The English surname Cornell, also found in Scotland, is a reduced form of Cornwell 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. The name is first recorded in 1148 when Herbert Corneilla is registered in the charters of the county of Hampshire. Henry de Cornell is mentioned in the Poll Tax Records of Staffordshire in 1229. Richard Cornell settled in Rhode Island in 1630. Today there are approximately 21,000 bearers of the name Cornell living in the United States.
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