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

Origins Available: English, German

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

Nichols is one of the names carried to England in the great wave of migration from Normandy following the Norman Conquest in 1066. It is based on 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.

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Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. 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 Nicholss were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Nichols 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 Nichols History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Some of the Nichols 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.

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Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Nichols or a variant listed above:

Nichols Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • John Nichols, who immigrated to Virginia in 1607
  • Roger Nichols, who landed in Virginia in 1635
  • Walter Nichols, who arrived in Virginia in 1637
  • Francis Nichols, who arrived in Connecticut in 1639
  • Fr Nichols, who landed in Virginia in 1641


Nichols Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Frances Nichols, who arrived in Virginia in 1713
  • Clement Nichols, who arrived in New England in 1714
  • Jno Nichols, who arrived in Virginia in 1714
  • Thos Nichols, who landed in Virginia in 1715
  • Emanuel Nichols, who arrived in America in 1760-1763


Nichols Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • James A Nichols, who landed in America in 1804
  • John Nichols, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1831
  • William Nichols, who landed in New York in 1834
  • Lyman Nichols, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • John B Nichols, who arrived in Texas in 1850-1906


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  • Austin Nichols (b. 1980), American television and movie actor
  • Andrew Nichols PsyD, PhD, (b. 1956), American psychologist
  • Herbie Nichols (1919-1963), American jazz pianist and composer
  • Charles August Nichols (1910-1992), American animator and film director
  • Ernest Fox Nichols (1869-1924), American educator and physicist
  • Nichelle Nichols (b. 1932), American actress, singer and voice artist best known as the communications officer Lieutenant Uhura aboard the USS Enterprise in the popular Star Trek television series
  • Mike Nichols (b. 1931), born Mikhail Igorevich Peschkowsky, American television, stage and film director, writer, and producer and one of only twelve people to have won Academy, Emmy, Grammy, and Tony Awards
  • Major General Kenneth David "Nick" Nichols (1907-2000), United States Army officer and an engineer who worked on the Manhattan Project
  • Robert "Bobby" Herman Nichols (b. 1936), American professional golfer
  • Roger Nichols, American composer and songwriter who has written songs with Paul Williams and Tony Asher

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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. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  2. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  3. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  4. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  5. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  6. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  7. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  8. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  9. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  11. ...

The Nichols Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Nichols 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 26 March 2014 at 10:07.

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