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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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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


  • Alexander Livingston "Alex" Nicol Jr. (1916-2001), American actor and director who appeared in many Westerns including The Man from Laramie (1955), Daniel Boone (1966) and The Wild Wild West (1967)
  • Hugh N. Nicol (1858-1921), Scottish-born, American Major League Baseball player who played from 1881 to 1890
  • Simon John Breckenridge Nicol (b. 1950), English guitarist, singer, multi-instrumentalist and record producer, founding member of British folk rock group Fairport Convention
  • 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
  • Stephen "Steve" Nicol (b. 1961), Scottish former professional footballer
  • Peter Nicol MBE (b. 1973), Scottish former professional squash player, awarded a gold and bronze medal at the 1998 Commonwealth Games
  • Ken Nicol (b. 1951), British guitar player, vocalist and songwriter, member of The Albion Band
  • Ken Nicol, Canadian politician and academic, Leader of the Official Opposition in Alberta (2001-2004)



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. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  2. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  3. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. 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.
  5. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  6. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  7. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  8. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  9. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  10. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  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 2 October 2014 at 14:36.

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