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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: English, German

Where did the English Nicholls family come from? What is the English Nicholls family crest and coat of arms? When did the Nicholls family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Nicholls family history?

The name Nicholls was brought to England in the great wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. It comes from the given name Nicholas. Nicholas derives from the Greek Nikolaos, which is made up of the words nikan, meaning to conquer, and laos, meaning people.


Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Nicholl, Niccolls, Nichel, Nichol, Nicholls, Nichols, Nickel, Nickle, Nickles, Nicolls, Nicol, Nycol, Nuckles and many more.

First found in Cheshire, where the family held a family seat from very early times; the Nichollss were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Nicholls research. Another 203 words(14 lines of text) covering the years 1054, 1307, 1500, 1550, 1589, 1555, 1584, 1559, 1616, 1590, 1668, 1587, 1642, 1619, 1683, 1624, 1672, 1630, 1687, 1672, 1673, 1699, 1778, 1681, 1727, 1727, 1658, 1640, 1640, 1648, 1664, 1712, 1756, 1850, 1779 and 1818 are included under the topic Early Nicholls History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 301 words(22 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Nicholls Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Nicholls family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 245 words(18 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Nicholls or a variant listed above were:

Nicholls Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Thomas Nicholls, who settled in Virginia in 1623
  • Elizabeth Nicholls, who arrived in New England in 1635
  • Elizabeth Nicholls, who came to New England in 1635
  • Jer Nicholls, aged 16, arrived in St Christopher in 1635
  • Robert Nicholls, who landed in Maryland in 1635

Nicholls Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Susanna Nicholls, who arrived in Virginia in 1700
  • Anne Nicholls, who landed in Virginia in 1701
  • Martin Nicholls, who landed in Virginia in 1701
  • Judith Nicholls, who arrived in Virginia in 1702
  • David Nicholls, who landed in Virginia in 1702

Nicholls Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Anthony Edward Nicholls, aged 29, arrived in New York in 1812
  • Robt Nicholls, aged 22, arrived in America in 1822
  • James Nicholls, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1832
  • Samuel Nicholls, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1835
  • E Nicholls, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851


  • Francis Redding Tillou Nicholls (1834-1912), American attorney, politician, and a brigadier general in the Confederate States Army, 28th Governor of Louisiana (1877-1880) and (1888-1892)
  • George Nicholls (1776-1857), English major general
  • Paul Nicholls (b. 1979), born Paul Greenhalgh, an English actor
  • Sarah Phoebe Nicholls (b. 1957), English film, television and stage actress, known for he role as Cordelia Flyte in Brideshead Revisited
  • Agnes Nicholls (1876-1877), English soprano
  • William Morris "Billy" Nicholls Jr (b. 1949), English singer, songwriter and musical director
  • Mr. Joseph Charles "Joe" Nicholls (d. 1912), aged 19, English Second Class passenger from St. Ives, Cornwall who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking and was recovered by CS Mackay-Bennett
  • Mr. Sidney Nicholls (d. 1912), aged 39, English Saloon Steward from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking
  • Sir Douglas Ralph Nicholls KCVO, OBE (1906-1988), Governor of South Australia from 1976 to 1977, the first Aboriginal person to be knighted and the first Aboriginal person appointed to vice-regal office
  • Geoff Nicholls (b. 1948), English musician and keyboardist, best known as the longtime sideman for the heavy metal band Black Sabbath



The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Fide sed cui vide
Motto Translation: Trust, but in whom take care.


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  1. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  2. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  3. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  4. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  5. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  6. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  7. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  8. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  9. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  10. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  11. ...

The Nicholls Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Nicholls Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 5 July 2014 at 07:21.

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