The Cornu/Curnew Family



A review of vital statistics, census records, church records includes many versions of this family name;

      • Curnew

      • Corneau

      • Karno

      • Kerno

      • Karnoe

      • Kermy

      • Cormy

      • Comu

      • Cornu


On June 6, 1900, Jules Cornu passed at Codroy, NL. He was 92 years old.


From the Nfld Vital Statistics Death Records;


Entry – 40

Date of Death – 06 Jun 1900

Place of Death – Codroy

Cause of Death – Old Age

Family Name – Cornu 

Name of Deceased – Jules Cornu(M)

Clergyman – Rev C O’Regan

Religion – Catholic

Trade – Fishing

Age – 92

Place of Birth – France

Place of Internment – Codroy


From the St. Annes RC Church Records (Deaths), Codroy Valley, NL, Canada;


Jules Cornu, age 92

Died on June 6, 1900 at Codroy.


Jules Cornu is listed as Roman Catholic and born in France. At this point in the history of Western Newfoundland, few people knew how to read and write. When registering a birth, marriage or death, they simply pronounced the name in their native tongue, which could very well have been a mixture of French and English.


The Cornu Name

A 1699 census of Point Verde (near Placentia), Newfoundland lists a Raymond Cornu, born at Bordeaux 1638 with 2 shallops.

According to a 1701 census, a French fisherman named Cornu was still present at “La Point Verde”, near Plaisance.


The History

Following the Treaty of Utrecht (1713), Plaisance was taken over by the English and the name changed to Placentia. The French residents were migrated to St. Pierre and Cape Breton.

During the nineteenth century, French fishing fleets crossed the Atlantic Ocean to fish the French shore of Newfoundland. The Islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon, off the south coast of Newfoundland, remained part of France. Following the treaty of Utrecht (1713), these islands served as a base for the fishing operations on this side of the Atlantic, while select harbours on the “French Shore”, like Codroy Island and Red Island were assigned to St. Pierre merchants as local fishing stations.


French Shore - Alchetron, The Free Social Encyclopedia


Jules Cornu most likely arrived in Codroy before 1850 via the French fishery.

Jules Cornu married Elizabeth Benoit in about 1850 and had at least 8 children. Their daughter Alice is my great-grand-mother.

With the coming of the railway to Stephenville Crossing, Jules and Elizabeth’s son, Giles Corneau moved his family from Codroy to Harry’s Brook (Stephenville Crossing) around 1905. At the time Gile’s family included his wife (Sarah Osmond) and their 7 children. Giles and Sarah would have at least 3 more children after their arrival at Stephenville Crossing.