Cornwall Names, Personal

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A popular book listing names with the derivation and meaning thereof is "A Handbook of Cornish Surnames" by G. Pawley White.  Many personal names, especially surnames, are also place names, as well.  First given names, at least in modern times, are generally not different from English given names.  However, many have older Cornish forms, such as Petherick = Patrick. 

Cornwall, similar to other Celtic nations such as Wales, has many surnames of patronymic origin, such as Williams, Stephens, Rogers, Harris, etc. that are also found in many other places outside of Cornwall.  Many traditional Cornish names begin with a prefix, as noted in the popular saying, "By Tre, Pol, and Pen, Ye shall know Cornishmen."  There are a number of other prefixes that are commonly part of Cornish names, such as Bos-, Bod-, Car-, Chy-, Hal-, Lan-, Men-, Nan-, and Ros-.  These are usually attached to other words of Cornish origin to form a name, such as Trelawney, Tremayne, Trebilcock, Polglaze, Polscoe, Pengelly, Penrose, Carkeek, Chynoweth, Menheniot, Roskelly, and similar combinations that immediately identify a name as Cornish.  Other names are simpler, but still distinctly Cornish, such as Bone, Opie, Keast, Philp, Penno, and Olver.  Due to the proximity to England with migration in and out, most common English surnames will also be found in Cornwall. 

See also