for land, work, and freedom. Like the many other immigrants from the British Isles, they made a significant contribution to the development of Canada and the United States. The Welsh and their descendents added a rich cultural tradition to the newly developed towns, cities, and villages. An investigation of the immigration and passenger lists has revealed a number of people bearing the name Cornish:
Cornish Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
Cornish Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Cornish Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Cornish Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
Cornish Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
The Cornish Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Cornish 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 13 June 2016 at 08:36.