Nickels History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Nickels surname comes from the German personal name Nikolaus.

Early Origins of the Nickels family

The surname Nickels was first found in Austria, where the family rose to prominence early in the mediaeval era. From the 13th century the surname was identified with the great social and economic evolution which made this territory a landmark contributor to the development of the nation. The name refers to St. Nickolaus, the patron saint of seafaring merchants and the protector of children.

Important Dates for the Nickels family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Nickels research. Another 89 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1787, 1766, 1582, 1664, 1717, 1761, 1745 and 1756 are included under the topic Early Nickels History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Nickels Spelling Variations

In the medieval era, many different cultural groups lived in the German states. There are thus many regional variations of German surnames from that era. Westphalians spoke Low German, which is similar to modern Dutch. Many German names carry suffixes that identify where they came from. Others have phrases attached that identify something about the original bearer. Other variations in German names resulted from the fact that medieval scribes worked without the aid of any spelling rules. The spelling variations of the name Nickels include Nickel, Nikel, Nickl, Nickle, Nickele, Nickels, Nickelsen, Nickelson, Nicol, Nicols, Nicolsen, Nicolson, Nichol, Nicholl, Nichols, Nicholls, Nicholson, Nichaelsen, Nickells, Nickell, Nichelmann, Nickelmann, Nichelman and many more.

Early Notables of the Nickels family (pre 1700)

Another 39 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Nickels Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Nickels migration to the United States

After the First World War, Austria became a republic. The Treaty of Versailles broke up the empire in 1919 and many of the Sudeten Germans were incorporated into the new nation of Czechoslovakia. In the 20th century, many Austrians migrated to other parts of Germany or Europe, as well as to North America. In the United States, the majority of settlers landed in Philadelphia, and moved on to Ohio, Texas, Illinois, California, New York, and Maryland. Many German settlers also migrated to Canada, particularly Ontario and the Prairies. Amongst the settlers in North America with this distinguished name Nickels were

Nickels Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Christian Nickels, aged 27, who landed in Missouri in 1847 [1]
  • Oscar Nickels, who arrived in New York, NY in 1850 [1]

Contemporary Notables of the name Nickels (post 1700)

  • John L. Nickels (1931-2013), American jurist, he served as an Illinois Supreme Court justice (1992-1998)
  • Justin Michael Nickels (b. 1987), American politician, 27th Mayor of Manitowoc, Wisconsin (2009-)
  • Kelly Nickels (b. 1962), American bassist, known for his work with Sweet Pain, Faster Pussycat and L.A. Guns
  • Mike Nickels, American former professional mixed martial artist
  • Gregory J. "Greg" Nickels (b. 1955), American politician, the 51st Mayor of Seattle, Washington (2002-2010)
  • Maureen Nickels, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Nebraska, 2004 [2]
  • John L. Nickels, American politician, Justice of Illinois State Supreme Court, 1992- [2]
  • Jerome Nickels, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Wisconsin, 1972 [2]
  • Gregory J. Nickels (b. 1955), American Democrat politician, Mayor of Seattle, Washington, 2002-09; Defeated, 1997, 2009; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Washington, 2008 [2]
  • Edward Nickels, American politician, Prohibition Candidate for Presidential Elector for Michigan, 1940 [2]
  • ... (Another 1 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  2. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 11) . Retrieved from
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