History of your Surname
Get access to Cornell family records.Start a 14-Day Free Trial

Cornell Family History

Cornell Surname Meaning

English: shortened form of Cornwell Cornwall or of Cornhill a habitational name from a place in Northumberland named Cornhill from Old English corn a metathesized form of cron cran ‘crane’ + halh ‘nook recess’; or from Cornhill in London a medieval grain exchange named with Old English corn ‘corn grain’ + hyll ‘hill’ or from some other place elsewhere similarly named. English: variant of Corney . English: possibly also a nickname from French corneille ‘rook crow’ probably denoting a chatterer or someone with dark hair or a dark complexion. German: from a shortened form of the personal name Cornelius . In North America this surname may also be an altered form of German Kornell which is of the same origin. Swedish: ornamental name composed of Latin cornu (probably a translation of Horn ‘horn’) + the suffix -ell derived from Latin -elius. It may also be of German origin (see 4 above). Americanized form of Swedish Körnell from an unexplained first element + the suffix -ell.7: Americanized form of French Corneille or of any other European surname derived from the Latin personal name Cornelius e.g. Polish Kornel. See also 4 above.8: Possibly also an altered form of French Cornel a derivative of Corne .

Source: Dictionary of American Family Names 2nd edition, 2022

Similar surnames: Cornwell, Carnell, Corney, Corbell, Cordell, Cornely, Corwell

Search for a relative to learn more about your family history.

Hint: Try searching for a relative alive in 1940.

Black & white image of a young woman scientist

Where is the Cornell family from?

You can see how Cornell families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Cornell family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Cornell families were found in USA in 1880. In 1911 there were 381 Cornell families living in Ontario. This was about 72% of all the recorded Cornell's in Canada. Ontario had the highest population of Cornell families in 1911.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Cornell surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Cornell ancestors do for a living?

In 1921, Farmer and Stenographer were the top reported jobs for men and women in the Canada named Cornell. 35% of Cornell men worked as a Farmer and 29% of Cornell women worked as a Stenographer. Some less common occupations for Americans named Cornell were Agent and Housekeeper. .

View Census Data for Cornell | Data not to scale

*We display top occupations by gender to maintain their historical accuracy during times when men and women often performed different jobs.

Top Male Occupations In 1921

  • Farmer
  • Labourer
  • Laborer
  • Agent

Top Female Occupations In 1921

  • Stenographer
  • Teacher
  • Housewife
  • Housekeeper
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What Cornell family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 187,000 census records available for the last name Cornell. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Cornell census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search Canadian census records for Cornell

Passenger Lists

There are 12,000 immigration records available for the last name Cornell. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in Canada, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

View all Cornell immigration records

Draft Cards

There are 31,000 military records available for the last name Cornell. For the veterans among your Cornell ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Cornell military records

You've only scratched the surface of Cornell family history

Discover More

What is the average Cornell lifespan?

Between 1944 and 2004, in the United States, Cornell life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1948, and highest in 1991. The average life expectancy for Cornell in 1944 was 37, and 76 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Cornell

Discover the unique achievements of ancestors in the Cornell family tree

Explore Your Tree

Browse profiles of historical people with the Cornell last name

Search for another surname
Enter last name/surname
Start a 14-Day Free Trial