In March 2005, Soeren Reither (of Bonn, Germany) writes:
I am a relative of Maria Gertrud Koll (born: 24-Apr-1798 in Wormersdorf, died: 15-Jan-1872) and Anton Floss (died 23-Mar-1825). Maria Gertrud Koll married (08-Sep-1826 in Adendorf) her second Husband Johann Corzelius (died 1840). The second marriage was mentioned in your family-tree.
Part of the Corzelius Family immigrated in 1785 from the Westerwald to the small village Adendorf, south of Bonn. Between 1744 and 1747 other families from the Westerwald (Giertz, Gerhartz, Willems, Menningen) had already settled in Adendorf.
In present-day Adendorf the name Corzelius is still existing; Norbert Corzelius is running a pottery in Adendorf.
There are two very good books about Potery in Adendorf: Geschichte in Wachtberg, Die Adendorfer Toepfer im Wandel der Zeit and Keramik im Landkreis Bonn, Band I. Although the second book is focused on the Gerhartz family, this book will give you a very good impression about potery in the Westerwald and why the families left the area.
Regarding the origins of the name:
With the german telephonebook (www.dastelefonbuch.de) I´ve found 52 persons named Corzelius. Most of them are living in the Bonn-Rheinbach-Adendorf-Area. A few persons are still living in the Westerwald-Area.
With the german telephonebook I´ve found 117 persons named Corzilius. Most of them from the Westerwald-Koblenz-Neuwied-Area, a few from the Ruhr-Area.
With the german telephonebook I´ve found 52 persons named Corcilius. A few names in the Westerwald-Area, the rest spread in whole western Germany.
With the german telephonebook I´ve found 0 persons named Corcelius.
The different spelling of names in early Germany occured because of the lack of writing rules. Because of that fact everybody wrote down his name phonetically. These phonetic sounds where due to the local dialects. So probably because of that, the Adendorf Corzelius-Family spelled their name different from those from the Westerwald-Area.
I´ve found different spellings of the name Corzilius in the Westerwald-Area (from the book Keramik im Landkreis Bonn): Corcillius (1748); Corcilius (1673); Corzilles (1651), Corciließ (1710); Corzilius (1723).
Zilles is the shortened form of the greek name Cyliax; Cyliax means: belongs to god (from the book: Duden, Familiennamen, Herkunft und Bedeutung von 20000 Nachnamen). Probably the whole name Corzilius (Corzilles) goes back to one person with the firstname Cyliax. Surnames are very often derived from the firstname of a person.
In the 15th century it was very fashionable to translate the surname in latin or ad-latin endings. Mueller became Molitor; Schneider became Faber; Kramer became Cremerius (from the book: dtv-Atlas Namenkunde) Probably the name Corzilles was changed into Corzelius.
I don´t think that it is very probable, that the surname Corzilius from the Westerwald-Area goes back to an Roman soldier, but in fact it is a very nice story.
Surenames were not used before the 10th century; and at first just within royal families. After that surnames were used by the population of cities. Because the Westerwald-Area is a very rural area surnames were not used until quite recently. Because of that the surname Corzilius was probably first used between 13th and 15th century; probably in the meaning as 'son of Cyliax'. But that's just my personal theory...