Cornelia Stuyvesant Vanderbilt

Cornelia Stuyvesant Vanderbilt

Biltmore, Buncombe County, North Carolina, USA
Death 7 Feb 1976 (aged 75)
Oxford, City of Oxford, Oxfordshire, England
Burial Kirkwall, Orkney Islands, Scotland
Memorial ID 119723523 · View Source
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Cornelia Stuyvesant Vanderbilt was born at the famous Biltmore Estate, August 22, 1900, the only child of George Washington Vanderbilt and Edith Dresser Vanderbilt. Upon George Vanderbilt's death in 1914, Cornelia Vanderbilt inherited the Biltmore Estate.

Cornelia was raised at Biltmore and tutored privately. She later attended the University of North Carolina for a year or so.

Cornelia was married first to Hon John Francis Amherst Cecil in 1924. About 1932, Cornelia found life at Biltmore too dull to endure and moved to New York briefly to study art. After a few months she moved to Paris, divorced Cecil in 1934, changed her name to Nilcha and dyed her hair bright pink. That phase passed, and while living quietly and modestly in London, she met and married Vivian Francis Bulkely-Johnson about 1950.

At some point she adopted the name Mary. Her last marriage was in 1972 to William Goodsir, 26 years her junior. They lived very quietly; Cornelia never spoke of her past.
Her sons with Cecil, George Henry Vanderbilt Cecil (b. 1925) and William Amherst Vanderbilt Cecil (b. 1928), eventually inherited the Biltmore Estate and land.

Cornelia was cremated. Her ashes were placed at a church near her home, The Mount, a farm in Oxfordshire, near Kingham, in Arundell. Later when her last husband Bill Goodsir died in 1984 and was buried, her ashes were placed on top of his casket and buried with him. His grave and Cornelia's ashes are located near entrance gate one, on the right side of St. Peter's.

Words were chosen for a marker, but never added. The inscription was to have read, "Interred here are the ashes of Cornelia Mary Goodsir Died 7 Feb 1976 aged 75 yrs." Cornelia's grave is without identification.

Cornelia never returned to Biltmore, or the US, after leaving Biltmore in 1934.

A photo of a marker has been added. The burial site is now marked with a small sandstone plaque, since September 2017.

Family Members


Here Lies the Dust of Cornelia Vanderbilt 1900 -1976

  • Created by: Anna
  • Added: 2 Nov 2013
  • Find A Grave Memorial 119723523
  • Bobby Kelley
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Cornelia Stuyvesant Vanderbilt (22 Aug 1900–7 Feb 1976), Find A Grave Memorial no. 119723523, citing St. Peter's Kirkyard, Kirkwall, Orkney Islands, Scotland ; Maintained by Anna (contributor 47329432) .