Origin of surname
George Balleine does not offer any explanation for the derivation of the name, which is common today in Normandy and for which references have been found there as early as 1210 and 1305.
It is possibly derived from the ancient French cornu which means disagreeable. However, it may also have been derived from the pre-12th century French word Cornier, which describes a trumpeter or herald, and a position of considerable importance.
It is not a French Huguenot refugee surname, as the first of these are not thought to have arrived in Jersey until 1572, whereas the name was established in the island at least two centuries earlier.
Some French Le Cornus are known to have moved from France to England in the early 16th century, but this was at a date well after Le Cornus were first recorded in Jersey.
Others suggest that the name is an abbreviation of Le Cornuaillais, the Cornishman, or of La Cornouaille in Brittany, whose inhabitants had migrated ahead of the Anglo-Saxon invasion of Britain, from Cornwall to Brittany, retaining both names. Neither view found much original support. However, Stevens, Arthur and Stevens, in Jersey Place Names, Volume 1, 164, wrote that "early forms of the name suggest its origin was in Cornwall rather than Brittany".
French sources offer further suggestions. Was it simply a name for someone with corns? Or did it refer to an unfaithful husband?
The name had not been thought to appear in any pre-15th century Channel Island records Assize Rolls and Extentes, but Charles Stevens' Comprehensive list of Jersey surnames notes a record from 1309. This, however, relates to Guernsey, not Jersey, and includes several mentions of Peter La Cornaille. This is of interest, however, as it illustrates the middle point in the mutation of the surname from Le Cornuaillais to Le Cornu.
Charles Langton`s early 20th century manuscript genealogy of the Jersey Le Cornus starts with Denys Le Cornu of St Mary (of the property now called Les Colombiers), Seigneur of Le Fief au Vesque in that parish in 1479 [ABSJ, VII, 196]. His son Abel was mentioned in the same deed. Abel`s son, Denys Le Cornu dit des Colombiers, married a wife named Catherine and was seigneur of the fief in 1568. The fief then passed in a female line to Denys Le Bosquet, who was probably his grandson. There was, though, as shown by later litigation, a junior branch of this family, living from the mid-16th century in St Ouen, which had many descendants. This particular Le Cornu family, from its loyalty to the English Crown during the Lancastrian French Occupation of Jersey, 1461-1468, was latterly called Le Cornu dit Langeloyes.
Evidence of how well-established the family was in the north-west of Jersey in the mid-16th century is found in the number of different branches then extant, which Court records would suggest to have been at least eight in number. Variants of the surname included, in addition to the above, Le Cornu dit Conpeyre and Le Cornu dit Hastingue.
One branch was descended from Thomas Le Cornu, fils Drouet, who married the daughter and heiress of Thomas L`Amiral, owner of the property of this name near St Ouen`s Church, whence the surname variant Le Cornu dit L`Amiral. A son is likely to have been the priest, Sire Jehan Le Cornu dit L`Amiral, who was living in 1550.
Drouet, Jo and Perrin are listed in the Jersey Chantry Certificate of 1550.
Coat of arms
The coat of arms borne by one family of this name in Picardy is almost unique, and probably the second most distinguished in history. It is no less than a blue cross on a white field, and as such is second only to the red cross of the crusaders, on the same background. It was granted to a Le Cornu in Picardy in approximately 1390, at the time of the great wars between France and England. No connection, though, has ever been found between that family and the Jersey Le Cornus.
The arms borne in the late 19th century by Colonel C.P. Le Cornu, the Seigneur of La Hague, featured three hunting horns.
- Le Cornu, 1309
- Le Cornu dit lengloyes 1479
- Le Cornu dit Conpeyre 1510
- Le Curnelle (Cornouaillais) 1528
- Le Cornu dit Lamiral 1550
- Le Cornue 1607
- Le Cornu dit Hastingue 1659
- Cors c1340
- Cornuele 1203
- Descendants of Jean Le Cornu (1695)
- Descendants of Guillaume Le Cornu (1505)
- Descendants of Jean Le Cornu (1480)
- Descendants of Philippe Le Cornu
- Descendants of Pierre Le Cornu
- Descendants of Jean Le Cornu and Elizabeth Robin
- Descendants of Nicolas Le Cornu Added 2021
- Descendants of Elie Le Cornu Added 2022
- Descendants of Abraham Le Cornu Added 2022
- Le Cornu baptisms in Jersey
- Le Cornu marriages in Jersey (groom)
- Le Cornu marriages in Jersey (bride)
- Le Cornu burials in Jersey
- Charles Philip Le Cornu, aide-de-camp to three British monarchs
- John Le Cornu, emigrant to Australia
- Philip Le Cornu, another emigrant to Australia Added 2021
- Philip de Carteret Le Cornu, rose breeder and Jurat Added 2016
- Thomas Le Cornu, 1848 land valuer
- Armand de Guelle appeared in the Police Court in January 1920 charged with the theft of fowls from Edmond Philip Le Cornu
Great War service
- La Hague Manor, St Peter
- Boulevard Avenue
- Ashley Court, St John
- Beau Parcq, Trinity
- Heath Mount, St Ouen
- Highfield,_St_O, St Ouen
- Vinchelez de Bas Manor, St Ouen
Eliza Le Cornu, nee Roberts, with her daughters Emily Rachel, Florence Eliza, Alice Jane, Ellen Mary and Caroline in about 1912. Eliza was the daughter of John and Rachel, nee Malzard, and married Alfred Edward Le Cornu (1850-1902) in St Lawrence in 1875. The couple also had five sons
Elsie May Le Cornu (1905-1982) at the age of 18
Occupation curfew cards
Wesley Flockhart Le Cornu (1872- ), the son of Adelaide furniture store founder Philip Le Cornu was a leading importer and seller of pianos in Adelaide in the 1910s and 1920s
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