Recorded as Corn, Corne, Cornfield (English), and Korn, Korne and Kornfeld (German), and many other European spellings, this is an occupational surname. It usually describes a musician, one who played the cornet or horn. It originates from the pre 7th century Olde French word 'corne' and the German 'korn' both from the late Roman word 'corna' meaning a horn. It is said that in its most original use it described a horn-blower. Horn was a commonly used material in the Middle Ages for the making of small musical instruments and other artifacts. The surname is well recorded in the London church registers as Coorn, Corne and Corn from the mid 16th century with as examples on February 22nd 1579, the christening of Tobias Corne took place in St. Michael's Cornhill and on January 14th 1621, Agnes Corn, daughter of Thomas and Ann Corn, was christened in St. Botolph, Bishopsgate. It is also possible that Corn may be a metonymic for a corn dealer, but this is unproven, whilst as Cornfield or Kornfeld it may be topographical and describe a person who lived by such a place. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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