1560s, "mutual relation, interdependence, interconnection," from French corrélation, from cor- "together" (see com-) + relation (see relation). Meaning "action of bringing into orderly connection" is by 1879.
word-forming element usually meaning "with, together," from Latin com, archaic form of classical Latin cum "together, together with, in combination," from PIE *kom- "beside, near, by, with" (compare Old English ge-, German ge-). The prefix in Latin sometimes was used as an intensive.
Before vowels and aspirates, it is reduced to co-; before -g-, it is assimilated to cog- or con-; before -l-, assimilated to col-; before -r-, assimilated to cor-; before -c-, -d-, -j-, -n-, -q-, -s-, -t-, and -v-, it is assimilated to con-, which was so frequent that it often was used as the normal form.
c. 1300, relacioun, "relationship, connection, correspondence;" late 14c. as "act of telling or relating in words," from Anglo-French relacioun, Old French relacion "report, connection" (14c.) and directly from Latin relationem (nominative relatio) "a bringing back, restoring; a report, proposition," from relatus (see relate).
The meaning "person related by blood or marriage" is attested from c. 1500. The phrase no relation "not in the same family," used in differentiating persons with the same surname, is attested by 1930.