Premise Cunoniaceae are a family of shrubs and trees with 27 genera and ca. 335 species, mostly confined to tropical and wet temperate zones of the southern hemisphere. There are several known issues regarding generic limits, and the family also displays a number of intriguing long-range disjunctions. Methods We performed a phylogenomic study using the universal Angiosperms353 probe set for targeted sequence capture. We sampled 37 species covering all genera in the Cunoniaceae, and those in the three closely related families of the crown Oxalidales (Brunelliaceae, Cephalotaceae, and Elaeocarpaceae). We also performed analyses for molecular dating and ancestral area reconstruction. Results We recovered the topology (Cunoniaceae, (Cephalotaceae, (Brunelliaceae, Elaeocarpaceae))) and a well-resolved genus-level phylogeny of Cunoniaceae with strongly supported clades corresponding to all previously recognized tribes. As previously suspected, the genera Ackama and Weinmannia were recovered as paraphyletic. Australasia was inferred as the likely ancestral area for the family. Conclusions The current distribution of Cunoniaceae is best explained by long-distance dispersal with a few possible cases of Australasian–American vicariance events. Extinctions may have been important in determining the mostly Oceanian distribution of this family while some genera in the tribe Cunonieae and in New Caledonia have undergone recent bursts of diversification. New generic diagnoses, 80 new combinations, and one new name are provided for a recircumscribed Ackama (including Spiraeopsis), a much smaller Weinmannia (mostly New World), and a resurrected Pterophylla to accommodate Old World taxa previously in Weinmannia.