|2 million (estimated)|
|Regions with significant populations|
|California, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin|
Particularly in the cities of Butte, Duluth, Hibbing, Marquette, Mineral Point, Sault Ste. Marie/Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
|English (American English dialects) Cornish|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Cornish, English Americans, Welsh Americans, Breton Americans, Manx Americans, Scottish Americans, Scotch-Irish Americans, Irish Americans|
Cornish Americans (Cornish: Amerikanyon gernewek) are Americans who describe themselves as having Cornish ancestry, an ethnic group of Brittonic Celts native to Cornwall and the Scilly Isles, part of England in the United Kingdom. Although Cornish ancestry is not recognized on the United States Census, Bernard Deacon at the Institute of Cornish Studies estimates there are close to two million people of Cornish descent in the U.S., compared to half a million in Cornwall itself and only half of those Cornish by descent.
Cornish surnames and personal names remain common, and are often distinct from English, Scottish, Welsh, Irish and Manx names, although there is a similarity to the related Welsh and Breton names in many instances. Similarly, the majority of place names in Cornwall are still Brittonic. The Cornish language had died out as a primary spoken language by the end of the 18th century, but a revival of the tongue has been ongoing since the early 20th century.
Tangier Island is an island in lower Chesapeake Bay in Virginia: some inhabitants have a West Country accent that traces back to the settlers (including the Cornish) who arrived there in the 1600s.
The coincidence of the decline of the mining industry in Cornwall in the 19th century and the discovery of large amounts of mineral deposits abroad meant that Cornish families headed overseas for work. Each decade between 1861 and 1901, a fifth of the entire Cornish male population migrated abroad – three times the average for England and Wales. In total, the county lost over a quarter of a million people between 1841 and 1901.
Large numbers of Cornish people moved to the United States, and while some stayed in New York City and other East Coast ports after arriving, many moved inland to mining areas in California, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan. One such area was Mineral Point, Wisconsin, in which the largest group of immigrants were Cornish miners attracted to the lead mining opportunities, and by 1845 roughly half of the town's population had Cornish ancestry. Today the Cornish town of Redruth is twinned with Mineral Point.
Mineral Point, Wisconsin serves Cornish food, such as pasties and figgyhobbin, and Cornish pasties are sold at ex-Cornish mining towns in America, especially in Butte, Montana and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
In California, statues and monuments in many towns pay tribute to the influence of the Cornish on their development. In the city of Grass Valley, the tradition of singing Cornish carols lives on and one local historian of the area says the songs have become "the identity of the town". Some of the members of today's Cornish Carol Choir are in fact descendants of the original Cornish gold miners. The city holds St Piran's Day celebrations every year, which along with carol singing, includes a flag raising ceremony, games involving the Cornish pasty, and Cornish wrestling competitions. The city is twinned with Bodmin in Cornwall.
Cornish culture continues to have an influence in the Copper Country of northern Michigan, the Iron Ranges of northern Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota, and Butte, Montana.
There were many famous Cornish wrestling champions from the U.S. including many world champions.
Cornish immigrant miners are depicted in the TV series Deadwood, speaking their native language, even though Cornish had died out in the 18th century before a revival in the 20th century; the actors in the relevant scenes are, in fact, speaking Irish, a fellow Celtic language, but not mutually intelligible as Irish/Gaelic is from a different branch of the Celtic languages, whereas Cornish being much closer to, and a part of the same branch, as the still thriving Welsh and Breton, and the now extinct Brittonic languages of Great Britain such as Cumbric and Pictish.
Legends of the Fall, a novella by American author Jim Harrison, detailing the lives of a Cornish American family in the early 20th century, contains several Cornish language terms. These were also included in the Academy Award-winning film of the same name starring Anthony Hopkins as Col. William Ludlow and Brad Pitt as Tristan Ludlow.
|Lists of Americans|
|By US state|
|By ethnicity or nationality|
Several notable Americans were either born in Cornwall or have family connections to the county.