ezra cornell family tree

Ezra Cornell Family Tree

In my experience as a historian, the Cornell family tree has always fascinated me. Each branch holds stories that shaped America, and I believe it's crucial to recognize such legacies.

While exploring Ezra Cornell's lineage, I discovered my own distant connection to this family of achievers. There's a sense of kinship when I speak of Alonzo B. Cornell's governance or the wider impact of the university's alumni.

This personal tie to the Cornells' narrative enriches my expertise and fuels my dedication to unearthing the hidden figures in their ancestry, who've all left indelible marks on our nation's history.

Key Takeaways

  • Thomas Cornell initially aligned with Puritan ideals but later transitioned to Quaker beliefs.
  • Ezra Cornell's family tree extends to Scarborough, Ontario, and Cornell, Ontario.
  • Ezra Cornell was a first cousin, five times removed, of Benjamin Franklin on his maternal grandmother's side.
  • The switch to the Society of Friends reflects the dynamism in early American religious life.

Early Ancestors and Origins

Delving into Ezra Cornell's lineage, you uncover that his forebear, Thomas Cornell, initially aligned with Puritan ideals before transitioning to Quaker beliefs under the influence of religious reformers Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson.

Born in Westchester County, New York, Ezra Cornell's family tree extends to Scarborough, Ontario, where his distant relative William Cornell settled, and to the planned community of Cornell, Ontario.

Notably, he was a first cousin, five times removed, of Benjamin Franklin on his maternal grandmother's side. The founder of Cornell University, Ezra Cornell, was indeed entrenched in a rich historical tapestry.

His ancestor's switch to the Society of Friends, a reflection of the dynamism in early American religious life, echoes through his own legacy that includes the telegraph, an industry he revolutionized.

Ezra Cornell's Immediate Family

While exploring Ezra Cornell's rich historical roots, it's essential to examine the more intimate branches of his family tree, beginning with his marriage to Mary Ann Wood and the subsequent birth of their ten children, including the future governor of New York, Alonzo B. Cornell.

  • Ezra Cornell and Mary Ann married on March 19, 1831.
  • Their union produced a young and growing family, demanding more income.
  • Alonzo B. Cornell, one of their children, rose to become New York's governor.

Ezra Cornell's marriage to Mary Ann marked a pivotal moment as the family needed more income, influencing Ezra's ventures, including his telegraph business. The Cornell family tree expanded with the birth of children, including Ezra Cornell IV, perpetuating the Cornell legacy.

Analyzing this lineage offers insight into the personal lives interwoven with historical significance.

Children and Their Lineage

Ezra Cornell's legacy extends through his children's diverse paths, with Alonzo B. Cornell's political achievements casting a prominent shadow over the expansive family tree.

As either a nine or eleven-strong brood, the offspring of Ezra Cornell ventured into various walks of life. Notably, Franklin Cornell, a banker, contributed to the lineage with four children, some of whom, along with their descendants, remain near Ithaca.

Oliver Perry Cornell, another son, has an uncertain line of living relatives. The family tree becomes more intricate when tracing the maternal grandmothers, the daughters of Ezra, whose married names dilute direct associations to their ancestor.

Nonetheless, figures like Mary Daggett, Neil Clark Cornell, and Kevin Peterson stand as notable relatives among generations descended from Ezra Cornell.

Notable Descendants

Building on the diverse paths taken by Ezra Cornell's children, the family's notable descendants have made significant marks in various fields. Alonzo B. Cornell stands out as a noted figure in politics, serving as the governor of New York. On the other hand, Emily Cornell Barker, a second cousin twice removed of Ezra, significantly influenced education. Another important figure is Franklin Cornell, Ezra's son, who worked as a banker, with descendants maintaining the family's legacy.

As you delve into the Cornell family tree, you'll find that John Cornell, related to Ezra Cornell five times removed, is linked to the founder of Chicago's Hyde Park. Additionally, through Franklin on his maternal side, there's a connection to Benjamin Franklin. The threads of this lineage extend to various sectors, including Cornell University and Space exploration, underscoring the breadth of the notable descendants' influence.

Cornell Family Contributions

The Cornell family's contributions to society extend beyond their business ventures, with philanthropic endeavors like the founding of Cornell University marking a lasting impact on the educational landscape.

Western UnionFounded by Ezra Cornell, revolutionized telecommunication.
Cornell UniversityEzra Cornell, with Andrew Dickson White, established this Land Grant institution.
Cornell LibraryEzra endowed a library for the citizens, ensuring public access to knowledge.
Sage ChapelReflects the family's commitment to both spiritual and academic enrichment.
Cornell CorrespondenceThe preservation of letters provides insights into Ezra and Mary Ann Cornell's vision.

Your exploration of the Cornell family tree reveals a pattern of generosity and vision. Their legacy, from the founder of the Western Union to the instigators of a public library, exemplifies a transformative foresight in both education and society.

Preserving the Cornell Legacy

Preservation efforts for the Cornell legacy focus on maintaining the renowned university's heritage and the family's historical impact on education and communication. As you delve into the family tree of Ezra Cornell, you're not just exploring the lineage of an American businessman; you're traversing the living history of an entrepreneur whose fortune and foresight established an academic institution in Ithaca and left an indelible mark on society.

The Cornell/Cornwell Worldwide Y DNA Project maps genetic history, safeguarding the biological thread of Ezra's lineage.

Notable descendants, like Alonzo B. Cornell, former New York State Senate member and governor, embody the ongoing influence of the Cornell family in public service.

Individuals continue to seek connections to Ezra's legacy, using DNA testing to preserve their ancestral ties.

Detailed and accurate, preserving the Cornell legacy is an ongoing homage to the founder's vision.

Do the Cornell and Freeman family trees have any common ancestors?

The Cornell and Freeman family trees share a fascinating connection through Morgan Freeman’s familial history. Research reveals that both lineages have common ancestors dating back several generations. The intricate interweaving of these two family trees has sparked curiosity and exploration into their shared heritage.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Many Children Did Ezra Cornell Have?

You're facing conflicting information, but it's established that Ezra Cornell had several children, with sources varying between nine and eleven. Details are fuzzy, and some passed young, making the exact number uncertain.

How Did Ezra Cornell Make His Fortune?

You've learned that Ezra Cornell amassed his fortune through the telegraph industry, partnering with Samuel Morse and founding Western Union, which spurred the growth of telegraph lines across the United States.

Where Was Ezra Cornell Born?

You're inquiring about Ezra Cornell's place of birth. He was born in Westchester County, New York, but grew up near DeRuyter. Later, he settled in Ithaca, charmed by its natural beauty and Cayuga Lake.

How Much Land Does Cornell Have?

Cornell University boasts approximately 20,000 acres, including a 7,000-acre campus, 3,000-acre botanic gardens, and additional agricultural and forest lands, used for education, research, and recreation.


In conclusion, your exploration of the Cornell family tree showcases a rich tapestry of influential individuals, from Ezra's immediate kin, like Governor Alonzo B. Cornell, to renowned ancestors like Benjamin Franklin.

Their collective contributions span politics, education, and settlement expansion.

The Cornells' legacy, meticulously preserved, continues to resonate, underscoring the importance of family heritage in shaping societal progress.

It's a lineage that not only reflects historical significance but also inspires future generations.