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

Origins Available: English, German

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

The name Nicol was brought to England by the Normans when they conquered the country in 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.

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Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Nicol family name include 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 Nicols 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 Nicol 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 Nicol 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 Nicol Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Nicol 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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To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Nicol family to immigrate North America:

Nicol Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • John Nicol, who arrived in New Jersey in 1685

Nicol Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Johanees Nicol, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1739
  • Johannes Nicol, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1739

Nicol Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Alexander Nicol, aged 26, landed in New York, NY in 1822
  • James Nicol, aged 23, arrived in Missouri in 1848
  • William Nicol, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1853
  • Georg Heinr Nicol, who arrived in America in 1854
  • Henry Nicol, who landed in St Clair County, III in 1857


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  • Alex Nicol (1916-2001), American actor and director
  • Eric Patrick Nicol (1919-2011), Canadian writer and three-time winner of the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour
  • Erskine Nicol (1825-1904), Scottish painter
  • James Nicol (1810-1879), Scottish geologist


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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. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  2. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  3. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  4. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  5. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  6. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  7. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  8. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  9. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  10. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  11. ...

The Nicol Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Nicol 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 12 November 2013 at 13:04.

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